Penetration Testing – What do you need to know?

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Penetration Testing – What do you need to know?

As cyberattacks are becoming the norm now, it is more important than ever to conduct penetration testing and vulnerability scanning!

But what exactly is penetration testing and why do you need it? Let’s find out!

Penetration testing, also known as pen testing or ethical hacking, is the process of evaluating a computer code, network, or web application for security flaws that an attacker might exploit. It also ensures that the cyber controls are functioning correctly.

Purpose of Penetration testing

A pen test’s main aim is to find flaws in an organization’s security posture and assess policy enforcement. It tests personnel knowledge of security risks and helps decide when and how they will be vulnerable to security threats.

It will also reveal security flaws in a company’s policies. For example, a security policy that focuses on avoiding and detecting an intrusion on an enterprise’s infrastructure may not include a plan for removing the hacker. A penetration test’s finding will provide the information necessary for a company to prioritize the security investment plans. These reports will also assist app developers in creating more secure applications.

Stages of Penetration Testing

Penetration tests may be done manually or with the aid of software apps. In either case, the procedure begins with collecting information about the target before the evaluation, determining potential access points, trying to break in (virtually or in-person), and reporting back the results.

The five different stages are as follows

  • Planning and reconnaissance

This step involves defining a test’s scope and objectives. Also, the processes to be tested and the measurement techniques to be used, and intelligence (e.g., website and domain names, mail server, etc.) is gathered.

  • Scanning

The next step is to determine how the target program will respond to different types of intrusion attempts. Scanning tools are used to understand how a target responds to interruptions, and it may involve static or dynamic analysis.

  • Gaining access

It helps find a target’s flaws; this stage employs webserver attacks such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and malware. To learn the damage that these vulnerabilities can do, testers attempt to manipulate them by escalating rights, to steal data, hindering traffic, etc.

  • Maintaining access

This stage aims to see how the vulnerabilities can be exploited to establish a long-term presence in the compromised system, allowing a malicious person to obtain in-depth access. The aim is to mimic advanced security risks, which can stay in a device for months to steal a company’s most valuable information.

  • Analysis and WAF configuration

The penetration test results are then summarized into a report that includes information such as:

  1. Security flaws that were exploited in detail
  2. sensitive details that were accessed
  3. The length of time the penetration test was able to stay undetected in the system.

Security professionals use this data to help customize an organization’s WAF configurations and other device security solutions to fix bugs and defend against potential assaults.

Benefits of Penetration Testing

Why is penetration testing necessary now and what are its benefits? Let’s go over some of these.

  1. Determines the sustainability of security holding up against various cyberattacks.
  2. Demonstrates how exploiting low-risk bugs will do a lot of harm at a higher level.
  3. Helps you detect harder-to-find security threats.
  4. Evaluates and calculates the potential risks for organizational and market functions.
  5. Assesses the effectiveness of network defenses facing an attack.
  6. Determines the need for increased defense infrastructure and personnel investment.
  7. Implements and validate updated security measures to help thwart any risks.

Rogue Logics provides in-depth security services for the assessment and protection of your application, data, and infrastructure against potential threats on-prem or in the cloud. 

Want a consultation with the professionals at Rogue Logics, contact us and get a free quote.