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External Penetration Testing – Are Your Internet Facing Systems Protected?

External Penetration Testing – Are Your Internet Facing Systems Protected?

The world of hacking seems like a mysterious place; we seem to only occasionally see it, either on the news or in a movie.  So really, what are the chances of cyber-attack happening to your company?  Think it’s minimal?  Maybe…but can you risk it?  There is currently no federal mandate requiring corporations to disclose cyber-attacks, so why worry?  Here’s why: if anyone finds out, it only takes one attack to destroy a company’s reputation (and, in the process, their bottom line!).  Do you want to be the next company profiled on the national news circuit?  No you don’t.

Now I ask the question in the title – Are your Internet facing systems protected? Are you sure? Knowing the risks is the first step to mitigation and reducing the chances of any cyber-attack.  Performing external penetration testing helps you clearly identity external vulnerabilities before an unauthorized user (i.e. hacker) has a chance to exploit those vulnerabilities.  (EarthLink can do this for you with it’s managed security services: download a pdf of offered services by clicking here.)

Penetration testing protects your company.  If you can, test anytime an external system change is made. Adding, changing and removing external systems is, most likely, what creates your vulnerabilities in the first place. Have testing done quarterly or annually at minimum, whether your company is required by regulations or not. Know your vulnerabilities before attackers do. After testing, develop a plan to mitigate identified vulnerabilities and start lowering your overall security risk.

Bottom line…If you are not already performing penetration testing, START, because the life of your company may actually depend on it.  EarthLink Managed Services can help you perform penetration testing and help you maintain security on your public facing network.

(EXTRA READING: Learn about the top cyber-attacks of 2011 in this foxbusiness.com article.)

About Kris Scheetz

Kris Scheetz
Kris, an 8-year EarthLink veteran, is a Professional Services Consultant who conducts corporate security assessments, develops business continuity and disaster recovery plans, and builds security awareness within organizations nationwide and their supported operations offshore. His multi-industry IT security experience spans public utilities, retail and commercial banking, healthcare, higher education, state and local governments, and IT technology services. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA with a BS in Computer Science. He also holds both the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) credentials.