Penetration Testing– Often being confused with conducting a vulnerability scan, a security assessment or a compliance audit, but penetration testing is not only about uncovering the vulnerabilities but goes a step ahead to exploit those vulnerabilities. The purpose is to prove or disapprove the real world attack vectors against an organization’s IT assets, data, humans, and/or physical security.
A penetration testing may involve the usage of automated tools and process frameworks. During the process the main focus is kept ultimately on the individual or team of testers, the experience they bring to the test, and the skills and ways they leverage in the context of an active attack on your organization.
The process cannot be over-emphasized especially to any particular activity or the vulnerability. Even highly automated, well-resourced, and advanced networks employing sophisticated technology may encounter some kinds of threats or issues which need to get analyzed and synthesized.
Basically the test is done to answer the question: “What is the real-world effectiveness of my existing security controls against an active, human, skilled attacker?” We can contrast this with security or compliance audits to check for the existence of required controls and their correct configurations.
A penetration test allows for multiple attack vectors to be explored against the same target. It is often the combination of information or vulnerabilities across different systems that will lead to a successful compromise. Take it in another way, limiting scope and vector yields limited real-world understanding of security risk.
Let us now know the importance of a Penetration Test?
- Specifying the feasibility of a particular set of attack vectors.
- Identifying vulnerabilities that may be difficult or impossible to detect through automated network or application vulnerability scanning software.
- Identifying higher-risk vulnerabilities that result from a combination of lower-risk vulnerabilities exploited in a particular sequence.
- Testing the capability of network defenders to successfully detect and respond to the attacks.
- Assessing the magnitude of potential business and operational impacts of successful attacks.
- Bringing reports to support the increased investments in security personnel and technology to C-level management, investors and even the customers.
- Matching Standards (for example: the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires both annual and ongoing penetration testing (after any system changes).
- Post security incident, an organization needs to determine the vectors that were used to gain access to a compromised system (or entire network).
To gain these advantages, you must look for the skilled penetration testing companies where the consultants are the right talent, pay attention to the scope and bring a proper suggestion for eradicating the threats.
Author Bio – Neha is an info-sec expert, she is working in information security company having overall experience of more than 5 years. She is well versed in web application security and mobile application security testing services. When Neha is not busy testing, she pens down her experience and shares it with the online world.