What Is Network Penetration Testing?
Pen testing, also known as penetration testing, is a cyber-security exercise performed by professionals to identify and exploit weaknesses in an organization’s IT infrastructure. Pen tests are used to simulate cyber-attacks, to identify any weak areas in a computer system’s defenses that hackers could exploit to get access to sensitive data.
Because cyber-attacks are so common, it’s vital to do frequent network penetration testing to detect and fix any vulnerabilities as soon as possible. Learn more about network pen testing and why it should be an important element of your information security strategy.
What Is Network Penetration Testing?
Network penetration testing is defined as simulating the methods that hackers would use to attack your company’s network, network applications, website, and connected devices. This simulation seeks to detect security flaws early on before they are discovered and exploited by hackers.
Penetration testing, when done correctly, go beyond simply preventing bad actors from gaining unauthorized access to a company’s network and data. It lets firms build realistic scenarios to demonstrate how effective their present security protections would be in the face of full-scale cyberattacks.
Penetration tests can also aid an organization’s efforts to comply with government rules, control frameworks, and certification criteria in terms of security (ex. PCI, SOC reporting).
How Does Network Penetration Testing Detect Security Threats?
Penetration tests consist of several processes, each of which is aimed to mimic the phases hackers use to break into a company.
Creating a scope for the test
First, an expert developer will design the testing objectives, taking into consideration the network operations and systems that a hacker would target. The rules for the pen test operation are then defined, as well as the methodologies and instruments that will be employed.
Scanning and reconnaissance
The analysts use a variety of techniques to acquire intelligence about the network, including reverse engineering, social engineering, and investigating publically accessible information on the company and its systems. The objectives are to collect as much information as possible to find potential vulnerabilities to exploit and to design attack scenarios that can be executed.
Gain network access
After identifying system and network faults, penetration testers use those flaws to gain access to the system. They will often begin by gaining access to low-value assets before progressively progressing up the network, infiltrating and upgrading system privileges wherever possible, similar to cyber attackers.
Evade detection and maintain network access
Pen testers must imitate skilled hackers by remaining persistent in their attempts to infiltrate networks and using comparable strategies to disguise proof of their intrusion, depending on the scope of the penetration test. It takes delicacy and time to stay in stealth mode. In the actual world, an assailant may remain undetected for days, weeks, months, or even years. To get usable results while working under budget limits, penetration testing activities must be scoped for a specific period. These tests can be used to see how long it takes the internal security team to detect their simulated damaging actions.
Reporting and deep analysis
Penetration testing is summarised by a detailed report that examines the network’s specific security flaws and vulnerabilities. The sensitive data accessed by the testers, the time spent avoiding discovery, and information security suggestions will all be included in these reports. This study can assist firms in closing security holes by modifying processes or using new technology.
The Difference Between Vulnerability Scans and Penetration Testing
A vulnerability scan is a high-level manual or automated test that looks for security problems in networks, computers, and/or business processes. Because they are limited to providing reports on the discovered vulnerabilities, they are a passive approach to resolving information security risks. Penetration testing, on the other hand, simulates the behaviors of attackers attempting to gain access to your network. It’s a far more thorough, proactive approach to determining how your security processes perform in the face of a threat.
Contact SCA for Network Penetration Testing
External, internal, and wireless network penetration testing by SCA analyses your current network’s key flaws and strengths. Application penetration testing is another service we provide to assess the security of web and mobile applications. Our penetration testing reports will show you how your security protocols would respond to certain attackers. We create a unique, comprehensive remediation strategy based on these findings to assist you to reduce cyber threats.