What is Penetration Testing?
A penetration test, or pen test, is a form of ethical hacking used to test a network’s security system. Every business has different needs in protecting their online data, and penetration testing acts as a check to find any potential weaknesses in your defenses.
These pen tests can also check a business’s security policy, how well the organization reacts and responds to an attack, and how the overall network adheres to respective compliance requirements. Essentially, these white hat attacks put the entire security program through an in-depth exam and reports the results in order to tackle any vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
What Are The Types of Penetration Tests?
Thorough, professional penetration testing typically includes a variety of assessments within each attack, and we work with small to medium businesses in every industry to determine the right vulnerability testing for your network’s specific needs. After each penetration test, we’ll work together to strengthen and fix your defenses to ensure your digital assets are properly protected.
These tests may include:
A method to gauge all externally visible servers or devices, such as firewalls and name servers, to determine how far an intruder can get after obtaining illegal access.
This tests the damage possible from an inside source with standard access to the network, such as by a disgruntled employee or someone who has obtained illegal access.
An essential test to identify any exploitable weaknesses in network services, from firewalls to various network devices (such as routers).
This is essentially a blind trial where the testers have absolutely no prior information, simulating a true hacker attack.
This method provides the testers with information about the organization’s network infrastructure and security systems to simulate an attack with more research and knowledge
This highly targeted attack tests one web application at a time, thoroughly gauging its defense against specific, known weaknesses and malwares.
When to Pen Test
Technology is constantly evolving, and so are digital attacks. Hackers are always updating their tactics, viruses and malware are becoming less and less obvious, and any changes in your network can leave unintentional vulnerabilities. These tests are essential before and after:
- Changes in the network infrastructure
- The addition of new applications within the network
- New software checks before implementation
- Offices moving to new locations
- New security patches
- Adherence to government and industry compliance requirements
Every business, no matter the size, needs frequent pen tests to ensure their network is entirely secure. While experts recommend penetration testing on an annual basis, some smaller businesses may only need these checks every other year, based on budget, and industry.