In the face of increasing cyber-attacks, organizations like yours must safeguard their IT infrastructure proactively. Vulnerability scanning and penetration testing are two effective cybersecurity tools businesses use to detect and mitigate potential security risks.
Your business has an ideal cadence unique to your needs and your industry’s threat landscape. MSPs, like Integrated Technology, help you establish a realistic, suitable schedule for performing vulnerability scanning and penetration testing that prioritizes the safety and security of your IT infrastructure.
The Dynamic Duo: Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing
Before we assess the recommended frequency, let’s explore how penetration tests and vulnerability scans go hand-in-hand to bolster enterprise cybersecurity.
Scanning your digital infrastructure for vulnerabilities is similar to getting an X-ray. Just like the X-ray provides a clear image of an injury that’s invisible to the naked eye, a vulnerability scan inspects your enterprise systems to pinpoint weaknesses that attackers can exploit. They thoroughly examine your security network for precarious misconfigurations or coding flaws to detect potential threats before they become a problem.
Penetration testing takes the investigation a step further. The test attempts to “penetrate” your organization’s digital assets by simulating a realistic cyberattack. You can imagine vulnerability scanning as equivalent to checking your home’s security system is active before you leave. In contrast, penetration testing is like hiring a professional burglar to try and break in. The penetration test’s objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of your security system against real-world threats.
In essence, the evaluations’ outcomes indicate your organization’s security vulnerabilities (through vulnerability scanning) and the extent to which they can be exploited (via penetration testing). These two assessments complement each other and offer a comprehensive perspective of your organization’s overall security position.
Building a Cadence Framework
MSPs like Integrated Technology balance vulnerability scanning with penetration testing to give you a complete picture of your cybersecurity. However, the frequency of performing these tests varies depending on your business. Our professional recommendations consider factors such as your industry, your organization’s size, and your market sector’s current threat landscape. We tailor our approach based on your unique needs.
It’s important to conduct vulnerability scanning regularly, factoring in the size of your organization, the complexity of your IT infrastructure, and the level of risk. For small to medium-sized organizations, a monthly or quarterly vulnerability scan may suffice, while larger organizations should conduct such scans more frequently, such as weekly.
It’s also good practice to conduct vulnerability scans after implementing significant IT infrastructure changes, such as new software installations or upgrades. This helps identify any new vulnerabilities that may have been introduced during the transitions.
Penetration testing should be done less frequently than vulnerability scanning, usually once or twice a year, depending on the size and complexity of an organization’s IT system. It’s important to also perform penetration testing after making significant changes to the IT system, like installing or upgrading software. If there’s a major cyber attack or security breach, organizations should consider doing penetration testing to find any vulnerabilities that may have been used during the attack.
Cybersecurity for Florida SMBs
At Integrated Technology, we pride ourselves on being a trusted local partner, which means we’re just a stone’s throw away when you need us most. Our proactive approach ensures that your IT systems stay up and running, allowing you to focus on growing your business.
We serve businesses in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Parkland, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, and West Palm Beach. Our team is committed to delivering top-notch managed IT services tailored to your needs.