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Publication date: November 3, 2022

Physical Pen Testing


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Written by Angela Polania

Angela Polania, CPA, CISM, CISA, CRISC, HITRUST, CMMC RP. Angela is the Managing Principal at Elevate and board member, and treasurer at the CIO Council of South Florida.

Getting Ahead of the Threat – Why Physical Penetration Tests Matter for Your Business

With the focus on cybersecurity taking top priority in today’s world, it can be easy to underestimate the ongoing need to evaluate the protection of your organization’s assets from every day physical threats. While retailers, utility providers, or healthcare centers may possess invariably different products and services, they all have a shared vested interest in the safeguarding of their goods and data.  There are a number of security measures that can be taken to ensure the fortification of your organization, and the best place to start is with a physical penetration test.

What is it?

A physical penetration test is a real-world simulation designed to assess all of your existing physical security controls such as locks, fences, cameras, security guards etc. During this test, a security expert will attempt to bypass these controls to enter restricted areas, identify sensitive data, and gain access to your network.

Why do you need it?

In real-world application, organizations can often lack the knowledge and resources to cover all of their security bases. Medical and healthcare centers are usually an easy target due to frequent high foot traffic. Doctors and nurses are attending to patients, and likely unaware of someone trying to infiltrate the premises or systems. Utility providers could be an easy target due to the nature of having un-staffed hubs in many different locations. Most people have electrical or water facilities within a few miles of where we live, yet when you drive by, there is no one there. Attacks do happen, they just often go unnoticed.

Other locations at more significant risk, such as shared office space with high foot traffic, are easy targets for an attacker to sneak in to and install rogue devices that will most assuredly go unnoticed. Does your organization know how it would prevent a malicious attacker from entering the premises, plugging a rogue keylogger in to one of your “secure” computers, and capturing employee credentials to gain access?

This test will address questions imperative to determining vulnerability, how to move forward with your security, and what measures best suit the needs of your organization. It assesses how much you are at risk of someone breaking in, whether implementing a new physical control is necessary, what sensitive information someone could access in the event of a breach, and expose weaknesses in your network that would allow an attacker to gain control.

Through this formalized method of evaluating vulnerabilities, you can quickly address and remediate any potential risk that could compromise both your organization and clients. 

Click here to learn more about how Elevate can help secure your organization from the inside out.

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