How Often Should You Pentest?
Penetration testing is important because it allows organizations to simulate real-world attacks on their systems and networks in order to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses. By conducting these tests, companies can take proactive measures to protect against potential security threats. In a previous post, we looked at the difference between internal vs. internal penetration tests. In this video and post, we look when an organization should conduct a test.
Organizations should conduct a penetration test before and after there is a major change to the organization. Compliance and legal frameworks require penetration tests as well. Specific triggers that should prompt a test include when:
- Critical vulnerabilities are discovered or fixed
- Updating major software systems
- Implementing new cybersecurity-related software
- Adding new firewalls or other devices
- Upgrading or replacing servers
- Moving locations
- Acquiring new companies
- Selling off parts of the company
- Adding partners
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without unique IT needs and when those situations don’t arise, testing should be conducted at least quarterly. Continuous testing may not be necessary for most companies as they tend to have a relatively static environment. Frequent testing is still important to identify potential vulnerabilities and security risks. More complex or large organizations should conduct tests on a near-continuous basis using different tools and processes.