The retail industry boasts the most number of transactions executed in any industry. It is cited that 22% of the total data breaches involved are from the retail industry according to a recent Global Security Report.

In 2020, the average cost of a data breach will exceed US $150 million. This makes it highly difficult to work and operate in such a high-risk environment.

However, the remedy to the problem is good quality security measures. With high-quality security measures in place, it makes it easier for the industry to function.

Rising Threat of Hackers

But the problem lies deep within. The newer generation of security threats are sprouting at alarming rates which are more than that of finding remedies for them.

Hence, there is an important question every retail business owner must ask themselves

“Are we doing enough to protect ourselves from a possible breach of security?”

By simply asking your customers to pay up in cash is not the logical solution to the problem.

The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) asks all its affiliate organizations to pen test their working systems on an annual basis.

This is not just a requirement but an effective protocol to ensure that every company is responsible for their own security.

In case any event does take place, the companies are themselves responsible for it. 

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Penetration testing helps us identify what are all the possible methods with which a potential hacker can maliciously attack a system. This helps us be ready for any attack before it takes place.

What Is A Penetration Test?

Also referred to as a Pen test, a penetration test is nothing but an authorized form of simulated attack on a computer or a security system of an organization.

This is done to evaluate the possible vulnerabilities in the security system.

Types of Penetration Tests

There are five broad types of penetration tests. They are:

  • Network Service Test
  • Web Application Test
  • Customer Side Tests
  • Wireless Network Testing
  • Social Engineering Testing

Why Is It Necessary To Penetrate Test Our Environment?

As per the requirement number 11 of the PCI-DSS rules and regulations for all retail business owners, it is now mandatory to regularly pen test your security systems and its affiliated processes.

Hackers are always aware of the vulnerabilities of in any system. Regularly testing your security systems helps you change too rapidly evolving environments.

While hackers get more technologically advanced, testing helps you take one step ahead of these hackers.

Let us now discuss some of the various PCI regulations in connection to penetrate testing of your security control systems. Some of them are discussed below.

PCI Penetrate Testing Regulations

PCI DSS Compliance testing regulations makes it mandatory to perform vulnerability tests across both your internal and external environments.

This must be done not just once a year, but once every quarter. It does seem like a burden in the start since it needs to be performed so many times each year.

But, it gives you a sense of relief when you are constantly aware of the current state of your security control system. 

Vulnerability Assessments are an effective means to not just identify possible risks in the current security control system setup of your company, but also a way of showcasing the overall progress of your organization to the board of directors.

Getting your network pen testing not something of a burden but more of a requirement.

It’s a way of testing your systems after any possible breach of security. It’s also a means of saying that your systems are well protected and untouchable by any third-party hackers.

Penetration also allows you to stage a possible hacking on your system in a controlled way.

This way, you will get to identify how your security systems react to a possible hack.

While the vulnerabilities will be showcased clearly, it becomes important which vulnerability must be patched first.

This is done by prioritizing the vulnerabilities based on the results obtained by the scans.

Based on the order of priority, these vulnerabilities will then be patched up.

With the help of pen testing, you can also study the effectiveness of the patch and the extent up to which the vulnerability has been fixed.

How Does Pen Testing Your Security Control Systems Help Protect You And Your Customers?

Penetration Testing is a brilliant way of gaining insight into what your security environment looks like.

It also helps us with coming up with strategic remedies to fix any vulnerabilities. The motto is simple. We must be one step ahead of the hackers.

To truly understand a security breach, we must think like a hacker. By regularly studying your security control systems, it helps us evaluate how well a system can hold up against possible threats.

Testing Your System Helps You In The Long Run

In the latest global CEO survey, 64% of CEO’s said that they are concerned about data breach and would spent money on Data Security in the future.

Ensuring your network is protected will also help you in the long term.

By regularly pen testing our security systems, you can avoid possible PCI fines for failing to comply with PCI-DSS regulatory protocols.

Also, in case your systems are hacked, it will take a long time before they are brought back to working condition.

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Another downside of a possible breach is that the outer world will have a bad perspective of how you get business done.

By regularly evaluating your security systems, your team will know which vulnerabilities to patch and how important each vulnerability is to the entire system.

By not regularly pen testing your environmental, you are putting not just your entire company at risk, but also your customers and vendors connected to your system.

Hence, it’s necessary to pen test every now and then to avoid running into problems in the future.


Pradeep is a Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist at Indium Software with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.

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