What is Penetration Testing?
Finding a vulnerability, using an exploit, attacking a system are different parts of the Penetration testing process. A pen tester’s (a term is given for penetration tester) attention is required at the highest level because any exploit can either go wrong and spoil the whole plan or lead to some loopholes that can get the tester in trouble. Generally, pen testers are independent who are either positive ones (find bugs and report them and earn rewards as bounties) or are hired by companies who, on purpose, get their systems, apps, and websites hacked to improve their measures. The other ones are evil heads who hack people and companies for stupid reasons, including ransoms, sensitive information leaking threats, and sometimes personal grudges.
This is how an enterprise.nxt refers to penetration testing too.
Penetration testing “is an unauthorized look at what’s exposed and what potentially could be broken into,” says Ron Schlecht, founder and managing partner of BTB Security, a cybersecurity services firm. It’s like a final exam. Imagine a company changed things in its security setup, intending to beef up its defenses, such as putting security controls in place. Then, says Schlecht, the company can do a penetration test “to get a real-world view of the types of potential exposures they may have.”
I would explain this topic in detail with the help of points to make it even more understandable.
- Experts have several important pieces of advice for doing penetration testing. Schlecht says it’s essential to do a broad security vulnerability or risk assessment and try to plug every security hole. If you don’t first do that, he says, “a penetration test is almost a waste of time because somebody’s going to be able to get in.” But if you do the test after the assessment, you’ll be able to close any remaining weaknesses that you overlooked during your risk assessment.
- Next, make sure to define the scope of your testing clearly. Then, choose the right firm to do the testing, have long experience, and provide reliable recommendations from companies that have already used its services. Also, check whether the firm specializes in the kind of testing you’re interested in. “A good penetration tester is not necessarily an expert in everything,” says Stanger, so choose one that has deep experience in the kind of testing work you want to be done. You may also want to check whether the company has penetration testing certifications from organizations such as CompTIA and EC-Council.
- Finally, don’t ignore the results of the tests. Use them to harden your security and make everyone in your organization aware of them. Do all that, and you’ll go a long way toward securing your company’s systems and data. After all, it’s better to have white-hat hackers break into your systems today than to wait until black-hat hackers do it tomorrow.