The need for more effective information security practices is increasingly evident with each security breach reported in the media. The increased sophistication and success rate for recent cyber attacks is directly related to the shift in attacker profile, indicating that large criminal organisations are funding well organised, highly motivated, and well trained teams of programmers.
At the same time, the Data Protection regime has never looked so intimidating. An organisation found to be in breach of the UK Data Protection Act suffers not only possible loss of business and brand damage but could be subject to a penalty from The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Amongst its powers, The ICO can issue fines of up to £500,000 and prison sentences for breaches of the Data Protection Act.
The major challenge for businesses is the complexity of security requirements due to changing hacking tactics, myriad security vulnerabilities, evolving business practices, new business technologies, and emerging security technologies. Those numerous organisation-specific security challenges are best solved by professionals with extensive expertise.
Organisation need to make holistic assessments of their security and the objective approach of outside security professionals can add great value to this.
Ethical hacking offers an objective analysis of an organisation's information security. The ethical hacking organisation has no knowledge of the company's systems other than what they can gather. Hackers must scan for weaknesses, test entry points, prioritise targets, and develop a strategy that best leverages their resources. The objectiveness of this kind of assessment adds great value to an organisations overall security evaluation.
The result of such an assessment is an actionable report with valuable remediation advice tailored to the customer's unique IT environment, capabilities, and security objectives. This helps organisations to prioritise their security efforts, fine-tune security tools such as firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) devices, adjust policies, and identify any necessary training.