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Why Penetration Testing is Vital for Start Up E-Commerce Businesses

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James Crier
April 21, 2017

James Crier
James Crier has written 2 articles for WebKnowHow.
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If you run a small start-up e-commerce business, one thing you might not have considered doing is penetration testing.

This vital service helps to protect you against cyber-attacks and identifies any weak spots in your systems or network. So, what are the benefits of stopping a cyber-attack before it happens and how can penetration testing protect your business?

What effect would a cyber-attack have on your business?

To understand the importance of penetration testing, it helps to understand the effect a cyber-attack could have on your business.

Let’s start with the financial implications. To a small business, a cyber-attack could have a significant negative impact on its finances. Typically, large financial losses occur after an attack due to personal and financial data being accessed and stolen. This is a particular worry for e-commerce businesses which allow their customers to buy and pay for goods online. All of your customer’s personal and financial details could be hijacked, resulting in a potentially huge claim being made against you.

Of course, it’s also a legal requirement for you to keep customer data safe and secure in accordance with the Data Protection Act. If it is found you didn’t put adequate safety measures into place, you’ll also be hit with a pretty large fine.

As well as the financial implications, you’ll also need to consider the impact a cyber-attack would have on your reputation. Once word gets out that your systems were breached, customers will no longer trust you. So, you’ll lose a lot of existing customers; particularly those who were affected. You’ll also lose potential new customers if they hear about the breach.

What can penetration testing do?

The unique thing about penetration testing, is that it identifies potential security issues by actually hacking into your systems. It gives you  look into your system or network from an hacker’s point of view.  

This makes it one of the most in-depth, reliable security measures you can take. However, it’s also important to realise that while it will identify potential risks, it won’t do anything to fix them. Instead, you’ll receive a report telling you which issues you need to address.

Overall, penetration testing is extremely important for small businesses today. The repercussions of failing to test the system can be extremely damaging to your company, not just financially but in terms of your reputation too.

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