Presenting companies with a detailed vulnerability report and recommendations for improvement, network penetration testing enables IT departments to validate existing security controls and meet security compliance requirements while allowing managers to better prioritize investment for remediation efforts.
Network penetration testing is used by organizations to evaluate the susceptibility of information systems to network attacks. By identifying and actually exploiting the weaknesses found in networks, hosts, and devices, penetration testing goes beyond simple vulnerability assessment. Rather than providing a lengthy list of issues an organization may or may not choose to address, network penetration testing helps enterprises grasp the real level of risk posed by specific vulnerabilities.
Benefits of Penetration Testing
- Proactive identification of the criticality of the vulnerabilities and false positives given by the automated scanners. This helps in prioritizing the remedy action, whether the vulnerability is to be patched immediately or not based on the criticality.
- Penetration testing helps complying the audit regulatory standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA and GLBA. This avoids the huge fines for non-compliance.
- A security breach may cost heavily to an organization. There may be a network downtime leading to a heavy business loss. Penetration testing helps in avoiding these financial falls by identifying and addressing the risks.
Types of Network Penetration Test
Depending on the needs, there are two types of penetration testing:
- External Penetration Test
- Internal Penetration Test
Depending on the knowledge, there are three types of penetration testing:
- Black box
- White box
- Gray box
Penetration Testing: Above & Beyond
This test shows what a hacker can see into the network and exploits the vulnerabilities seen over the internet. Here the threat is from an external network from internet. This test is performed over the internet, bypassing the firewall.
This test shows risks from within the network. This test is performed by connecting to the internal LAN.
This test is carried out with zero knowledge about the network. The tester is required to acquire knowledge using penetration testing tools or social engineering techniques. The publicly available information over internet may be used by the penetration tester.
This test is called complete knowledge testing. Testers are given full information about the target network. This information can be the host IP address, domains owned, applications used, network diagrams, security defences like IPs or IDs in the network.
The tester stimulates an inside employee. The tester is given an account on the internal network and standard access to the network. This test assesses internal threats from employees within the company.
Why Network Penetration Testing
The IT infrastructure is becoming more complex and wider. The internal networks have been given access over the internet to the legitimate users along with the user credentials and the privilege level, outside the firewall, which increases the surface of attack. Such infrastructure needs to be assessed regularly for security threats.
Identification of what type of resources are exposed to the outer world, determining the security risk involved in it, detecting the possible types of attacks and preventing those attacks.