Is Your Security Posture Getting Worse?

October 23, 2023

Is your security posture getting worse? Assess the state of your defenses and take action to strengthen your cybersecurity. Despite increased attention to cybersecurity, many companies remain vulnerable to cyberattacks. In fact, according to the vulnerability assessment company ImmuniWeb, a global security posture has deteriorated by four percent in the past year.

There is more to a company’s security than just conducting a penetration test. A comprehensive security program includes cyber risk management to protect sensitive data and systems.

Vulnerabilities

A penetration test is a real-world simulation of a hacker attack against your internal IT infrastructure. It is an important step in your cybersecurity arsenal that helps you to identify and fix critical vulnerabilities. It helps you to protect your applications, servers, networks, and machines from hackers who could steal data or inject malicious code into the system. Pen tests are not easy to perform and should be carried out regularly. This will help you to detect and address issues that are the most likely to result in costly data theft or loss of business-critical services.

A common security vulnerability is the lack of basic website protections, such as HTTPS. These vulnerabilities are easily manipulated by hackers to gain access to internal systems. In addition, many companies do not implement email-based defenses, such as DMARC and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records, to reduce the risk of phishing attacks and brand fraud. These technologies are essential for protecting your brand and reputation from phishing, identity theft, and other forms of attack.

Companies have been focusing on security for their critical IT infrastructure, such as their websites and databases, but they have overlooked the importance of securing their data storage systems. As a result, they are vulnerable to attacks that would compromise their reputation and expose sensitive information to cybercriminals. Moreover, these vulnerabilities can expose confidential or proprietary information and disrupt business operations. It is important to use a reliable penetration testing company that offers regular, automated scans and human-validated vulnerability assessment and remediation.

The best penetration testing companies provide detailed, actionable reports with remediation advice. They also offer scalable scanning capabilities and support various security protocols. They are a great choice for companies that need to conduct large-scale network and web application testing. In addition, they ensure that their clients’ IT assets are not impacted during testing and deliver verifiable certifications.

Vulnerabilities are often difficult to discover in pen tests, and even harder to fix. It is essential to choose a penetration testing provider that offers an integrated dashboard to view your test results in real-time. This will help you to prioritize and fix the most severe issues quickly and efficiently. It will also allow you to monitor your progress and ensure that all your vulnerabilities are fixed.

Phishing campaigns

A phishing attack is an extremely effective tactic that plays on cybersecurity’s weakest link: people. In fact, according to the 2022 DBIR, 82% of breaches involved the human element. Attackers can target employees directly with phishing campaigns that trick them into clicking malicious links or entering sensitive information like tax IDs and bank account numbers.

Some phishing campaigns are highly targeted and are especially effective during holidays or breaking news events. For example, in the spring of 2020, attacks revolving around the coronavirus pandemic were particularly successful. In addition, attacks targeting companies’ IT infrastructure have become increasingly common. A recent study found that companies are still lacking security for fundamental infrastructure components such as DNSSEC, Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and Domain Name System Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). These tools can help block phishing attempts and protect brands from being hijacked by attackers.

A penetration test can help identify vulnerabilities in an organization’s systems and networks, which are often difficult to detect by traditional methods. However, the scope of a pen test is important in determining its value. It should focus on finding vulnerabilities that could be exploited by real-world attacks. This means that a comprehensive test is more valuable than one with a limited scope.

A social engineering penetration test can also help determine how susceptible an organization’s employees are to phishing and other social engineering tactics. This type of test involves an attacker impersonating a company employee and asking them to do something that will put their company at risk. This can include revealing confidential information, using an insecure computer, or bypassing physical security measures. For instance, a tester might follow an employee into a room that requires them to scan a key fob to enter. Alternatively, they can use a technique called tailgating to avoid security guards and gain access to the facility.

Outdated software

Outdated software systems run slower, experience more issues and require more helpdesk calls than newer technology. This slows productivity and creates a poor customer experience, which can hurt the bottom line. Outdated technology also lacks functionality that developers are actively working on, so companies can’t take advantage of new features to improve processes. Ultimately, outdated systems can increase risks for cyber attacks and data breaches.

Keeping up with software updates is crucial, but many business owners don’t do so often enough. As a result, they leave their businesses vulnerable to attacks from hackers who target vulnerabilities in old versions of operating systems, browsers and software programs. This is particularly dangerous when your software reaches end-of-life or EoL, meaning it no longer receives bug patches and security updates from the vendor.

Another reason why businesses should keep up with software updates is the potential impact on employee and customer privacy. If the systems running your critical processes are outdated, they could be vulnerable to third party breaches that expose sensitive information like Social Security numbers, email addresses and passwords. Those breaches can lead to fines for violating data privacy laws.

Penetration testing and cybersecurity risk management are important tools for protecting SaaS businesses from threats. However, pen tests tend to focus on specific assets and are inefficient for assessing an entire enterprise network. In addition, a typical penetration test can only assess a company’s most obvious weaknesses, and it is impossible to predict all the ways hackers might attack an organization’s infrastructure.

In today’s high-stakes threat environment, it is more important than ever for organizations to assess their security posture and ensure that their systems are up to date. In addition to regularly conducting pen tests, you should consider implementing an automated solution that can identify vulnerabilities and prioritize them for attention. This will save you time and money, and it can also help prevent a costly data breach that can put your customers at risk. If you’re unsure about how to manage your security posture, talk with one of our cybersecurity experts. We’ll be happy to explain the difference between pen testing and cyber risk management, and help you implement an effective strategy to protect your business from cybersecurity threats.

Insufficient security measures

Despite the significant costs and negative impacts of data breaches, some businesses still don’t take cybersecurity seriously. They may only conduct pen tests a few times a year and assume their defences are impenetrable or weak. However, this type of testing doesn’t give companies a complete picture of their security posture. It may also not uncover vulnerabilities that have been exploited by attackers.

A penetration test should be carried out by a team of experts with experience in finding vulnerabilities. Ideally, it should be a white box test that simulates an attack from an authorized source. White box testing helps companies identify real-world vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cyberattackers and is a critical component of cybersecurity. Moreover, it allows companies to prioritize their security efforts.

SaaS companies store a large amount of sensitive data on behalf of customers. This information can include personal, financial, and confidential business data. Pen tests are a crucial part of protecting this data and maintaining customer trust.

In addition, many SaaS companies must comply with industry regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS. Regular pen tests can help them meet these requirements and avoid costly fines.

Besides conducting regular pen tests, SaaS companies must implement a comprehensive cyber risk management program. A cyber risk management program includes a variety of activities, from conducting pen tests to implementing best practices for detecting and responding to cyber threats. It also covers people and process-related measures, such as incident response plans, security awareness training, and compliance with industry regulations.

Ammar Fakhruddin

ABOUT AUTHOR

Ammar brings in 18 years of experience in strategic solutions and product development in Public Sector, Oil & Gas and Healthcare organizations. He loves solving complex real world business and data problems by bringing in leading-edge solutions that are cost effective, improve customer and employee experience. At Propelex he focuses on helping businesses achieve digital excellence using Smart Data & Cybersecurity solutions.


Preparing Businesses for AI-Powered Security Threats

Preparing Businesses for AI-Powered Security Threats

Preparing businesses for AI-powered security threats. Stay ahead of evolving cybersecurity challenges with proactive strategies and advanced technologies. When AI goes wrong, the repercussions can be devastating. They range from the loss of life if an AI medical...

Reducing CISOs’ Risk with Data Broker Management

Reducing CISOs’ Risk with Data Broker Management

Reducing CISOs' risk with data broker management. Explore strategies to enhance cybersecurity and safeguard sensitive information in the digital landscape. Every time you use a search engine, social media app or website, buy something online or even fill out a survey...

Vulnerability Prediction with Machine Learning

Vulnerability Prediction with Machine Learning

Advance vulnerability prediction with machine learning. Explore how AI can enhance proactive cybersecurity measures to mitigate potential risks. Machine learning is a field devoted to understanding and building methods that let machines “learn” – that is, methods that...

Recent Case Studies

Mid-size US based firm working on hardware development and provisioning, used DevOps-as-a-...
One of the fastest growing providers of wealth management solutions partnered to build a m...
A US based software startup working on the advancements in genomics diagnostics and therap...

Press Releases

News & Events

Solutions

Managed Security Services
Security & Privacy Risk Assessment
Cloud Platform Security
Incident Response & Business Continuity

Penetration Testing

Virtual CISO

Email Security & Phishing

Resources

Blog

About Us