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3 reasons finance firms need security testing and penetration testing

Posted by David Smetana on April 29, 2020
lock on a laptop (security testing and penetration testing blog)

With the average data breach costing businesses three million pounds, you need to do everything you can to protect your financial firm from IT security threats.

Achieving this requires a rock-solid IT and data security stance that covers many areas, such as: access management, staff-training, data backup and more. However, an often overlooked (yet crucial) part of this security framework is security testing and penetration testing.

But what exactly does this entail? And why is it so important? Let’s first define what security testing and penetration testing are.

What is security and penetration testing?

To define them simply:

  • Security testing scans and tests IT systems to discover vulnerabilities. This covers everything from firewall tests to access management.
  • Penetration testing attempts to both find and actively exploit the weaknesses in a business’s IT systems at the various points of access.

To highlight the importance of both security testing and penetration testing, let's explore three of the biggest reasons you need to integrate them into your IT security.

1. Breaking regulations is getting increasingly costly

Regulations, such as the GDPR and those from the FCA, have associated fines that could damage many financial firms.

Could your business recover from a €20 million fine?

Testing your IT security reveals risks that may affect your compliance and data security. This will help you find the weak spots in your IT security set up, allowing you to fix them.

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2. Security breaches damage your brand too

Almost 20 percent of people said they’d stop shopping with a business completely if that business suffered a data breach. Now consider the potential impact of your firm losing important financial details, logins and personal data.

Unfortunately, many organisations don’t consider things like brand damage and loss of customer trust when looking at the value of effective IT security.

The question is: why risk damaging your firm’s reputation with IT security issues when you can proactively test and then resolve weaknesses in your IT?

3. Better allocation of IT resources

It’s important to know your IT security weaknesses, as well as how critical they are. This visibility allows you to prioritise security fixes and resolve issues.

Security and penetration testing expose your firm’s weaknesses.

From there, you can deploy time and money on the highest leverage areas and address the most critical vulnerabilities in your IT defences first.

Test your IT security to protect your business

Research shows that 60 percent of businesses close operations within six months of a successful cyber-attack.

Alarming statistics like this show that IT security is essential. And, security and penetration testing is the best way to reveal what your business needs to do to upgrade its security. But it’s only one part of an effective strategy.

To knit together your IT security effectively, you need a policy that covers all aspects of your security. For help creating your own IT security policy, download our free guide now.

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