Penetration Testing in the Financial Domain

One of the sectors or domains that has observed massive changes and improvements since the past till now after the technology sector is none other than the financial industry. From absolute physical banking to now virtual banking and financial services, technology has given wings to the banking industry and they are now able to satisfy their customers potentially.

Penetration Testing Company

These advancements have enabled end-users and customers with the convenience of not paying a visit to the physical branches and can access their bank accounts for making transactions, for billing purposes, or for transferring cash via mobile applications and web applications. But with a list of fortunes of technological advancements for the financial sector, an infinite number of risks and cyber threats are also common.

Customer experience and satisfaction are considered to be the top-notch priority of a Financial Institution’s strength or productivity. But What if an institute fails to do so? What if the mobile app or software that an institute uses to secure its customer’s sensitive information like account details, etc, is at the stake of being hacked by cybercriminals? Does it sound deadly for you?

Yeah, it is deadly! A bank or financial institution is the only organization that is being trusted by millions of people at once for their monetary matters. For sure there must not be any financial that wants to broke that trust off? If not? Then penetration testing serves as a powerful technique to cope up with all the issues and problems about the security of sensitive banking systems and software. For more accurate results and to make sure maximum prevention from cyber threats, a penetration testing company offers their services for those in need.

Undoubtedly penetration testing is of great importance when it comes to the security and safety of financial systems, software, and applications. Let’s discuss in detail;

Importance of Pen testing for Financial Sectors

  • When it comes to the banking sector, penetration testing is highly recommended to implement because, with this type of security testing, a financial institute can dig out all the possible vulnerabilities or bug leakage that makes the system, software, or applications exploitable for hacking purposes. Pen testing if successfully implemented would help in testing all the insecure areas present in the bank’s software and applications.
  • Pen testing is one of the best ways to fix the system and software glitches because, under this type of testing, a software tester behaves like an original cybercriminal or hacker and imitates hacker actions. That is why we also call pen testing ethical hacking. When a tester behaves and acts like a hacker he gets to know in-depth about every major and minor software vulnerability and then fixtures can be made timely before the software goes live for the audience.
  • When all the risks and vulnerabilities in the banking systems are being tracked and recorded timely via conducting pen testing, testers can then make efforts to strengthen the cyber defense of the banking systems while making timely fixtures and prepares a financial institute for future cyber threats.
  • For a financial institution, its customers are considered to be the most powerful asset. Therefore to make them feel as their trust is not being taken for granted you must have to deal with all the cyber assaults and breaches. Because these cyber threats can negatively impact your customers and thereby results in unsatisfied and frustrated customers. Penetration testing tackles all such challenges and enables a financial institution to sustain its goodwill in the market.

Process of Conducting Successful Penetration Testing for Banks

But penetration testing is not as easy as we think. It demands extensive preparation before you get your hands and minds involved in the pen-testing. Ideally, a kick-off meeting should be held between the bank and the penetration tester. The kick-off meeting must discuss matters related to the scope and objectives of penetration testing and related parties. Penetration testing must have clear goals. If there are no clear results in the results, organizations that perform tests for no reason should not be surprised. In most cases, the purpose of penetration testing is to prove that there are exploitable vulnerabilities in the organization’s network infrastructure.

Another important agenda to be discussed during the meeting is the time and duration of penetration testing. This is crucial because it will ensure that the normal business and daily operations of the bank will not be interfered with during penetration testing.

After doing the necessary planning and preparation with the bank (or target) the next step is to gather as much information as possible about the targeted systems or networks. There’s a wealth of tools and online resources available for us to do the necessary information gathering.

Companies that are being referred for penetration testing services by the banks or financial institutions must inform the bank’s staff about the tools they will use or not. Ideally, an organization should use tools to make the processes easy and wrapping up penetration testing projects before deadlines because banks are not in a position to wait for a long. As their customers are not willing to wait for product improvements for long and they become frustrated.

After gathering enough information about the software and applications for the testing, the next step is to detect the vulnerabilities in the system under test. Now is the time that demands an element of curiosity in penetration testers’ personality to better hunt all the possible errors and glitches in the system. After all the possible vulnerabilities are detected, efforts are then made to fix them.

Wrap Up

Financial Institutions are always on the verge of cyber assaults and breaches because their software and applications consist of heavy loads of sensitive customer data that always attract hackers’ eyes. If banks want to avoid being robbed by malicious hackers, they must ensure their software and applications security and indulge in pen testing as part of their software development life-cycle.

Kualitatem is an independent software testing and information security company in New York.