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TECHNOLOGY

Types of Penetration Tests, Costs, and More

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Types of Penetration Tests, Costs, and More


How to Budget for Penetration Testing: Types of Penetration Tests, Costs, and More

One of the best ways to ensure that your systems are safe from attack is to invest in penetration testing.

In this article, we will discuss how to budget for penetration testing and the different factors that will affect the overall cost. The cost of penetration testing can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that the price of not doing it could be much higher. The article will also mention the factors that influence its pricing of it.

How To Budget For Penetration Testing

Hiring an external consultant to perform a comprehensive test can easily run into thousands of dollars, not to mention smaller internal tests which can cost several hundred dollars.

For example, if you are testing the security of a web-based shopping cart system, you will want to consider the cost of losing customer data or having the system hacked. You will also want to take into account the complexity of your system and the level of testing you require. A simple test for a small system may only cost a few hundred dollars, while a more complex test for a large system can go beyond thousands quickly. 

Ultimately, the key is to balance pen testing cost against the potential cost of not performing the test. By taking these facets of budgeting into account, you can ensure that you create an appropriate budget for penetration testing and maintaining a robust security program.

Types of Penetration Testing And The Costs Associated With Them

There are several different kinds of penetration tests that are commonly used to check the security of websites and other types of computer systems. One of the most popular methods is known as a black-box test, in which testers attempt to gain access to the target system without having any prior knowledge about its architecture or configuration. 

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A white box test, by contrast, involves testers who already have this information, and use their understanding of how the system works to find flaws in its security. Both of these penetration testing techniques can be costly, depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the target application. 

However, companies that are serious about cyber security often find that these tests are well worth the investment. Not only do they help to ensure a higher level of protection for sensitive data, but they also allow organizations to receive valuable feedback and insights from experts in the field. As such, all website owners should consider incorporating penetration testing as part of their regular maintenance workflow.

Simply put, Blackbox testing costs around $500 – $1000 and  Whitebox around $2000 – $5000.

How To Reduce Cost Of Penetration Testing Without Compromising Quality Or Security

If you are worried about the cost of penetration testing, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the price without compromising on quality or security. 

  • One way to do this is to focus on specific areas of your website or application that are most vulnerable to attack. By focusing on these areas, you can drastically narrow down the scope of the test and save money

  • Another way to reduce costs is to perform penetration testing regularly. By making it part of your routine security workflow, you can avoid the need for costly one-time tests. 

  • Finally, you can also save money by using open source tools for penetration testing, which are often just as effective as their commercial counterparts.

Factors That Can Affect The Overall Price of a Penetration Test

A multitude of factors can influence the overall costs of penetration tests, some of them are-

  • The primary influencing factor is the size and along with it, the complexity of your security system. A more complex system will take longer to test and, as such, will be more expensive. 

  • The second factor is the level of detail that you require. A basic test will be less expensive than a comprehensive one, but it may not give you the same level of insight. 

  • Another factor to be kept in mind is the number of testers you need. If you have a large team of testers, you can expect to pay more for the service. 

  • Finally, the geographical location of your penetration testing provider can also play a vital Role.

Conclusion

Penetration testing is a vital part of any cyber security program. By understanding the different types of tests and their associated costs, you can ensure that you budget appropriately for this important service. In addition, by taking steps to reduce the cost of penetration testing, you can maintain a high level of security without breaking the bank



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TECHNOLOGY

Productivity Hacks for Remote Workers

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Productivity Hacks for Remote Workers


It’s no surprise that these days, there seem to be more and more opportunities for remote work, and an increasing creation of “distributed” workplaces.

While the allure of working from home (or being able to work from “anywhere”) can be exceedingly appealing, let me be the first to tell you remote work is a lot more difficult than just casually sitting with your laptop on the beach. 

When settling into remote work, there are a few different tricks you can use to be your most productive self, instead of feeling stressed, demotivated, and regretting the day you ever went “location independent.”

The Practical Aspects of Remote Work

There are a few different approaches to remote work these days. You may be a full-time employee to one company that allows you to work from home, or that doesn’t even have a specific headquarters, but instead has built an entire distributed team (think companies like Buffer). Or, perhaps you are a freelancer or contractor who may work with a number of different projects or companies where you are not required to be on location.

In any case, you may have opportunities to move around freely, or you’d rather stay put in one place. In the latter case, perhaps you choose to work from home or rent an office, or have a membership at a coworking space. 

With many different options, how you do remote work is completely up to you. But there are some basic challenges that remote workers in every type of situation can feel. Staying personally motivated, reducing distractions, and being efficient in work execution are on the top. 

For me at least, the key to being more productive while working remotely has been to admit when I’m struggling, and be aware of the conditions that I would like to work in, but just aren’t feasible for my productivity. Remote work solutions can be very individual depending on what motivates you, what kind of hours you like to keep, and what types of environments you thrive in.

‍Non-Tech Hacks for Remote Workers

Some of the best solutions for remote worker productivity have nothing to do with technology or fancy techniques. When thinking about how to be productive when working remotely, often the best thing to do is to start with the basics. 

‍Stick to a Routine

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s crucial for remote workers to create a routine, and stick to it. Some of us remote workers may be rebels when it comes to keeping to the ordinary, but routines aren’t boring, they’re necessary for being productive.

Without a routine, you can often waste a ton of time just figuring out what you want or need to do next. If you don’t have a schedule for your morning, like reading your emails by 9:30, checking and making your daily to-do list by 9:45, and getting started on completing your first task by 10:00, you may find yourself rounding 10:30 and all you’ve done so far is had four cups of coffee and checked facebook. 

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Routines create some semblance of structure, and structure is actually a really necessary component of being productive with remote work. 

Create Some Variety

But sometimes too much routine or structure can stifle creativity and the execution of your best work. Monotony isn’t good for anyone’s work satisfaction, so find out how and where you work best. Variety may be sitting at your kitchen table to work for the morning hours, and then switching it up to your home office in the afternoon. Or, perhaps you find a coworking space that gives you a nice change of scenery a couple days a week.

Variety (with structure) can be good for helping you to get out of mental ruts, and can help to inspire you in some ways. Not to mention, if you are only working from home it can be at least slightly more difficult to hold yourself accountable when there is no one else there who can see you doing work, or for you to talk to and discuss ideas with. Even just getting out to a coffee shop to work from may be beneficial for your productivity levels.

‍Get Ready For Your Day

I’ll admit, I’ve had more than a few “Donald Duck” video meetings: I may be dressed professionally on top, with my hair done and teeth brushed, but out of the line of site of the camera, I may or may not be wearing pants. When working from home it can be so tempting to throw on the same sweatshirt you’ve been wearing for the past four days. But this can be detrimental to your productivity.

Getting up and taking a shower, getting properly dressed and ready as if you are going to the office, will get you in the right mindset for your work day. It can make you feel more awake, in a working mood, and it’s the first thing you can check off your list of accomplishments. When working remotely, you need to count every win.

Leave the House

It’s a common conundrum for remote workers: a whole day passes and you think to yourself, “have I spoken to another human today?” When working from home especially, you can sink into the bad habit of not getting out enough or interacting with others, but this can be problematic for your productivity.

Just getting out of your house, even to grab a coffee down the street, or taking a drive to the store, can be a quick and easy way to refresh your motivation and jump-start your energy. Not to mention that the benefit of remote work can be flexible, but sitting at home all day is not making the most of that benefit, no matter how much you enjoy the nonexistent commute. 

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‍Create a Hard Line between Professional Life and Private Life

When you aren’t being watched over by a manager, or there is no one really keeping tabs on the hours you keep, the problem isn’t always that you don’t work enough. The problem may be that you don’t set hard boundaries for what is work and what is personal. 

In the beginning of my venture into working remotely, I found myself wanting to be eager, available, and seemingly always on top of things. What that translated to, was answering emails at all hours of the night, never really “logging off,” and finding the lines between my professional life and private life completely blurred. 

But the fact is, it made me stressed all the time, and the companies I worked for didn’t really notice a difference in my work ethic. Work issues bled into my nights and weekends and free time until I felt that I was in work mode basically 24/7. And as it turns out, it killed my productivity when I needed it most.

Setting hard boundaries, and establishing the precedent to your company or customers about sticking to specific hours can be crucial for your motivation and also your sanity. Be sure to create that hard-line early on, so that you know when to be in productive time, and when you can (and should) relax.

Fill Your Time

As with procrastination, remote work has a fun way of making even small projects take up all the time you have available. The less busy you are, the less efficient you’ll actually be. When you have a lot to do, and a lot to fill your time with, that is when you’ll actually be your most productive. 

Especially if you are just starting out freelancing and are still collecting projects to fill your docket, block your days for work, and then your days for doing errands or job searching, or whatever else you need to do. If you try to fill your 40 hour work week with only 20 hours of work, you’ll be slow, inefficient, and definitely not cost-effective. Try to get as much work assignments as you can, because when you can fill your time with actual work, then you will be more productive.

‍Tech hacks for remote workers

Remote workers would be nowhere if it wasn’t for the plethora of productivity and collaboration tools that are now available to us. While self-motivation and old school methods for productivity can create a good foundation, the tech will be your friend when working remotely.

‍Rely on Productivity Tools

Thankfully, productivity tools for that are beneficial for remote work are basically an industry in and of itself. There are many different options you can use for being the most productive.

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Project management tools like Asana and Trello can help you stay the course when it comes to just getting things done. With these types of tools, you’ll have a good overview of what you need to complete and when, and at what stage each project is in, or if you need input from others to complete tasks. 

Task management tools like Wunderlist and Todoist can be awesome for tackling to-dos, especially for visual people who like to look at a clear overview of what needs to be prioritized or if there are impending deadlines. Time trackers like Toggl and The Pomodoro Tracker can help you be more aware of the time you spend on different projects or just work in general and can help you to be better about being productive in sprints.

‍Limit Tech Distractions

While you should use tech to help you be more productive, sometimes those tools should work to actually limit the number of distractions you have, and what you have access to. Social media, email, RSS feeds, news notifications, personal messaging apps, and many others can cause major problems for remote workers. Use app blockers like Freedom or Self Control to ensure you can turn off the things that are not essential for getting your work done.

Collaborate as Much as You Can

While remote work lends itself to a lot of independence and autonomy, it can actually really help your productivity to collaborate with others. On one hand, working with a team that relies on you and vice versa can give you some accountability for completing tasks in a timely way. But it can also cure some of the side effects of working “alone” like basic loneliness, or mental blocks. 

Collaboration tools make working with distributed teams a non-issue. In many ways, they can encourage us to be more efficient in our communication, and be very transparent in our work. Communication apps like Slack, doc sharing such as Google DriveDropbox, and Basecamp, and video conferencing with Zoom, or GoToMeeting, make collaboration easier than ever.

Remote work can be a great experience and can allow you to have freedom, flexibility, and autonomy like you’ve never had in work before. But it can be very easy to fall down a rabbit hole of bad habits, distractions, and lack of motivation. Be honest with yourself about the kinds of environments that are best for your productivity, keep routines and structure, and use the right tools to help you stay on top of your assignments, and you’ll have no problem being successful working remotely.



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