Legal firms face a range of security threats, from theft of sensitive data to malware that can wreak havoc on company computer systems. Penetration testing allows legal firms to test their information security systems to ensure they can stand up to the latest threats. The official definition of a penetration test is that it is a planned, legal attempt to gain access to a protected computer system in order to determine possible security holes.
With new cybersecurity threats emerging all the time, it’s more important than ever to use penetration testing to ensure your current IT security solutions are up to the task of protecting your clients’ sensitive information. Penetration tests allow multiple forms of attacks to be explored and their effects on your system analyzed, which makes this form of attack extremely valuable for protecting your firm. Here are five reasons why your legal firm needs to have a penetration test as soon as possible.
Reasons to Have a Penetration Test:
Penetration Tests Help Your Firm Maintain Compliance With Industry Standards
Legal firms are required by law to keep their clients’ data safe. The procedures they should follow are laid out in ISO/IEC 27001, an information security management family of standards that all legal firms must follow. This framework requires all legal firms to perform regular penetration tests on their network systems. These penetration tests must be carried out by knowledgeable testers to meet the standards set out in ISO/IEC 27001. If you don’t perform penetration tests regularly, you’ll be breaking this requirement.
Legal firms should also be aware of other security frameworks, such as the NIST framework, which is defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The organization gives guidelines for the process of penetration testing, which legal firms should follow when carrying out this kind of testing.
Penetration Testing Mitigates Client-Side Attacks
The number of attacks arising from client-side features, such as online forms and web portals, is increasing. If your firm uses any of these tools to interact with clients, you need to start thinking about ways to protect against hackers who want to use them to gain access to your systems.
Nearly all legal firms use some form of client-side features on their websites, opening them up to client-side attacks. Even something as simple as a system that allows your clients to log into their account and view basic details about their interaction with your firm could be vulnerable to attack. During a penetration test, a security expert tries to use your client-side features to break into your systems and steal data. This allows you to identify potential entry points and tighten up your security to prevent hackers from exploiting them.
Improving Security Boots the Reputation of Your Firm
Performing regular penetration testing makes your firm more secure, which could give customers more confidence in your services. You will be able to state with confidence that their data is safe from known types of attacks. This could cause your clients to look more favorably upon your firm, as they will know they can trust you with their highly sensitive personal information.
Penetration Testing Predicts The Impact of Attacks
Cyber attacks can happen to any business, no matter how careful they are to protect their systems and data. Penetration testing can’t guarantee that your legal firm will never fall victim to hackers, but it can help you predict the potential impact if an attack does happen. When you know how an attack will affect your legal firm, you can put a business continuity plan in place for dealing with the consequences.
When considering the impact of a potential attack, you need to think about not only the direct costs of a data theft, but also how the time you spend dealing with the attack will affect your business operations. You may face a significant loss of income, as well as ongoing costs related to a loss of reputation. It’s best to know about these costs ahead of time, so you can create a plan that takes them into account.
Penetration Testing Helps With Business Continuity
A security breach can set your legal firm back thousands of dollars, which can seriously throw your business’ growth off course. You can lose a lot of clients while you deal with the problem of resolving the effects of the attack. Regular penetration testing helps to keep you in a position where you could maintain your services even in the event of a breach.
How to Maximize the Benefits of Penetration Testing
Now you know why you need a penetration test you need to consider how you can carry out the testing to maximum effect. In general, penetration tests are much more effective when they are performed by a third-party penetration testing firm. These firms are experts in this kind of testing, and they can use their experience and skills to identify all threats facing your organization.
Note that are several different penetration tests including the web application security assessment and wireless penetration test. Get plenty of details from the third-party firm you plan to use about the types of tests they will carry out. Finally, remember that penetration testing is not a one-off event: you need to test at least once a year, as well as after every major network change, to check for new threats.
For more information about how penetration testing can help keep your legal firm safe, contact Garland Heart today. We can explain the various types of testing and help you decide on a schedule that is right for your business.