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Penetration Testing: Prime Purpose & Strategies

Penetration Testing: Prime Purpose & Strategies

Penetration testing services induce many quests in an organization’s mind. That is quite common as pen testers seek authorizations to access your network infrastructure. They use sophisticated techniques that simulate a real-world attack. And before you grant these rights, you need to know the prime objectives and what benefits your enterprise from them.

Organizational requirements for conducting pen tests can vary depending on their service line, domain, and current risk scenarios. There isn’t a parallel answer for every enterprise. It depends on their security essentials. So, the best solution is to speak about your security concerns, and there you end up with an ideal penetration testing company. Moreover, a tailored approach will best fit enterprise pen test goals.

Introduction to Penetration Testing Service

However, the prime objective of a pen test is identifying and eliminating existing security flaws and weaknesses present in the system. But to make it specific to the enterprise objectives, you need to reflect on some queries. It can be the type of security risk you get most concerned about or if there is a specific compliance requirement. Similarly, a pen test widely sticks to the data risks and level of data protection you expect against it. For addressing the issue, determining your cyber security objectives is vital.

  • Identifying your security objectives

If you have the right picture of security needs, the next step is to transform them into objectives specific to conducting pen tests. Application penetration testing  and network penetration testing are the two most wanted services considering the scattered nature of networks and rising application security weaknesses. Similarly, enterprise goals could also stick to protecting certain critical information. Regulatory compliance requirements are yet another element of focus behind a pen test. Also, enterprises look to test how their human resources respond to a security crisis or situation.

  • Industry-specific assessment requirements

Adherence to specific regulations becomes a top requirement at times. If your enterprise handles credit card payments, compliance with PCI security standards is a need. Likewise, HIPAA privacy and regulations stick to the healthcare industry. And defence contractors should look to follow the CMMC framework. In this way, each enterprise will need to comply with specific regulations and frameworks. And penetration testing is the foremost and essential thing to perform in such conditions. By doing this, enterprises could exactly spot the security loopholes, and if not patched in the early stages, might lead to serious security issues. Hence, penetration testing services will help you eliminate such risks and penalties following non-compliance.

The prime purpose of penetration testing services

As mentioned earlier, the prime intention behind penetration testing services is to identify security weaknesses in a network, system, or piece of software. Once these risks are spotted, it would be easy for the enterprise security team to mitigate them through a remediation roadmap/action plan. Here are the other objectives that jerk the very essence of unlocking a penetration testing company for enterprise IT security.

  •  To create, maintain and change an organization’s security policy

Taking a look back at your deployed security policy is a vital thing to do. Any deficiency in the existing security policy could be an open entrance for the attackers. Or, if these security policies aren’t well communicated to your employees and inefficient in practice, you might need to revise it and provide further training to your employees.

  • To assure compliance to standards/regulatory norms

Major standards like the HIPAA and PCI requires pen testing in its intrinsic form. Enterprises need to identify the existing weaknesses and comply with the said requirements. Any non-conformity or failure to achieve compliance requirements could lead to hefty fines and penalties. By performing application and network penetration testing, organizations can determine if these protections are upright and safe.

  • To furnish employee security awareness

Some pen tests typically focus on finding employee response towards phishing and social engineering attacks. BY performing these, you can get a clear idea of how well your employees stand against approaching threats and who needs additional reminders on safety. These tests could uncover certain areas missed by the awareness teams. Thereby, enterprises could focus on the sorted elements, improving the overall security awareness and posture.

  • To identify how well you respond to an incident

Even well-protected environments aren’t safe against new gen threat vectors or sophisticated attacks. You need to periodically test your security controls and identify how well your security team reacts to a particular incident. If pen test goes as a mock drill without providing any information to your IT personnel, it can give you many possible reflection levels of your current security resilience.

Different strategies of penetration testing services

Here follows some of the common strategies used by pen testers. Either they use any of the techniques with specific requirement or a combination of them. It purely relies on acceptable security levels of organization and their business goals for performing the test.

  • External testing

An external pen test takes up the perspective and vision of an outside attacker who has no privilege or limited privilege on your system/network. Only those servers and devices that appear in the public domain falls in the scope of testing. It can be FTP servers, web, mail, firewalls, and all devices open to public access. The test probes for open ports, injection attacks, login attempts, services, and information leakage.

  • Internal testing

Here in internal testing, a user account id supplied as input for the penetration eye. The tester searches the loopholes and checks if the account can provide him with resources that aren’t authorized to reach. Similarly, it can discover the level of harm alongside measures the potential impact that a compromised account could connect. So, if your systems are working on mid to average privilege rule, the level of impact could stretch beyond expectancy.

  • Blind testing

It is a type of external testing where the tester has a limited information like a company name or its domain. Here, the testers simulate an attacker who has selected the target randomly and exploits from there onwards. The test usefulness depends on distinctive needs, and there aren’t many cases that seek the particular technique. The test is a bit far from external pen testing, and the testers need to spend additional time reaching the former level.

  • Double blind testing

Here, it looks more promising than a blind test. The testers and the target side security personal will have zero information or are blind considering the testing process. Only few people will know about the testing process, and it include no one from the IT security division. And for them, it is real-world attack. The testing aims to determine their capability to respond back against an intrusion attempt.

  • Black box testing

Black box testing runs parallel to a blind test. Testers only have the particulars of what systems they are targeting and holds no additional facts other than what is visible on public. Any additional information is enumerated from available resources. The test can help find vulnerabilities and whether the organization has made too much information available to the public than what is normally required.

  • White box testing

Another word for clear box testing is white box testing, where the testers get adequate details before the engagement. It could be system network mappings, system configuration details or source codes. It determines what level of exploit will an attacker have in minimum time. Additionally, the testing helps you dig how much exploit a malicious insider could connect with your enterprise.

Summing Up

So far, we have seen the prime purposes and strategies leaning for penetration testing services. Any organization looking for cyber readiness should consider pen testing as a significant and foremost need. Opting the red-eye service line help organizations detect their security weaknesses in early stages. As a result, efficient patching could get performed in minimum amount of time. It also helps you determine the resiliency of the deployed security controls and personnel against real-world cyber-attacks. However, the only thing to look beyond is to connect an expert third-party service provider or consultancy to carry out your penetration testing requirements.