Pen tests or Penetration tests are authorized simulated attacks performed on a computer system to evaluate its security. These tests usually simulate a variety of different attacks that could threaten your business. A pen test helps in estimating the robustness of a system when faced with attacks from various system roles and positions. Basically a pen test will be able to assess any aspect of a system if it has the right scope.
It is basically the practice of testing a computer system, network or web application to find security vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit. The main objective of penetration testing is to identify security weaknesses. Penetration testing is mainly done to identify security weaknesses. It helps in evaluating an organization’s security policy and how it adheres to compliance requirements. It further tests an organization’s ability to respond to security incidents.
Typically, the information about security weaknesses that are identified or exploited through pen testing is aggregated and provided to the organization’s IT and network system managers, enabling them to make strategic decisions and prioritize remediation efforts.
Penetration tests are attacks where the good guys are the ones trying to break in hence they are also called as white hat attacks. A penetration test can also highlight weaknesses in a company’s security policies. For instance, although a security policy focuses on preventing and detecting an attack on an enterprise’s systems, that policy may not include a process to expel a hacker.
“Pen Testing should be considering factors like the size of the company, its budget, regulations and compliances that the company follows.”
Pen testers often use automated tools to uncover standard application vulnerabilities. Penetration tools mainly focus on identifying malicious codes in applications which could potentially lead to a security breach. These tools examine data encryption techniques and verify security vulnerabilities in the system by identifying hard-coded values, such as usernames and passwords. Penetration testing tools should be easy to deploy, configure and use, be capable of automating the verification of vulnerabilities, identify and categorize vulnerabilities, generate detailed vulnerability reports and logs.
There are many pen test strategies used by security professionals like Targeted testing, External testing,Internal testing and more. Different pen testing strategies can be used by pen testing teams to understand the types of attacks that are most threatening to the desired system that is focussed.
Security professionals can find, test and evaluate how secure their multi-tier network architectures, custom applications, web services are through penetration testing. It is imperative to test the entirety of IT infrastructure of a business by staying precautionary steps to secure vital data from cybersecurity hackers. Simultaneously, the response time of an IT department incase of an attack can be improved.