To tighten the noose around growing cybercrimes, stringent laws and regulations have been put in place to oversee online security in online businesses. If you run an online business you need to comply with the regulatory bodies to operate securely and smoothly. Depending on the sector, governing laws and regulations vary and become more specific. Moreover, a good number of these regulations require you to present a security certification called the VAPT certificate as a prerequisite.

VAPT is a major security test for identifying security gaps in the system and upholding the safety of a website or a web application by plugging them.

So, today we are talking about the different security certifications you need to get for your business in order to be secure.

What is a VAPT Certificate?

VAPT, as we know, is a combination of two security actions Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing. Vulnerability assessment points out the loopholes that are already present in your system. Penetration testing aka Pentest exploits these loopholes to gauge the critical-ness of these security risks.

A VAPT certificate is issued after a VAPT test and patching to corroborate that the website has fixed all reported security issues and is therefore secure.

We can see that the VAPT certificate in India is a mandatory requirement for software development companies. So is for e-commerce websites and financial institutions. Any company that deals with confidential data and customer data should aspire to get a VAPT certificate.

The benefits of having a VAPT certificate include:

  • Identification and elimination of vulnerabilities
  • Instills trust in your customers
  • Increases conversions
  • Safeguards you against cyber attacks and data breaches
  • Establishes your business in the likes of security conscious companies, and others.

Different compliances that need a VAPT Certificate

Now we shall discuss some of the VAPT certificates. For example, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, CERT-IN, ISO 27001, RBI-ISMS and so on.

Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS)

PCI-DSS is basically infosec standards that must be followed by credit card companies. It is not a set of laws. The PCI-DSS standards should be maintained by any company that handles credit card information.

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Although it was launched on September 7, 2006, penetration testing has been recently introduced in it. A Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) is designated for security education and training.

Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) should also be a part of the pentest. It is to check how CDE can be affected if it is not segregated from the other systems. The scope of the test can be reduced with the help of strict firewall rules. Hence, the cost can be decreased along with having a more secure network.

Vulnerability assessment (requirement 11.2) and pentest (requirement 11.3) are both needed for PCI-DSS compliance. That is to say, a VAPT certificate is necessary to obtain PCI compliance.

Further, all the servers must be tested for better security. Otherwise, the VAPT certificate would only be about the servers related to cardholders information but not the network.

Cyber Security & Cyber Resilience framework for Stock Brokers / Depository Participants by SEBI

SEBI rules that stockbrokers or depository participants must have proper vulnerability monitoring systems. A VAPT is, thus, necessary here.

According to SEBI, constant monitoring is necessary to detect unauthorized activities. Detection is the key to safety. The various unauthorized activities can be malicious activities, access, changes, data copying, data transmission, etc. If any of these activities are unauthorized, it would mean that the network is not safe at all. Thus, we can see why regular monitoring is necessary.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Guidelines

RBI has its own guidelines for the Basic Cyber Security Framework for Primary (Urban) Cooperative Banks (UCBs). VAPT and in extension a VAPT certificate is necessary for the financial sector and UCBs.

According to RBI, the UCBs should monitor their security vulnerabilities. The concerned officials would be able to take the necessary security measures using the assessment and testing.

Computer Emergency Response Team – India (CERT-In) is a Government of India organization that strengthens cybersecurity and guidelines in India. So, the UCBs can refer to the guidelines set by CERT-In.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 1996

Strictly according to the rules, HIPAA doesn’t require vulnerability assessment or penetration testing. Still, having a VAPT certificate is advisable. Since HIPAA works to protect data transmission and disclosure policies of the healthcare facilities, performing a risk analysis is advised. It would ensure better safety.

Hackers have been targeting healthcare data vigorously. Data regarding insurance, records, disease history and even confidential doctor-patient information are at grave risk. This makes healthcare data a prime target for identity theft. Hence, VAPT is necessary to assess the loopholes so that they can be fixed. A VAPT certificate will help your organization in achieving HIPAA compliance.

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International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC): ISO/IEC 27001

ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS) can be made more secure with the help of VAPT. The international standards of ISO/IEC 27001 are necessary to maintain secure information assets. According to ISO/IEC 27001 control objective A12.6 (Technical Vulnerability Management), an organization should regularly monitor its vulnerabilities and evaluate the risks. It should then fix the loopholes to reduce the risks to the organization.

Security Operations Center (SOC)

Information Security Operations Center (ISOC) aka SOC is a central location for a security team. The team monitors all the vulnerabilities. It then detects and analyses the threats, along with the necessary response. The team monitors detects, and analyses all activities in servers, applications, websites, networks, etc to get the loopholes and fix them.

SOC can give a real-time image of the functioning of the organization with reference to security. A VAPT certificate is necessary here to protect the trust of the customers in the organization. It also reduces the cost. The expenses to fix an already breached system or network are huge. You should carefully strategize. Correct tools are also necessary. Some of the relevant tools are firewall, data monitoring system, endpoint protection system, log management system, etc. The staff should be able to develop themselves with time. The correct staff with the correct skills is the key to success.

VAPT Certificate is for Your Own Safety!

Cyberattacks are increasing with every passing day. It is important to keep your business safe at times like these.

Customers will choose you only when your network or systems are safe. A VAPT certificate is a proof that you intend to keep your business safe, along with it, your customers. It conveys that you are serious about protecting your users and visitors by taking due measures and adds to your brand reputation.

Further, abiding by the set rules and guidelines is also necessary to keep unwanted penalties and legal complications at bay. Thus, procure a VAPT certificate now by conducting a complete website VAPT.


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Janardhan

I am a full-time professional blogger from India. I like reading various tech magazines and several other blogs on the internet.

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