Introduction about Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is a type of security testing that is used to test the insecurity of an application. It is conducted to treasure the security risk which might be present in the system.
If a system is not secured, then any attacker can disrupt or take authorized access to that system. The security risk is normally an accidental error that occurs while developing and implementing the software. For example, configuration errors, design errors, and software bugs, etc
Why is Penetration Testing Required?
Penetration testing normally evaluates a system’s ability to protect its networks, applications, endpoints, and users from external or internal threats. It also attempts to protect the security controls and ensures only authorized access.
- Penetration testing is essential because
- It identifies a simulation environment i.e., how an intruder may attack the system through the white-hat attack.
- It helps to find weak areas where an intruder can attack to gain access to the computer’s features and data.
- It supports to avoid black hat attack and protects the original data.
- It estimates the magnitude of the attack on potential business.
- It provides evidence to suggest, why it is important to increase investments in the security aspect of technology
When to Perform Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing is an essential feature that needs to be performed regularly for securing the functioning of a system. In addition to this, it should be performed whenever it required by an individual User.
Methods to determine Penetration Testing
Planning & Preparation
Planning and training start with defining the goals and purposes of penetration testing.
The client and the tester jointly define the goals so that both the parties have the same objectives and understanding. The common objectives of penetration testing are given below
To identify the vulnerability and recover the security of the real-world systems.
Have IT security confirmed by an external third party system
Increase the security of the organizational/personnel infrastructure.
Reconnaissance includes an analysis of the preliminary information. Many times, a tester doesn’t have much information other than the preliminary information, i.e., an IP address or IP address block. The tester starts by analyzing the available information and, if required, requests for more information such as system descriptions, network plans, etc. from the client. This step is the passive penetration test, a sort of. The sole objective is to obtain complete and detailed information about the systems.
In this step, a penetration tester will most likely use the automated tools to scan target assets for discovering vulnerabilities. These tools normally have their own catalogs giving the details of the latest susceptibilities.
Analyzing Information and Risks
In this step, tester analyzes and assesses the information gathered before the test steps for dynamically penetrating the system. Because of the larger number of systems and the size of infrastructure, it is extremely time-consuming.
Active Intrusion Attempts
This is the most important step that has to be performed with due care. This step entails the extent to which the potential vulnerabilities that were identified in the discovery step which possess the actual risks. This step must be performed when verification of potential vulnerabilities is needed. For those systems having very high integrity requirements, the potential vulnerability and risk need to be carefully considered before conducting critical cleanup procedures.
This step primarily considers all the steps conducted (discussed above) till that time and an evaluation of the vulnerabilities present in the form of potential risks. Further, the tester recommends eliminating the vulnerabilities and risks. Above all, the tester must assure the transparency of the tests and the vulnerabilities that are disclosed.
Report preparation must start with overall testing procedures, followed by an analysis of vulnerabilities and risks. The high risks and critical vulnerabilities must have priorities and then followed by the lower order.
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