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Why You Should Start the Year… With a Penetration Test

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Why You Should Start the Year… With a Penetration Test

You Already Know the Importance of SecuritySecurity Awareness Training

You may or may not have heard of the commonly utilized and scalable model for security policies, commonly referred to as the CIA Triad (Haughn, & Gibilisco, 2014). Not to be confused with the Central Intelligence Agency, the three elements of the CIA Triad are considered to be the most crucial components of security:

  • Confidentiality
  • Integrity
  • Availability

From a security standpoint, these three elements can cover a vast majority of initiatives when it comes to protecting information for organizations of all sizes.

With respect to the CIA Triad, Confidentiality consists of the policies and procedures put into place that limit the access of specific information within an organization. Integrity is the confidence that the information being secure is credible and authentic. And finally, Availability is the insurance that the information is accessible to the appropriate people.

Ensuring the security of private information is paramount to your organization’s continued success. So it’s vital to have a long-term cybersecurity strategy in place to address current and future threats that may arise. Measures in security will contribute to safeguarding the assets from unauthorized exposure to the wrong people. But how do you know your current security setup will prevent unauthorized access? One way is to test it. And when better to kick off this initiative then at the beginning of a New Year?

Testing your defenses can help identify known and unknown vulnerabilities within your network. It’s hard to know how well your organization would endure a persistent attack from a hacker, no matter how much effort you’ve put into securing your network (cough, Sony Pictures, cough) (Riedel, 2015). This is where a penetration test with a third-party vendor would be a beneficial contribution to a holistic approach towards cybersecurity.

Penetration Test vs. Vulnerability Assessment

A penetration test is when a team accesses your network through existing vulnerabilities and determines what information is vulnerable to being attacked, destroyed, or stolen.

Penetration tests are often confused with vulnerability assessments. A vulnerability assessment identifies, quantifies, and ranks vulnerabilities in your networks. A penetration test is an authorized attempt to exploit vulnerabilities, and breach a client’s network. Furthermore, vulnerability assessments are performed frequently,
especially when new software or hardware components are added to your network, whereas a penetration test should be done quarterly or twice a year.

Types of Penetration Tests

There are three types of penetration tests: black-box, gray-box, and white-box. The main distinction between these is the amount of knowledge the tester has prior to the test being conducted. A black-box pentest simulates a situation where the tester has no prior knowledge of the network. A gray-box test assumes partial disclosure, and a white-box test is a full disclosure situation.

With TruShield’s Penetration Testing services, a team identifies the critical vulnerabilities contained in your network and aligns it with your network layout to determine where the highest level of risk exists. Identifying that information allows us to offer remediation advice to increase your protection. The purpose of a penetration test is to increase security surrounding “high value” information.

Hackers that have unauthorized access to your network will immediately target important data, and uncovering the vulnerabilities that exist within the framework that protects that information will help prepare against attacks. So consider starting the New Year off on the right foot, sign up for a penetration test and start the journey towards a more cybersecure posture.

Cornell, D. (2007, March). Web application testing: The difference between black, gray and white box testing. Retrieved January 03, 2017, from

Haughn, M., & Gibilisco, S. (2014, November). What is confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA triad)? – Definition from Retrieved January 03, 2017, from

Riedel, D. (2015, January 26). Could the Sony breach have been prevented? Retrieved January 03, 2017, from

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