Read on for a complete overview of what continuous penetration testing is and why you should consider it. When it comes to network security, experts use network penetration testing to find places a hacker could exploit in various systems, networks, network devices and hosts. They look for ways a hacker could compromise an organization, gain access to sensitive data or retrieve it without authorization. Penetration testing is the process of testing a computer system, network or web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.
At the same time, a vulnerability assessment is a non-intrusive scan that looks for potential vulnerabilities in a network. It can range from a simple penetration test of a web application to a large-scale enterprise-wide penetration test, also known as red-teaming or adversarial simulation. Because headline-grabbing security breaches typically affect large enterprises, it’s all too easy for small and medium-sized businesses to assume they won’t be targeted by cybercrime. However, we cannot overemphasize the potentially devastating impact of cyberattacks on businesses of all sizes. This is a reality that all businesses face, and it is the reason why all businesses should conduct penetration testing on a regular basis.
Ethical hackers who perform this type of penetration testing usually document every step of the process at each network layer. This way, you can be sure how secure your company’s server is, even if you use multiple protection systems. Penetration testing and vulnerability scanning are both essential aspects of network security, but they have different goals. Penetration testing is used to test a network’s defenses against a real-world attack.
Physical penetration testing measures the strength of an organization’s existing security controls. They can overcome physical barriers such as sensors, cameras web application security testing and locks to gain physical access to sensitive company areas. Penetration testing allows companies to assess the overall security of their IT infrastructure.
Better cyber risk management leads to smarter security investments and a better return on investment. The scope of these penetration tests can encompass your entire IT environment or focus only on specific aspects, such as web application security, human security, systems accessing the Internet, or internal network controls. The real goal of all these types of tests and methods is to examine your cybersecurity measures from the attacker’s perspective and gain valuable insight into vulnerabilities and areas for improvement. Pen testers perform authorized cyber attacks to gain access to sensitive information, simulating what a real attack would look like, how your security controls would behave, and the extent of a potential data breach. However, using experienced testers can often uncover more subtle issues that your internal IT staff may not be aware of. Penetration testing can help you improve your organization’s internal vulnerability assessments and risk and management processes.
Penetration testing can be a good way for organizations with limited resources to jumpstart cybersecurity initiatives, but organizations must not rely solely on penetration testing. For each pentest, Horangi consultants have established rules to ensure that assessments are controlled and business disruption is minimized. In any case, however, there is still a risk that the pentest assessment will disrupt or impact the operation of these services. In the rare event that this happens, Horangi recommends that its technical team remain available.
The resulting scenarios provide an overall strategic view of the potential exploitation methods, risk, and impact of an intrusion. Covert tests typically have defined limits, such as stopping testing when a certain level of access is reached or a certain type of damage can be achieved as the next test step. For example, a penetration tester might violate physical security controls and procedures to hack into a network, steal equipment, intercept confidential information, or disrupt communications. Care must be taken when conducting physical security checks: Security personnel must know how to verify the validity of the auditor’s actions, such as through a point of contact or documentation.