10 Top Tips For Better AWS Security Today

As an AWS user, you share responsibility for AWS security with Amazon. Amazon provides infrastructure and services, but businesses must ensure they use those tools in line with AWS security best practices. Businesses that fail to do so make it easier for bad actors to infiltrate their networks and exfiltrate their data.

AWS security is a complex subject, but there are many straightforward security enhancements with minimal cost to the user. This article explores ten high-impact security improvements that every AWS user should implement.

Disable Unused Credentials

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows users to manage access to AWS resources. It’s an essential tool that provides fine-grained controls and insight into who has access to your cloud infrastructure and services.

As your company builds on AWS, you will create a variety of IAM users and groups to permit or restrict access as required. 

However,  usage patterns evolve, employees leave the business, and authentication requirements change. It’s common for companies to fail to update their IAM users and permissions. The result is often a mixture of new and old accounts, groups, and permissions that are no longer relevant. 

These create a security risk. Consider what could happen if a disgruntled ex-employee used an old account to shut down your cloud servers. AWS users should regularly assess IAM users, groups, and permissions, removing stale accounts to maintain access security.

Turn on Multi-Factor Authentication for IAM Users

AWS allows users to authenticate with a username and password. Together these are assumed to be information only the user knows. But there are many circumstances in which that assumption doesn’t hold. Users may share their passwords, they may choose easily guessed passwords, and passwords can be stolen.

Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of protection. In addition to a username and password, the user must enter a one-time code sent to a mobile device or prove that they possess a dedicated hardware key such as a Yubikey. This second authentication factor prevents bad actors from gaining access even if they possess a correct username and password.

Enable Amazon CloudTrail

Amazon CloudTrail allows users to log and monitor events that occur across their cloud infrastructure. A comprehensive log enhances users’ ability to discover and remediate security threats. CloudTrail logs can also be used by Amazon CloudWatch to alert employees and trigger pre-configured actions when insecure events are logged.

We recommend that Cloud Trail is activated for all regions and that CloudTrail is configured to store logs in an S3 bucket that is not publically accessible.

Do Not Use or Share the Root Account

The AWS root account has complete access to every aspect of your AWS infrastructure. The root user is created when you first set up your AWS account, and it’s helpful when initially configuring IAM users and permissions. However, if a bad actor gets hold of the root user’s credentials, they have unlimited access to your infrastructure.

To be safe, do not use the root user for day-to-day operations. Create new IAM users with only the necessary permissions. Keep the root user’s credentials safe and private. Do not share them with other employees unless strictly necessary. It is also advisable to activate MFA for the root account to protect it even if the password leaks.

Check and Restrict S3 Bucket Permissions

Insecure S3 buckets are a common cause of data leaks. S3 offers granular access controls, but they are often incorrectly configured. In recent years, many large data leaks were attributed to S3 buckets configured for public access, allowing anyone on the internet to access and steal the data. S3 bucket permissions should be regularly checked to ensure only authorized accounts and IP addresses have access.

Ensure Sensitive Resources Are Only Accessible From Internal IPs

Most AWS resources should not be accessible to connections from IP addresses outside of your private network. As we’ve already mentioned, this includes S3 buckets, but also EC2 instances, databases, and any other asset where external access is not required. Amazon provides firewall services that allow users to control traffic to sensitive resources, including AWS Security Groups and Network Access Control Lists.

Restrict Traffic for the Default Security Group

A security group is a virtual firewall that controls traffic to and from EC2 instances. Every EC2 instance has a security group. Users can create custom security groups, but AWS provides a default that is applied to new EC2 instances when a custom group isn’t selected.

It is likely that the default security group will be used with many EC2 instances throughout the life of your AWS environment, either deliberately or because the person deploying the instance neglects to select a different group. It is, therefore, essential that the default firewall rules are secure within the context of your environment.

Ensure Security Groups Rules Block External Access to Vulnerable Ports

To expand on the previous tip, the default security group—and all other security groups—should block access to ports used by potentially vulnerable services such as FTP (21) and Telnet (23), as well as default ports for services that should not be accessible from external IPs, such as MySQL (3306), PostgreSQL (5432), and MongoDB (27017),

Remove Hardcoded API Keys and Database Passwords

It’s often convenient to hardcode API keys, passwords, and other secrets in the code that you run on AWS. For example, if you need to make an API call, it’s natural to put the authentication key in the code. However, this can create a significant security vulnerability if the code becomes accessible to bad actors, which can happen on your servers or in version control.

Avoiding hardcoded keys is particularly urgent when your code accesses services using AWS credentials. Instead, use environmental variables or the AWS credentials files, as described in the Best practices for managing AWS access keys.

Enable Amazon GuardDuty for Automated Threat Detection

Amazon GuardDuty is a threat detection service that monitors accounts, resources, and data for suspicious activity, alerting users when it finds a potential issue. It uses machine learning algorithms and other techniques to analyze log data from AWS CloudTrail for patterns that match known threats. GuardDuty is a valuable tool for discovering malicious activity that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Bonus Tip: Automate Security Checks With KirkpatrickPrice

Throughout this article, you may have been thinking that complying with cloud security best practices is time-consuming and complex. That’s why we created our AWS Security Scanner, which scans and reports over 50 common AWS security vulnerabilities, including many we looked at in this article.

Visit KirkpatrickPrice’s AWS Cybersecurity Services to learn more about our AWS Security Scanner and to access an extensive library of AWS security educational content.

How to Implement a Data Governance Strategy

It’s almost a cliché to point out that data is an asset and should be managed accordingly. We all know data has value and that, when correctly leveraged, it helps businesses to optimize operations ranging from human resources to manufacturing to marketing. Recent advances in data science and machine learning have made data even more valuable. But the phrase “data is an asset” misses a vital detail. Data is an asset only if it’s accurate, securely stored in compliance with relevant regulations, and available to those who can use it. 

Data systems that fail to fulfill these criteria may be a potential asset, but at best, they are less valuable than they might be, and at worst, they are a liability. 

Data governance aims to put data on the same footing as other business assets, including financial assets. Any effective business creates, documents, and enforces policies and procedures for managing financial assets. Policies originate at the top of the organization, are implemented by managers and employees, and influence many business operations. 

Data governance follows a similar pattern, but here the goal is to ensure that data assets are managed in such a way as to support data-powered business capabilities while ensuring that it doesn’t become a technological or legal liability. 

This article explores data governance, its key components, and the relationship between data governance and compliance.  

What is Data Governance?

Data governance is the policies, practices, and procedures that allow a business to realize the full benefits of data. Data governance aims to formalize control of data assets. In doing so, it empowers organizations and their leadership to exercise authority and guide decisions about data and its collection, storage, and processing.

Businesses without a data governance strategy manage data to some degree, but usually in an ad-hoc, informal manner, with managers and departments responsible for the data that falls within their area of responsibility. The organization as a whole has little insight into or formal control over its data assets.

Fundamentally, data governance is about empowering businesses to make the most of their data. In more concrete terms, the benefits of implementing a data governance strategy include:

  • The ability to meet regulatory requirements around data security and privacy.
  • The ability to leverage data to increase revenue and profits. 
  • Comprehensive, coherent, and standardized data collection, processing, and access workflows.
  •  A cross-organizational framework that limits rework, eliminates siloes, and ensures data can be leveraged across the business. 
  • Employees and managers who are empowered to use data in the service of business objectives. 
  • Data management systems with accountability and transparency. 

Data Management vs. Data Governance

Data management and data governance are closely related, but they are not identical. Data management focuses on logistics, whereas data governance focuses on policy and strategy. 

Data management is primarily concerned with the logistics of implementing procedures and technologies that allow an organization to use data effectively: how data is stored, how it’s prepared for use, how it’s accessed, how it’s secured, and how the flow of data through an organization is managed.  

In contrast, data governance focuses on the strategic level. It aims to create a documented formal structure. Data governance addresses issues related to data quality, the rules governing data collection and use, compliance with relevant regulations, and accountability.  You can think of data governance as one component of data management, just as financial governance is one component of an enterprise financial management system.

What Are the Key Components of Data Governance?

Data governance is a cross-organizational effort that may involve employees at all levels.  However, a data governance strategy is usually framed by executives with guidance from subject matter experts and stakeholders from within the company. There are many approaches to designing a data governance strategy, but most include the following components. 

  • The data governance leadership—often a committee—are responsible for devising data governance policies that align with the business’s objectives. Larger companies may also have a separate team to measure and verify the effectiveness of data governance policies.
  • Policies outline the purpose, scope, rules, and responsibilities related to a specific data governance concern. Policies should be guided by both the needs of the business and relevant regulatory standards around accuracy, access, privacy, and information security.
  • Data owners or stewards are the individuals within an organization responsible for overseeing the implementation of policies. They are accountable for ensuring that data governance policies are implemented and maintaining the quality of data assets. Ownership may start at the top with a Chief Data Officer and move down through the organization into individual teams and departments. 
  • Documented processes describe specific implementations of policies. Policies rarely mandate the tooling and day-to-day operations involved in achieving a data governance objective. Instead, stakeholders with relevant expertise create, implement, and document processes and procedures which support those policies. 
  • Tooling is the equipment and software that supports data governance processes. 
  • Internal and external audits enable an organization to verify how effective its data governance strategy is. 

It’s essential to recognize that data governance strategies impact regulatory compliance in several ways. Data governance policies affect operations relevant to SOC 2, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and other regulatory standards and legal obligations. When shaping a data governance policy, businesses should take their regulatory environment into account. 

A Data Governance Framework for Building Your Strategy

An organizations’ particular requirements shape its data governance strategy, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Business leaders should recognize the challenge of implementing data governance best practices throughout their organization. That’s why change management is a key aspect of data governance implementation. Data governance often leads to changes in job roles, creates new roles, changes employee responsibilities and accountability, introduces new tools and software, and more.

Nevertheless, it is possible to outline a general framework to guide your data governance strategy. At a high level, implementing data governance is a four-step process.

  1. Survey your data. Before developing policies to oversee data systems, it’s helpful to understand how well they align with business objectives for quality, security, privacy, and availability. Data classification can also help reduce data risk; many frameworks and legal regulations have specific requirements for data classification, including SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI DSS. 
  2. Create a granular set of policies that take into account business objectives, regulatory compliance needs, and data governance best practices. 
  3. Enforce data governance policies and create data accountability through the implementation of relevant procedures and processes.
  4. Create and measure key metrics to track the success of data governance efforts. Be prepared to modify policies and their implementations to improve data governance outcomes. 

As a business works to implement data governance, it’s often useful to track progress with a framework. One commonly used data framework was developed by John Ladley, author of Data Governance: How to Design, Deploy, and Sustain an Effective Data Governance Policy. Ladley proposes a 5-stage framework:

  • Engagement — establish a clear vision of why data governance matters to your organization, ensuring that key stakeholders support and are engaged with data governance efforts. 
  • Strategy — deliver a plan and a set of requirements that supports the organization’s data governance objectives.  
  • Architecture and design — design organizational capabilities and operational frameworks that support data governance initiatives. 
  • Implementation — roll out data governance processes and capabilities throughout the organization, including monitoring systems to track the implementation effectiveness. 
  • Operate and sustain — continue to enforce data governance policies, extend capabilities, and monitor effectiveness as the business and data landscape evolves. 

Regulatory compliance and auditing are part of an effective data governance strategy. For innovative data security guidance and a comprehensive range of information security auditing services, contact KirkpatrickPrice today.  To learn more about AWS data governance and security, visit our AWS Cybersecurity Services to access our extensive resource library and AWS Scanner.

The Top 5 AWS Security Mistakes To Avoid

AWS’s compute and data storage services are the beating heart of tens of thousands of businesses. That makes AWS security and compliance a matter of critical concern. It’s all too easy to make a configuration mistake that opens the door to bad actors intent on stealing data and infiltrating malware. For example, estimates put the proportion of misconfigured buckets on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) at 46%.

In this article, we’re going to look at five of the most common AWS security mistakes and show you how to check if your AWS environment is vulnerable.

How Secure Is AWS?

AWS is a secure cloud platform. However, no platform can be totally secure. AWS is incredibly flexible, but that flexibility gives you the power to shoot yourself in the foot. Cloud users can’t rely on Amazon to take care of all security risks. Responsibility for cloud security is shared between the platform and the user, and who is responsible for what depends on the service. 

AWS’s EC2 infrastructure-as-a-service platform puts more responsibility on users than a platform-as-a-service such as Elastic Beanstalk. But user misconfigurations can create security vulnerabilities on any cloud service, which is why user error causes all of the common security problems we’ll discuss here today.

To learn more about the cloud shared security model, read Who’s Responsible for Cloud Security?

Storing Data in S3 Buckets or EBS Volumes without Encryption

Encryption at rest and in transit makes data worthless to bad actors—even if it is leaked or intercepted. All Amazon data storage services offer strong encryption, but many users fail to activate it.

S3 provides various server-side encryption options alongside key management solutions that simplify the use of encryption keys,  but users can choose to store data unencrypted. Elastic Block Storage offers encryption for data at rest, in transit, and for snapshots, but users can select unencrypted volumes, creating a risk of accidental misconfiguration that could expose sensitive data.

Configuring S3 Buckets with Public Availability

As we mentioned in the introduction, misconfigured S3 buckets cause numerous data leaks. S3 is an object storage service. Data is stored in buckets, and each bucket has configurable access permissions. By default, buckets are private so that only accounts given explicit permission can access them.

However, buckets can, and often are, configured so that anyone on the internet can access them and the data they contain. Sometimes this is a genuine mistake, but buckets are usually made publicly accessible because the user finds it convenient to circumvent access controls. S3 configuration errors have, on many occasions, exposed highly sensitive data on the open internet.

Connecting EC2 Instances Directly to the Internet

There are legitimate reasons to assign EC2 instances a public IP address, but, in most cases, they should be deployed on an internal network with access limited to other resources under your control. For example, if you host a web application’s database server on an EC2 instance, it should not be directly connected to the internet. Access should be mediated by firewalls and limited to web or application servers that need to request data.

Leaving Insecure Ports Open

Software services running on a server connect to the network via a numbered port. Many services use a standard port: SSH on Port 22 or HTTP on Port 80. Several services are widely recognized as insecure, either because they send data unencrypted or they contain software vulnerabilities. FTP (21), Telnet (23), and SNMP (161) are in this category. Ideally, these services should not run on EC2 instances, and the associated ports should be blocked by AWS security groups and network access control lists.

Not Using Multi-Factor Authentication MFA

Although AWS’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) service allows authentication with only a username and password, it is recommended that all users take advantage of multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to provide additional authentication factors, which might be a one-time code sent to a mobile device or a hardware security key. MFA eliminates the risk that leaked passwords or brute-force attacks could give bad actor access to your AWS account.

How To Identify Security Risks in Your AWS Environment

We’ve covered the five most common AWS security mistakes, but our list is far from exhaustive. There are many more mistakes and misconfigurations that create risk for your business’s data and infrastructure. 

There are two ways you might go about finding and fixing AWS security mistakes.

  1. Manually assess all of your infrastructure and configurations for security vulnerabilities.
  2. Use the KirkpatrickPrice AWS Scanner, which performs over 50 checks automatically, including checks for the cloud security mistakes we’ve discussed in this article.

The AWS Scanner, part of our comprehensive AWS security and compliance services, quickly and reliably highlights sources of risk, giving you the information you need to secure your AWS infrastructure. Sign up today or contact an AWS security and compliance expert to learn more.

The Impact of NIST Revision 5 on Cyber Threat Simulation

What’s New With NIST 800-53 and Penetration Testing?

In September of 2020, NIST released Revision 5 to SP 800-53. Now, a year later, the changes will take effect on September 23. A common theme throughout this new revision is real-world simulation becoming an expected cybersecurity best practice for U.S. federal government agencies and contractors.

The world of technology and cybersecurity is rapidly evolving. With new tactics and techniques uncovered every day, organizations need to strengthen the types of tests they employ.

Control Enhancements Related to Pen Test Best Practices

There are three revised controls – AT-2, CA-7, and CA-8 – that have to do with cyber simulation and penetration testing:

1. NIST AT-2: Literacy Awareness and Training

In NIST AT-2, there is narrative about training your employees by putting them through “practical exercises.” What do those practical exercises look like?

NIST’s enhancement narrative explains that social engineering exercises are the most practical way to educate and test your employees. Social engineering is the attempt of an ethical hacker trying to gain unauthorized access, collect information, and/or simulate the impact of opening a malicious email attachment or spear-phishing link.

Most organizations do not put their employees through interactive training. Instead, employees are asked to complete online modules with no practical exercises. To be trained on something, you need to have practiced it. Online module security training is great for educating employees, but that education needs to be incorporated with an applicable real-world scenario for the employee to practice. Think of it like a lecture and then homework. People need to exercise what they learn to be properly trained.

Are you tired of online modules not sticking with your employees? Practice makes perfect. Put them through real-world simulations to test their awareness.


2. NIST CA-7: Continuous Monitoring

The NIST CA-7 narrative emphasizes the importance of continuously monitoring threat trends. A suggested security best practice is the ongoing analysis of today’s common social engineering campaigns.

Once aware of their risk, organizations can then devise a plan to defend against them. They can create educational materials and testing scenarios that educate their employees on common attacks and then implement controls that defend against those sorts of advances.

Is your organization aware of today’s advanced threats and the targeted social engineering campaigns conducted by adversaries? Stay up-to-date and implement proactive controls to defend against today’s most common attacks.


3. NIST CA-8: Penetration Testing

NIST control CA-8 is to conduct penetration testing in a way that realistically simulates scenarios of an adversarial compromise. The enhancements on this control are that organizations should employ an independent pen testing firm, perform red team exercises, and conduct physical facility pen testing.

A best practice advised by NIST is for organizations to be sure that they are receiving a quality, real-world penetration test from a firm that has experience in current adversarial tactics, techniques, procedures, and tools. Most organizations don’t realize the harm in performing automated, monotonous tests. When it comes to the world’s real threats, adversaries use tactics and techniques that are unexpected and persistent. Organizations should hire penetration firms who have the expertise to simulate realistic attacks.

By conducting penetration testing, red team exercises, and physical facility testing, organizations can learn about their vulnerabilities and improve their processes to better secure their organization.


How Can These Revisions Help Your Org?

This catalog of security and privacy controls helps organizations protect operations and assets, individuals, other organizations, and the nation from a diverse set of threats and risks, including hostile attacks, human errors, natural disasters, structural failures, foreign intelligence entities, and privacy risks (NIST).

Many of these controls were updated because cyber threats and breaches are evolving rapidly. Federal regulators want real-world simulations to become a routine part of governmental organizations’ cybersecurity efforts. This new revision gives organizations clear illustrations of what are now considered today’s best security practices.

Simulating real-world threat scenarios can help your organization gain better insight into your vulnerabilities and how to efficiently secure them. It is a proactive approach to security, helping prepare you for the inevitable.

Partner With an Expert

KirkpatrickPrice can partner with you on your journey to compliance with the new NIST Revision 5 standards. Our expert penetration testers and auditors know the ins and outs of cybersecurity, how to pursue compliance, and how to prepare for cyber threats.

NIST 800-53 Revision 5 has accelerated federal organizations to a more secure future. It is a helpful guide to what initiatives are necessary to properly prepare the government supply chain for the modern world’s advancing threats.


To view the NIST 800-53 Rev. 5 updated control catalog, click here.

To analyze the updates between Rev. 4 and Rev. 5, click here.


More KirkpatrickPrice Resources:

5 Critical Things to Consider When Choosing Your Penetration Tester

Using NIST 800-53 vs. NIST 800-171 in a FISMA Audit

How Can Penetration Testing Protect Your Assets?

How Can Penetration Testing Protect Your Assets?

Every business has something to lose. But…who loses sleep over it? Whose job is on the line if assets are compromised? Who cares about protecting their assets? In recent data breaches, some companies just haven’t shown the expected response when they compromise assets. Take Uber, for example. The core of Uber’s business is drivers and riders, yet they covered up a hack for over a year. Hackers stole 57 million credentials through a third-party cloud-based service, and Uber paid to cover it up. Uber knew they’d face major backlash when they exposed the cover-up because they didn’t protect their assets.

How can organizations protect their assets? Investing in penetration testing is one way to show clients, prospects, and competitors that you are willing to protect your assets and that you recognize the value of your assets. The value of penetration testing comes from the value of your assets, not the size of your company.

What Type of Assets Do You Protect?

In any industry, there are assets that need to be protected. You may not think that your organization has a “security issue,” but third-party validation through penetration testing can either validate or deny that. Cardholder data, Social Security numbers, protected health information, access credentials, intellectual property – businesses across industries need to recognize how penetration testing can protect their assets.

  • Casinos – The gaming industry has earned a reputation for strict, effective physical security. As technology advances, though, so should cybersecurity. If a casino is connected to a hotel, are the networks segmented appropriately? If not, a hacker may have found a way into the casino’s gaming network. From there, they could have access to the security cameras, the ability to manipulate odds, see payout information for each machine, alter rewards information, or worse.
  • Hotels – Cardholder data, passport information, rewards numbers, room information, security systems, and more could be compromised if a hotel is hacked. The Marriott hack exposed in 2018 is now one of the largest known thefts of personal records in history. When Marriott’s Starwood reservation system was breached, the personal data of up to 500 million guests was compromised.
  • Pharmaceutical – Production and development, intellectual property, operations, clinical trials, and laboratory results can be impacted when the pharmaceutical industry is targeted by cyberattacks. When pharma giant Merck was hit by NotPetya, it disrupted their operations across the world and production of new drugs, ultimately costing them over $600 million in 2017.
  • Utilities – The threat of power grids being attacked by nation states is becoming more real every day. In 2018, the DHS linked Russia to hacking US power suppliers and publicly spoke about the cyberattacks to warn and prepare other energy suppliers.
  • Data Centers – Whatever data is stored in a data center is under threat. Any insecure access point, like security systems, power supply, security cameras, or HVAC systems, are fair game to a hacker.
  • Retail – Cardholder data is the major asset of any retailer. The infamous 2013 Target hack is a nightmarish example of just how much data a retailer is responsible for. The compromised cardholder data of 40 million shoppers led to a $18.5 million settlement for Target.
  • Airlines – Passport details, passenger itineraries, rewards information, cardholder data, flight schedules, and the safety of passengers are things that could be compromised if an airline is hacked. Fortunately, no travel or passport details were revealed in British Airway’s 2018 data breach, but 380,000 transactions were compromised due to digital skimming on the airline’s website and app.
  • Telecommunications – Because telecom providers communicate, transmit, and store sensitive data, they are a target for cyberattacks. Telecom providers also have attacks coming from two sides: directly to their organization’s network and indirectly through their users. There are new channels of attack with every advance in technology.
  • Auto – As automakers incorporate more technology into vehicles and self-driving cars become a reality, the threat of cyberattacks on vehicles is very real. Locks, brakes, volume, AC, acceleration – it’s all been proven to be hackable.
  • Education – Educational institutions hold not only attendance and grade records, but Social Security numbers, cardholder data, billing addresses, and many other forms of personal data. Understaffed universities that hold expensive research have a target on their backs. A data breach in the education industry costs $166 per capita, according to the Ponemon Institute.
  • Insurance – Cardholder data, protected health information, and other sensitive data are assets given to insurers through websites and apps, making the insurance industry a target for cyberattacks.
  • Public Sector – 44% of local governments face cyber attacks daily. The City of Atlanta’s Ransomware attack was an unfortunate example of just how vulnerable cities are to cyber threats and how much it costs for a city to recover.
  • Banking – Social Security numbers, credit information, PINs, cardholder data, mailing addresses, email addresses, account balances – it’s all available to banks. In 2014, JPMorgan Chase was the victim of a hack that left half of all US households compromised, one of the largest thefts of consumer data in US financial institution history.
  • Hospitals – Protected health information, security systems, expensive research and prototypes, drugs, scheduling information, and operations of facilities are all assets that a hacker could hope to compromise through cyberattacks. Ransomware attacks are extensive in healthcare for this very reason. No hospital wants their computers, elevators, locks, medical devices, or HVAC system held hostage.

Seeing some similarities, here? Any industry can benefit from penetration testing. Any service provider would be embarrassed to sell something that isn’t secure. Any healthcare organization on the HHS’ “wall of shame” will be used as an example of what not to do. Any payment processor’s reputation would be tainted by compromised cardholder data. No matter the industry, organizations need to protect their assets. What is the value of your assets?

How Can Organizations Use Penetration Testing to Protect Their Assets?

Penetration testing can be used to determine how vulnerable your assets are. It puts your security intelligence in your own hands instead of a hacker’s. It shows your security strengths and weakness, then allows you to prioritize your risk levels. If you have compliance requirements, then penetration testing helps align your organization’s security with those requirements. If you do not have compliance requirements, penetration testing is a proactive way to see and analyze the holes in your security posture. Because penetration testing is a simulated yet real-world exercise, it also gives your team a chance to have true “what if” scenarios to practice incident response and, hopefully, avoid the downtime that a breach would cost in the future.

Consider all types of penetration testing and consult with a qualified consulting firm to decide which would be most beneficial for protecting your assets. Internal or external network penetration testing, web application penetration testing, API testing, mobile app penetration testing, code review, social engineering – there are many options that could be useful to your organization’s security efforts.

If you’re questioning whether or not penetration testing would be appropriate for a business of your size or in your specific industry, remember to consider the value of your assets. The value of penetration testing comes from the value of your assets, not the size of your company or your industry.

If your default belief is that we, as an auditing firm, do not employ in-house penetration testers, let us make it clear: we do. We recognize the value of your assets and want to help you find your vulnerabilities and correct them. Contact us today to learn more about our penetration testing services.

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