What is penetration testing? It is one of the most critical steps in cyber security. It involves hacking the system to determine the vulnerability.
Penetration testing is a cyber security test applied with ethical hacking methods. Cyber attacks are carried out deliberately on systems, networks, sites, and applications. The security status of the targets is checked in line with the attacks carried out.
Penetration testing is a preliminary step for implementing practical security steps. Reviewing the organization’s security policies and making regulatory interventions is essential. In addition, it supports the creation of security awareness in the people working in the organization.
What is penetration testing?
Penetration testing is done to evaluate a system’s infrastructure by exploiting vulnerabilities. Ethical hacking methods are used throughout the test period. All inappropriate configurations that occur in the system can be detected.
Penetration testing can be done manually or automatically. During the test period, various threats and dangers are revealed in the relevant system. After successfully exploiting vulnerabilities, testers gradually look for more susceptibilities.
Strategic conclusions are drawn from information about all security vulnerabilities detected by penetration testing. Plans are then made to begin work on improving security. The people who need to prepare the techniques are the network system and information technology managers.
You can think of the penetration test as a kind of exercise. Since all tests are done with ethical hacking methods, there is no approach to damage the system or exploit vulnerabilities. Everything is done safely in a controlled environment.
What are the stages of penetration testing?
With penetration testing, you can identify security vulnerabilities. You do this before attackers take advantage of the vulnerabilities. You can take comprehensive measures without experiencing an actual penetration violation once you progress through the proper stages.
Preparation for the test
Before starting the penetration test, a solid preparation phase must be passed. It is essential to clarify the scope of the test. The persons who will participate in the test should be determined. In addition, attention should be paid to the correct evaluation of the results.
After deciding what kind of work will be done within the scope of the penetration test, it should be looked at who will do the test. Required access and privileges must be granted for testing. All details necessary for the test to be successful must be examined.
Discovering the target
A thorough examination of the target is essential before starting the tests. Different types of discoveries can affect the course of the test. Everything that is technically necessary should be clear. IP addresses, firewalls used, and other factors should be known.
It is not only the technical aspect of the job that is effective in discovering the target. At the same time, personal data such as the names of people working in the organization, e-mail addresses, titles used, and other details are precious for testing success.
Doing the penetration test
After all the information needed about the target is clear, the test can be started. Exploiting security weaknesses is the most critical part of the job. Each discovered security vulnerability may enable access to more endpoints in the network.
People who are part of the test try to dig deep into the network to discover all potential threats. Every detail is vital in the testing process; they all need to be best noted. There should be a record of every step taken.
Reporting of results
Testers should report what they used to infiltrate the system, what they exploited, what vulnerabilities they discovered, and much more. If every step taken during the test process is recorded, the success rate of the test increases.
After the reports are submitted, testers should leave no traces behind. Then, the necessary arrangements are made to close the security gaps. A penetration test must be performed again after the regulations are finalized.
Why is penetration testing important?
The penetration test is a test that should be done regularly. This is the easiest way to ensure network security. A newly added device or feature may cause security problems in the network. For this reason, the penetration test should never be neglected.
- Identifying security risks: Penetration testing thoroughly evaluates the organization’s security system. The ability of the system to protect from unwanted interference, such as unauthorized access, is measured.
- Managing vulnerabilities: Penetration test provides accurate information about real security threats. As a result of the tests, you can discover the most critical aspects of security vulnerabilities and take the necessary precautions.
- Leveraging security: There is no standard approach to prevent a security breach. Various mechanisms can be used to strengthen the defense. You can find the proper method with tests.
- Increasing confidence: You should make sure that your security measures are adequate. Even if you think your security infrastructure is terrible, you should proceed with tests, not assumptions.
- Discovering strengths: It’s not enough to look at the trouble spots when taking specific security measures. Penetration tests show you what works, what doesn’t, and which points are solid.
Penetration testing brings organizations together with industry best practices. They review all the security procedures, allowing you to discover potential paths attackers can follow. Thus, you can take measures before the effects of the attacks grow.
Cyber attacks are getting more and more sophisticated. Organizations shouldn’t be exposed to various problems. It is necessary to make the security measures more stringent by regularly performing penetration testing.