It can be overwhelming to hear about the different types of cybersecurity testing and try to make an informed decision about what is right for your organization. The different types of security assessments and penetration tests can have very different benefits to your organization, and may be more beneficial to more immature security programs vs. more mature security programs and vice versa.
In general, there are two approaches to a security assessment. The first is to do an interview-driven approach known as a gap analysis. This provides a holistic view of your policies and procedures and identifies any gaps or improvements to secure your organization and the data you are trying to protect. The second is a tactical assessment known as a penetration test. A penetration test emulates the real-world threats and attack vectors you are likely to encounter. The goal of a penetration test is to identify the weaknesses and demonstrate the impact before an attacker does. In most organizations, a hybrid approach is the best way to find specific vulnerabilities now and improve processes to keep you secure moving forward.
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