By Vikneswaran Kunasegaran, VP of Security Testing – FIRMUS

What is a penetration test?

A penetration test, also known as a pen test, is an authorized simulated attack on a computer system or network to evaluate the security of the system. The purpose of a penetration test is to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. Penetration tests are typically performed by ethical hackers, also known as white hat hackers. These are individuals who specialize in breaking into computer systems and networks with the permission of their owners. Ethical hackers use the same tools and techniques as malicious attackers, but they do not have the same malicious intent.

Why perform a penetration test?

The purpose of a penetration test is to identify and assess the security risks in a system or network and determine how difficult it would be for an attacker to gain access to sensitive data or systems. The findings are then reported to the organization so that they can fix the issues in the environment before a real attacker exploits them. Penetration testing can also help identify which controls are effective and which ones need to be improved. When performed by experienced professionals, penetration tests can be an invaluable tool for keeping systems secure.

When do I need a penetration test?

It is generally advisable to carry out penetration test exercise on an annual basis, or whenever there are significant changes in the environment. Additionally, it is also advisable to perform mini pen tests to environment, systems that are upgraded, or updated along the way to ensure there is no vulnerabilities that may be exploited by a threat actor. Penetration test can also be a crucial process to complete if the company is undergoing an Merger and Acquisition, implementing new system in the environment, new software from developers and etc.

Why is Penetration Testing Important for Organizations?

Penetration testing is an important part of an organization’s security strategy, as it allows them to identify weaknesses in their environment before attackers do. The findings can then be used to improve the security of the overall environment.

As the threat landscape evolves, it is becoming increasingly important for security teams to proactively test their defenses against the latest attacks. By simulating real-world attacks, penetration tests can help organizations assess the effectiveness of their security controls and identify areas that need improvement.

Companies that offer penetration testing services

Many companies offer penetration testing services in Malaysia. When choosing a company to provide penetration testing services, it is important to consider their experience and expertise. The company should have a team of qualified cybersecurity professional who are up to date on the knowledge on the cybersecurity landscape. The company should also have a good reputation and be able to provide references from satisfied clients.