Protect Your Organization
Considerable business continuity data and ePHI can be stolen in the months it may take to recognize a cybersecurity attack. Penetration (pen) testing identifies vulnerabilities so you can correct them before they are exploited. Employing the same techniques malicious actors use to get to valuable information, our certified ethical hackers can proactively identify potential concerns.
What Are Network Penetration Testing Services?
Penetration testing companies provide services to look for security vulnerabilities in your network. These gaps in security could create openings for hackers to gain sensitive information about patients, breaking Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance. Regular testing ensures your network is robust enough to avoid the most persistent of hackers from getting access.
Any type of a network can benefit from pen testing. For instance, industrial control systems (ICS) connected to computers can become dangerous if a hacker were to gain access to the ICS. Individuals working near the equipment controlled by the ICS could sustain injuries if the system stops working properly. Therefore, ICS penetration testing is just as important as putting office systems that must meet HIPAA security requirements to the test.
Pen tests can encompass a variety of levels and focus areas that pinpoint ways unethical hackers can get into the system. When you choose pen tests, you can choose from the following focuses:
Choose Your Focus
Attack from the perspective of someone who has plugged a device in to the corporate network.
Attack from the
perspective of anyone
with internet access.
Attack web application,
try to obtain privileges,
data, and system access.
Test user response rates
to phishing emails.
How Can Cyber Security Penetration Testing Services Benefit Your Organization?
Organizations benefit from cybersecurity pen testing in numerous ways. Most notably, these tests assess your system and identify vulnerabilities before a security breach or complaint occurs. This gives your company time to fix the problem before incurring fines or penalties.
Pen testing may also be a qualifier for getting cyberattack insurance. Therefore, this step could be necessary for gaining a way to protect your organization in the event of an attack.
Penetration testing combined with taking appropriate actions to close security problems can enhance your company’s network and help you avoid the costly liability of data breaches. Since data breaches can create negative press, result in fines or cause lost finances, preventing them saves your organization time, money and headaches.
Choose Your Scope - Penetration Testing Scope and Steps
The scope of pen testing starts with the amount of access a hacker would have to the system. Targeted testing examines the most commonly used methods for accessing your system. However, this method does not uncover every vulnerability. Each testing scope has benefits and will look at how hackers could access data using different approaches.
Checks for the top 10 most common ways that a hacker will gain access to sensitive information. Targeted testing uses standard methods that a hacker of average ability and no internal network knowledge would have. For example, they may use automatic scanners to find openings in the system or use standard manual hacking methods. These tests tend to require the least amount of time since the tester needs to find ways from outside the system into the network.
Checks for top 10 common vulnerabilities but will also take a deep dive into uncommon methods hackers have used to gain access to sensitive information. The intermediate level of penetration testing is often called intermediate testing. A security expert doing an intermediate test has user-level privileges into the network to test vulnerabilities from inside and outside the system. This level of testing may require the tester to know what a current or former employee would about the network’s architecture and security measures. It can find problems with system entry by those who have network access.
Checks for common and uncommon vulnerabilities. We throw the hypothetical kitchen sink at your systems to find access to your sensitive information. The most thorough testing, called full pen testing, requires intimate knowledge of the network. Testers have every aspect of the network available to them, including source code and architecture data. By knowing more about the system, the testers can examine all potential vulnerabilities, even the least common ones. A full penetration test uses comprehensive methods that can find internal and external security flaws.
Take Action - Our Network Penetration Testing Methodology
When we conduct network penetration testing, we use a standardized methodology that ensures thoroughness in evaluating the system and providing information to help your organization make corrections to security gaps.
The first step of any test is always planning. During this phase, we work with your organization to identify the scope and focus of the test. After deciding these vital attributes, we can gather the information we may need to conduct the pen tests. For instance, if you need a full test of internal issues, we may need network information, depending on the level of testing.
As with all phases, the planning phase relies on careful communications between us and your organization so we can approach the penetration test in a way that meets your company’s needs.
The next step starts with scanning the system to find issues that could allow for intrusion. This may include examining the code during operation and when a program is not running.
Next, our testers will try various methods to access the system. Depending on the focus that you chose, we may test employees’ responses to phishing emails, attempt to get into the network from outside or use internal credentials to see how much unauthorized access someone with network access can gain.
Exploiting is an important step in the process. This point of penetration testing finds out what sensitive data can be accessed or compromised and how long our testers could potentially stay within the system unnoticed. During this portion, our team will test the system, gather information and proceed to the analysis phase.
Lastly, we analyze the results and present your organization with a report of our findings. We outline carefully how well your system meets security standards established by the NIST CSF by giving your organization a clear scale of compliance from 0 to 100 and color-coding on each element. An executive summary at the top of the report makes the information easy to understand for non-IT experts.
Benefits of Performing a Penetration Test
There are several ways that performing a penetration test will benefit a company.
A Plan for Change
When working with BlueOrange Compliance, you have clear actions to take after the test. Unlike others, we offer you several options on how to fix the issues identified from your pen test.
- Remediation: Receive a detailed road map and plan on how to correct vulnerabilities
- Guidance: In addition to a detailed remediation plan, you will receive engineer-assisted support
- Confirmation: Whether you opt for guidance or choose to remediate on your own, validate that all vulnerabilities have been corrected by retesting.
Knowing how to make changes and what security gaps you have can ease the process of upgrading your organization’s network to close vulnerable areas.
Meeting regulatory compliance requires keeping a secure network and protecting data. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) requires industry-accepted penetration testing of systems that handle credit card data. Even if your organization is a medical clinic or hospital, if it takes patient credit cards, you must meet PCI-DSS.
While HIPAA does not explicitly require pen testing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommends this practice as a way to satisfy the HIPAA requirement for evaluating the state of a system’s data security. The results from penetration testing can also help to make meaningful changes to bolster the data security of your organization.
Enhanced Data Security
With the thorough evaluation of pen testing, your company can benefit from an analysis of the procedure to find out how you can improve your network. With a clear approach to reducing security flaws, making the changes is more cost-effective than attempting to create sweeping amendments that may not be necessary.
Better data security prevents breaches, ensures compliance, passes Office of Civil Rights (OCR) audits and protects your customers’ or patients’ information.
Contact BlueOrange Compliance to Learn More About Our Penetration Testing Services
At BlueOrange Compliance, our professional services, penetration testing tools and expertise have gained us a 100% OCR audit pass rate and allowed us to retain 98% of our customers. We understand the struggle of maintaining a high level of cybersecurity to comply with HIPAA requirements. With our testing methods, we can identify issues and correct them before they cause problems. For more information or to see for yourself how our services can benefit your organization, request a consultation.
Pen Testing Resources and Frequently Asked Questions
Network vulnerability assessments are not as thorough or as deep as pen tests. However, both have their place in maintaining data security. Vulnerability scans typically are automated examinations of any access points in the system. The scan simply identifies and reports on these potential issues. This could be similar to someone testing the doors on a home to see if they are locked and telling the homeowner about unlocked points of entry.
A pen test exploits any issues. In the home burglary analogy, a pen tester would not only look for commonly unlocked points of entry but also try to get into the home in other ways. For instance, they may try to pick a lock or use a stolen key to the home to gain entry. This action mirrors how a pen tester might get into a network by exploiting a poorly secured login system that doesn’t require strong passwords or uses a standard admin and password for logging in.
To truly test the security of a network, your company will need both vulnerability assessments to scan for common issues and pen tests to provide a deeper examination of possible security problems. In fact, PCI-DSS requires quarterly vulnerability assessment scans and at least annual penetration tests.
The prices for pen tests depend on the focus you choose and the level of testing. For instance, full pen testing requires more intensive ethical hacking than targeted testing. Discuss your budget and security assessment needs when scheduling pen tests for your company. Remember that the cost of testing is offset by avoiding penalties and fees from failing to meet HIPAA requirements for keeping data secure. It also helps your company avoid financial losses from data breaches.
The amount of time required for pen tests depends on the scope of the test. For instance, full pen tests typically require more time due to the amount of information that testers gather and assess to find vulnerabilities in the system. They take an average of 350% more time than simple targeted tests. For the intermediate test, estimate 200% more time than targeted tests.
Generally, plan for around a month for pen tests. If you have concerns, discuss the time constraints you have when scheduling the test.
Plan to conduct annual or twice-yearly pen tests of your organization. However, there are other times to conduct pen tests outside these regularly scheduled intervals. First, if your company undergoes major changes to its software, infrastructure or policies, it could be time to verify these changes do not contribute to security issues. Another reason to schedule pen tests is to verify compliance with HIPAA or other acts that require data security. Lastly, if your company has never had security assessments, don’t delay in scheduling a pen test.