As technology advances, so do the hackers who want to infiltrate it. This gain of unauthorized access to compromising networks and digital devices is an ongoing threat.
While thinking of a hacker, you might envision a teenage kid sitting in his isolated room, hacking computers for fun. However, in the modern world, hackers have gotten too advanced, so it is considered a billion-dollar business.
According to Forbes, hackers in the first half of 2019 stole $4 billion from their victims. Such big numbers only tempt others to get good at hacking, putting innocent people’s data and vulnerable devices at risk.
Something had to be done to tackle this global issue, and that is where Penetration tests came in! What could have been a better way to fight modern hackers if not current pentests?
What Is a Penetration Test?
A pentest or penetration test is a cyber-attack that you stimulate for your device’s vulnerability assessment. When it comes to web applications, pentests are security measures commonly used as an augmented WAF (Web Application Firewall).
Penetration tests involve an attempted breaching of applications systems such as frontend/backend servers and Application Protocol Interfaces (API). Its purpose is to uncover any security vulnerabilities, such as unsanitized inputs, thus susceptible to attacks of code injections.
The insights provided by these tests can help you fine-tune your WAF’s security policies and fix any security vulnerabilities detected.
How Does the Penetration Test Work?
Penetration tests are unlike other cybersecurity evaluation methods since they can be adapted to any organization or industry. Hence, it all depends on the operations and infrastructure of your organization.
With the following sex steps, pentests create a set of results that proactively help organizations update their security protocols:
The procedure of this step can either be elaborate or simple, depending on your organization’s needs. If the organization has not decided which type of vulnerabilities to target, then this may take a lot of resources and time. If your company or organization has not already conducted an operating system audit, this may become a lengthy process. Once you have already carried these tests out, they may be easier to perform.
- Device an attack plan
Before hiring pentesters or ethical hackers, your company’s IT department would have to design one or more cyber attacks that would be used to perform the pentest. At this point, it would be essential to define which level of access the pen-testers have to the operating system.
- Select a good team of security professionals
The next step is to select a capable team of testers to ensure your pentest’s success. Under this step, you would need to evaluate your employee’s specialties and choose the ones best suited for this job. You can hire certified security professionals and expert consultants to carry out this security testing if you want.
- Determine the type of stolen data
If you are hiring a team of ethical hackers to steal something, you might as well know what it is. Knowing the type of stolen data has an immense impact on the strategies, techniques, and security tools your hackers use.
- Perform the pentest
Once everything is in place, it is time to get to the security testing. This may be a very nuanced and complicated part since much automated software is used by testers, such as Nmap, Wireshark, Kali Linux, and Metasploit.
Integrate the results of the report
This is the most crucial step of the entire process. These results should be detailed so the organization can configure the WAF settings before conducting a second test run. cyber
What Are the Types of Pentests?
The remarkable thing about penetration tests is that they come in various options. Following are the best 10 pentests that can help you save your devices:
External pentests target a company’s assets that are visible on the internet. These assets can be the company’s website, the web application, DNS (Domain Name Servers), or email. Its main goal is to gain access to and extract valuable data.
In internal pentests, a tester is used to attack an asset’s firewall. Unlike external pentests that only have access to visibly available assets; the tester of internal pentests can access whatever is behind the application’s firewall. You might think that this emulates leaving a rogue employee within the operating system when it is more like an employee whose credentials had been stolen by a phishing attack.
In a blind pentest, the pentester only gets to have the name of the enterprise that is being targeted. It allows the security personnel to view how an actual violation would take place.
While blind testing involves the security personnel having some knowledge of the attack stimulated, double-blind testing involves no prior knowledge being provided to the cyber security personnel. It means they would not have any defenses ready for the attempted breach.
In this case, the security personnel and the tester would know the intended breach. This knowledge makes them work together and keep each other appraised of their movements. This gives the security team a real-time experience of what the hacker might view.
Web application tests are self-explanatory. As their name suggests, they examine the overall security and the risk factors. This security testing helps assess any custom applications or websites that might include coding or developmental flaws which can be vulnerable. A certain number of applications require testing, and static and dynamic pages should be provided while testing.
Wireless Penetration Testing
This kind of testing can identify any frailty in encryption, vulnerable access points, or WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) weaknesses. The tester should provide the number of wireless networks and their locations to be assessed as this test specifically targets the wireless protocols and local area networks.
Configuration and Build Reviews
All kinds of misconfiguration, including those of firewalls, app servers, routers, and faults across the web, can be identified by this review method. Network and server build defects can also be treated. The specific builds or configurations to be reviewed should be provided to the tester.
Since there are many home appliances and other products with software now, it puts them at risk of being hacked as well. IoT Penetration Testers infiltrate their system to keep your house, car, and offices safe too.
Source Code Testing
A source code is a program in a permanent form that can be modified or updated later. The source code testing is an automated task done particularly before selling or distributing a computer for debugging. It also analyses any errors that might have been overlooked initially.
What Are the Benefits of Penetration Tests?
By reading this, you already know how penetration tests can be beneficial. Let us list down a few of their advantages:
- They can determine how robust the control of your system is.
- They can find the security weaknesses in an operating system.
- They support any compliance with security regulations (such as HIPAA, PCI, DSS, and GDPR).
- They provide quantitative and qualitative examples of the current security posture and the budget priorities for its management.
With all these pros at hand, why would one not want to go for a pentest? After all, it saves your device and data from being violated, stolen, or manipulated.
The only way to save your devices from modern hackers is by using these current pentests. They will not just help you quickly detect the security vulnerabilities of your computer but also help you patch what is at risk of being hacked.
With various options, you can easily choose which vulnerability assessment to go for. Once selected, you must attack the targeted application, software, or device, detect its security weaknesses, and fix them. This is your time to be one step ahead of the hacker and close any opening he might have found.