What is Penetration Testing?


More and more companies working with Internet technologies, big data or cloud storage are thinking about what is a penetration test and why it is needed. But this is not the only question you have to answer. It is also imperative to choose a reliable penetration testing company. This is a prerequisite for productive work and getting reliable results. A very detailed article on what is pen test and who cares to do it can be found on the page https://www.dataart.com/. In today’s guide, we will give you only the most important concise information.

What is a pentest?

A penetration test is a simulated cyberattack on a client’s computer system. This way you can find vulnerabilities. This type of testing usually includes attempts to break into the following mechanisms:

  • Application protocol interfaces;
  • External and internal servers.

These actions allow you to identify the insecurity of the input data, which is sensory to attacks by code injection.

Most common 5 steps:

  1. Planning and reconnaissance consists of defining the testing objective and its scope. Testers also describe systems and test methods. Also, this stage often includes the collection of information.
  2. Scanning allows you to comprehend how the target application react to sundry encroachments. For this, statistical and dynamic analysis is used. In the first case, the code is checked to assess its work. In the second case, the analysis is carried out while the app is working. This method gives more accurate results about program productivity.
  3. Gaining Access involves the use of the most common types of attacks. When vulnerabilities are identified, testers determine how these security issues can be exploited. Typically, for this purpose, privilege escalation, data hacking, or traffic interception attempts.
  4. Maintaining access helps to see if a hacker can gain permanent access to the system using a space in the code. As a test, complex persistent threats are used, which remain in the application for several months. Thus, they check the possibility of stealing confidential company data.
  5. Analysis includes a general summary of the results obtained from all types of testing. Typically, the report reflects vulnerabilities, the ability to access confidential data, the time during which the hacker remained unnoticed in the system.

Best practices

There are 5 most common techniques:

  • External testing aligns assets which are available on the Internet.
  • Internal testing is a mock phishing attack.
  • Blind testing is done in real time. The tester receives no input other than the target. The security service in the process can assess the speed of events in a real attack.
  • Double blind testing involves the work of a tester without prior training. The security service is also trying to prevent the tester from breaking through the protection in real time.
  • Target testing combines the activities of the tester and the security team. The alleged hacker informs security of his actions and the weaknesses in the system that he discovered.

The Difference Between Pen Tests and Vulnerability Scans

The difference between penetration testing and vulnerability scanning lies in the methods used. Scanning reveals weak points of the system. It does not give advice and does not commit chaotic actions. When conducting penetration tests, the alleged hacker tries to exploit any vulnerabilities found.

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