Getting ready for your first pentest: startup founders guide

Getting ready for your first pentest: startup founders guide
Founder prepared for the first pentest

Congratulations on taking the next step toward ensuring the security of your startup! If you're reading this guide, chances are that you have received requests from your B2B sales partners or customers for SOC2 compliance, and you're now exploring your options to meet these requirements.

As a founder, you are probably juggling a hundred different things, and thinking about security might not be at the top of your list. However, taking the time to understand what a penetration test is and what to expect can save you time, stress, and money in the long run.

A penetration test, in simple terms, is a simulated cyber attack that is conducted on your systems to identify any potential vulnerabilities. The aim of this exercise is to give you a better understanding of the security of your infrastructure and help you improve it. The test is usually performed by a third-party security firm that has the expertise and tools to identify weaknesses that could be exploited by real attackers.

Now, you might be thinking like

"That sounds great, but I'm not a security expert. How can I prepare for this?"

Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here are some things that you should keep in mind before your first penetration test.

1. Be prepared to see things you don't want

Penetration tests can reveal some ugly truths about the security of your systems. You might find out that there are unauthenticated access points, that your root privileges are granted to unauthorized users, or that your databases are fully accessible. While this may be a little overwhelming, remember that this is a normal part of the process. The whole point of the test is to identify these vulnerabilities and help you fix them.

2. Be transparent

You will need to work closely with your security team and your penetration testing firm to ensure that the test is conducted in a controlled environment. This means that you need to be transparent about your systems and infrastructure. The security team will need access to your network, servers, and databases, so be prepared to share this information.

3. Be proactive

Don't wait for the results of the test to start making changes. Use the opportunity to review your security policies and procedures, and consider ways to improve them. You might find that you need to invest in additional security tools or resources, or that you need to provide more training to your employees.

4. Be ready to learn

A penetration test can be an eye-opening experience, especially if you're new to security. Take the time to understand the results of the test, and what they mean for your organization. You might be surprised by what you learn.

5. Be realistic

Penetration testing is a formal process, but it's not a guarantee of security. It's important to remember that your systems will continue to evolve and that new vulnerabilities will emerge over time. Be prepared to repeat the test periodically to ensure that your systems remain secure.

So, there you have it. A simple guide to get you ready for your first penetration test.

Remember, security is not something that you can ignore. With the increasing number of cyber attacks, it's more important than ever to ensure that your systems are secure.

In conclusion, don't be afraid of the process. Take the time to understand what's involved and be prepared for the results. By doing so, you'll be able to make informed decisions about the security of your systems and ensure that your customers' data is protected.

And lastly, don't forget to have a little fun with it. After all, you're a startup founder, and you're always ready. Of course, consider as your first pentest provider.