Be informed, be secure
It’s not uncommon for the terms ‘Risk Assessment’ and ‘Penetration Test’ to be used interchangeably, but the truth is, the two are very different. A Risk Assessment typically involves identifying areas of vulnerability or potential weakness, and then providing a roadmap to a stronger security posture. Penetration Tests take that one step further by actively exploiting those vulnerabilities to determine the true ramifications of a breach to your network.
The biggest piece of advice we can give you up-front is to know what you’re buying. You probably would not believe the number of times we have seen a vulnerability scan or a risk assessment sold as if they were penetration tests. Both of these services are necessary to maintain a secure network, but the key is to know up-front what you want to achieve and to ask your security vendor the right questions.
Your organization’s size, industry, and current security posture are all factors that play a big role in determining what service is right for you. Be sure to find a security provider that you can trust to lead you down the correct path.
Here’s a basic flow chart you can use to determine which service is the best one to use for you and your organization. If you happen to fall into the ‘ask the experts’ category or need more information to make a decision, don’t hesitate to contact us for further assistance.