How Pen Testing Keeps Your Company Protected

Pen Testing Kept Company Safe

Reading time: 7 mins

Did you know that pen testing is one of the most important steps your company can take to protect itself from cyber-attacks? Companies that don’t use any means to test their security are bound to experience some cyber troubles.

Penetration testing, or “pen testing,” is a process that finds vulnerabilities in a computer system, network, or web application that could be exploited in a cyber-attack. Your company can stay safe and protected online by finding and fixing these vulnerabilities before hackers discover them.

In this blog post, we will discuss what pen testing is and why it is so crucial for businesses today.
We will also introduce you to some of the top pen testing methods in the industry and show you how they can help keep your business safe, so keep reading.

Table of contents

What Is a Pen Test?

A penetration test, also known as a “pen test,” is an authorized simulated cyber attack on a computer system, network, or web application.

This test aims to find vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit and fix before they are exploited in a real-world attack.

Pen tests can be conducted manually or with automated tools.
Manual pen tests are conducted by ethical hackers who try to find vulnerabilities using their skills and knowledge. Automated pen tests use software to scan for vulnerabilities and can be used to supplement manual testing.

Penetration tests can be classified into two main types: black-box testing and white-box testing.

Black box testing is where the tester does not know the system before the test. White box testing is where the tester has complete knowledge of the system before the test.

Why Is Pen Testing Important?

Penetration testing is essential because it helps businesses find and fix vulnerabilities in their systems before hackers exploit them. By doing this, businesses can prevent cyber attacks and keep their data safe.

In recent years, there have been several high-profile data breaches that have affected millions of people. These breaches could have been prevented if the companies involved had conducted penetration tests and fixed the vulnerabilities that were found.

Regular pen tests are essential to keeping your business safe from cyber-attacks. It is also important to note that pen tests should be performed by a professional, ethical hacking team with the knowledge and experience to find and fix vulnerabilities in your system.

Furthermore, pen tests should be conducted regularly, as new vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered. You can ensure that your system is always protected from the latest threats by conducting quarterly or monthly pen tests.

Differences Between Vulnerability Scans and Pen Tests

Now that we’ve answered the question, “what is a pen test?” you might wonder how it differs from a vulnerability scan.

A vulnerability scan is a process that scans for vulnerabilities or weaknesses in a system and reports them to the user. A penetration test is a simulated attack on a system using exposure exploits. Ethical hackers should conduct Penetration Tests.

Both vulnerability scans and penetration tests are essential tools that can help businesses find and fix vulnerabilities in their systems.

However, penetration tests are generally more thorough and provide more detailed information about vulnerabilities than vulnerability scans.

Penetration tests will test exploits against your systems and validate if a system can be broken. To stay safe from a penetration testing service provider, you need a pen test.

Top Pen Testing Methods

Several different pen testing methods can be used to find vulnerabilities in a system. Here are some of the most common methods:

1. Social Engineering

Social engineering is an attack where hackers trick people into giving them information or access to systems. This can be done over the phone, by email, or in person.

2. SQL Injection

SQL injection is a type of attack where hackers insert malicious code into databases through web applications. This can allow them to access sensitive data or take control of the system.

3. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of attack where hackers insert malicious code into web pages. This can allow them to steal information from users or redirect them to another website.

4. Denial of Service (DoS)

Denial of service (DoS) attacks are designed to make a system unavailable by flooding it with requests. This can prevent legitimate users from accessing the system and can cause the system to crash.

5. Buffer Overflow

Buffer overflow attacks occur when data is sent to a system that is too large for the system to handle. This can allow hackers to take control of the system or cause it to crash.

6. Man-in-the-Middle

Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks occur when hackers intercept communication between two systems. This can allow them to eavesdrop on the conversation or modify the data being exchanged.

7. Password Cracking

Password cracking is an attack where hackers use brute force methods to guess passwords. This can be done using dictionary attacks or trying every possible combination of characters.

Services Offered by Penetration Testing Companies

If you’re interested in conducting a penetration test, a number of companies offer this service. Here are some of the services that these companies offer:

1. External Network Penetration Testing

External penetration testing is where ethical hackers attempt to access systems outside the network. This can be done through the internet or by physically accessing the premises.

2. Internal Network Penetration Testing

Internal penetration testing is where ethical hackers attempt to access systems inside the network. This can be done by social engineering or by exploiting vulnerabilities in systems.

3. Web Application Penetration Testing

Web application penetration testing is where ethical hackers attempt to find vulnerabilities in web applications. This can be done by conducting SQL injections, cross-site scripting attacks, or other well-known techniques. Web Application Penetration Testing can be performed either internally, externally, or both.

4. Wireless Penetration Testing

Wireless penetration testing is where ethical hackers attempt to gain access to wireless networks. This can be done by cracking the network’s encryption or spoofing MAC addresses.

5. Phishing Simulation

Phishing simulations are where ethical hackers send fake phishing emails to employees to see who falls for the scam. This can help businesses find weak points in their security and train employees to spot and avoid phishing attempts.

6. Vulnerability Assessment

A vulnerability assessment is where ethical hackers attempt to find vulnerabilities in systems. This can be done with automated tools or manually.

7. Web Application Firewall Testing

Web application firewall testing is where ethical hackers attempt to bypass web application firewalls. This can be done by exploiting known vulnerabilities or guessing passwords.

Cybersecurity is an essential issue for all businesses, and penetration testing is one of the best ways to ensure that your system is secure. By conducting regular pen tests, you can find and fix vulnerabilities before hackers exploit them.

Preparing for a Pen Testing

Several options are available if you’re interested in improving your cybersecurity but not ready to conduct a penetration test. Here are some of the most popular activities:

Vulnerability scanning is an automated process that scans for vulnerabilities in a system and reports them to the user. This process can be outsourced or performed in-house with excellent efficiency.

A security audit assesses a system’s security posture. You can either have an internal team or hire an external company to conduct the audit.

Security training is where employees are trained to spot and avoid security threats. Consequently, the chances of employees falling for phishing scams or others are reduced.

An incident response plan is a document that outlines how to deal with a security incident. Some steps in an incident response plan contain the incident, investigating the cause, and restoring systems.

A disaster recovery plan is a document that outlines how to recover from a significant security incident. 

Some things you can do with a disaster recovery plan are backing up data, rebuilding systems, and communicating with customers.

Penetration testing is just one part of an effective cybersecurity strategy. You can create a strong defense against cyber attacks by combining pen tests with other security measures.

Penetration Testing Summary

Penetration testing is essential for businesses to find and fix vulnerabilities in their systems. By conducting regular pen tests, businesses can ensure that their systems are secure and protected from cyber-attacks.

If you’d like to get started with penetration testing, a number of companies offer this service. Get in touch with us if you want a reputable and trusted approach to protecting your business against hackers.

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