Penetration testing, more commonly known as pen testing, is a simulated cyber attack against one’s computer system aimed at uncovering any exploitable vulnerabilities, especially targeting web application security. It is used to target a computer system’s web application firewall (WAF) and it can be used to breach any number of application systems.
Some of the application systems that can be breach-tested with pen testing are the WAF, API, frontend/backend servers, and more. It is used to uncover any vulnerabilities of a certain app system in an attempt to better protect those exploits.
Stages of Penetration Testing
The entire process can be broken down into 5 stages:
- Planning and reconnaissance
- Gaining Access
- Maintaining Access
- Analysis and WAF configuration
Methods of Testing
1. External Testing
The first and most common method of penetrating testing is external testing. This method targets a company’s web assets such as servers, website, email, domain, etc. This method is used to gain access to company data through their web assets.
2. Internal Testing
This method is conducted internally through a malicious attack that aims to breach the firewall of a certain application. This method is used to simulate a rogue account, one from an employee who’s been the target of a phishing attack.
3. Blind Testing
A blind attack is used to simulate an attack on an unknown company or enterprise, and the person observing the attack have a real-time look into how an actual attack takes part in an application.
4. Double-Blind Testing
The last method of penetration testing is the double-blind testing in which both the “attacker” and the personnel in charge of protecting the assets have to keep each other off their movements. This type of method has proven to be most effective in stopping malicious attacks, as the security personnel receive real-time feedback from the hacker and are training to predict their next moves.
Penetration Testing in Melbourne
According to Invotec, a company in Melbourne that offers real-time penetration testing, penetration testing should be done at least once per quarter of the year. The optimal number would be four tests per year, once per quarter, in order to make sure that your systems are up to date with the latest safety protocols.
How Beneficial Is Penetration Testing For Your Business?
Depending on the size of your business, penetration testing is extremely beneficial for bigger companies who have a bigger stake on a market. Since bigger companies attract more people towards them, their data servers tend to be larger than smaller companies. This puts them at center stage in the eyes of hackers and people with malicious intent. These testings are exclusive and mutually beneficial measures of security since they uncover all the vulnerabilities involved in your web or system applications.
Since most of the testing methods, excluding double-blind and blind testing’s, will involve the weakness of a computer system’s WAF configuration, it uses the data such as logs to indicate and exploit these weaknesses.
Companies and cybersecurity personnel in these companies can benefit greatly from these tests as they give firsthand look into how an attack occurs. By doing these testing’s, cybersecurity personnel can train on the matter, subsequently, resulting in taking better security measures in the future.