What is penetration testing?
White, black and grey-box testing…
A penetration test simulates the actions of an external and/or internal cyber attacker that aims to breach the information security of the organization. Using many tools and techniques, the penetration tester (ethical hacker) attempts to exploit critical systems and gain access to sensitive data.
There are three types of penetrating tests, differing, first of all, by the initial information that the penetration tester possesses:
- White Box Testing – performed with full knowledge and access to both the source code and software architecture/structure/design/implementation of the object being tested.
- Black Box Testing – refers to testing a system without having any specific knowledge of the internal workings of the system, no access to the source code, and no knowledge of the architecture or implementation of the object being tested.
- Gary Box Testing – means having at least some/partial knowledge of a system of the object being tested. It is a combination of both black and white box testing and combines aspects of each.
Why you need pentesting?
Main CAUSES and DRIVERS
Cyber-attacks can cripple a company’s systems, land it with heavy fines and damage its reputation. Here the most prevalent causes, because of they you should worried and take all safety precautions and start with a penetration test:
- Web-based attacks
- App attacks
- Denial of Service
- Insider threats
- Economical Denial of Service
Main drivers for carrying out penetration tests should be based on an evaluation of relevant criteria, which would typically include:
- In response to the impact of a serious data breach on a similar organization
- To comply with a regulation or standard, such as the PCI DSS and GDPR
- To ensure the security of new applications or significant changes to business processes
- To manage the risks of using a big number and variety of outsourced services
- To evaluate the risk of critical data or systems being compromised
- to get a baseline assessment of the existing security program.
Generally speaking, there are seven main types of penetration test, each focusing on a particular aspect of an organization’s logical perimeter:
- Network Penetration Testing
- Website Penetration Testing
- Application Penetration Testing
- Cloud Penetration Testing
- Wi-Fi Penetration Testing
- Social Engineering
- Physical Penetration Testing
What is the PEN testing process?
A penetration test is designed to deliver a realistic and targeted appraisal of the current state of your security and the risks attackers pose to your business.
- Pre-engagement Interactions Defines the scope of a project specifically what is to be tested and how each aspect of the test will be conducted outlining how the testers should spend their time.
- Intelligence Gathering This section defines the Intelligence Gathering activities of a penetration test. The document details the goals of pentesting reconnaissance and produce a highly strategic plan for attacking a target.
- Threat Modelling This section defines a threat modelling approach as required for a correct execution of a penetration testing. The model used to be consistent in terms of its representation of threats, their capabilities and their qualifications.
- Vulnerability Analysis Vulnerability testing is the process of discovering flaws in systems and applications which can be leveraged by an attacker.
- Exploitation The exploitation phase of a penetration test focuses solely on establishing access to a system or resource by bypassing security restrictions. The main focus is to identify the main entry point into the organization and to identify high value target assets.
- Post Exploitation Identification and documentation of sensitive data, configuration settings, communication channels, and relationships with other network devices that can be used to gain further access to the network.
- Reporting Provides results in a format based on the damage potential, reproducibility, exploitability and discoverability of each ﬁnding.
- Presentation If required, a brieﬁng session with your management team to explain the outcomes of the test and what it means for your security posture.
- Re-test A re-test of your systems so that you can be sure all the issues have been successfully resolved.
Our specialists recommend organizations to run regular scans and, if necessary, to consult a qualified technical specialist to make full or partial penetration tests to ensure appropriate security of all infrastructure.
There are some requirements, but not limited to them:
- Penetration testing must be performed at least annually and after any significant change (PCI DSS Requirements 11.3.1 and 11.3.2);
- Carry out periodic penetration testing to determine adequacy of network protection (CObIT domain DSS05.02);
- Receive appropriate awareness education and training and regular updates in organizational policies and procedures, as relevant for their job function (ISO 27001:2013 A.7.2.2);
- Conduct regular reviews to assess the evolution of the skills and competencies of the internal and external resources (CObIT domain APO07.03);
- Include awareness training on recognizing and reporting potential and actual instances of social engineering and social mining (NIST 800-53 AT-2);
- Prevent exploitation of technical vulnerabilities by obtaining information about technical vulnerabilities of information systems in a timely fashion (ISO 27001:2013 A.12.6);
- Social engineering testing – which might include physical entry – should be conducted annually, as should phishing tests of employees.
- When new vulnerabilities are reported – especially critical and high-level vulnerabilities – a scan of the infrastructure and applications may be required to determine the extent of the vulnerability.
Penetration tests offer an affordable, repeatable method of identifying vulnerabilities in your infrastructure and web applications to provide recommendations for mitigation. Results of those tests are the evidence about how seriously you are taking the security of your information assets and give you the reports for proving it to your clients and partners.
Penetration tests conducted by our experienced and qualified specialists let your organization discover its weaknesses before criminals can act. With the increasing scale and effectiveness of cyber-crimes, securing your network and web applications against attacks became critical.
By performing a regular penetration testing schedule, you can continually measure and improve the security performance of your systems and networks, ensuring that your assets and data are appropriately protected at all times. Here are some of the most important advantages of conducting penetration testing:
- To identify a wide range of vulnerabilities that cannot be found by using software only;
- To identify high-risk weaknesses that result from a combination of smaller vulnerabilities;
- Reports will provide specific advice and recommendations in details.
Thanks to our high-level professionals with a huge experience in information security, you may never be worried about possible problems or misunderstandings in process of penetration testing, such as:
- Damages will never happen even if something goes wrong.
- Trusting our highly qualified ethical hackers and penetesters. All members of our team are working with us for long times and trusted by many governmental organizations and enterprises.
- All tests to be done in correct/right conditions.