In this article, we are going to cover what a pen test is, how it can benefit your business and the different areas that pen testing covers. We will also briefly discuss the insights that pen testing will provide and why it’s important to regularly test your cyber security systems and network for vulnerabilities.
What is penetration testing?
Pen testing involves simulating a cyber attack against your organisation’s network infrastructure to check for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.
Simulated breaches can be attempted against almost any part of your network, including APIs, servers, mobile and web applications, websites, and more. This allows us to uncover vulnerabilities in even the most specific areas and ensure that your entire network is as protected as possible against cyber-attacks.
Any vulnerabilities or insights uncovered through pen testing can be used to create patches and remedy problems within your systems. Due to the ever-evolving nature of cybercrime, though, regular pen testing is important to ensure your level of protection remains high.
What businesses is penetration testing good for?
Pen testing is great for any business that relies on storing sensitive information. It’s also vital for organisations that utilise a lot of external-facing assets, such as public login portals, web applications, or mobile applications.
If your business is reliant on revenue generated through the internet, regular pen testing is vital to ensure that you don’t suffer any costly service outages, leading to lost revenue.
If you are still unsure, ask yourself this question: if my business’ critical assets were to go down or information within our system was to be stolen, would it be adversely affected? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider regular pen testing.
What types of pen testing are there?
There are many different methods of pen testing, each of which either targets a different area of the network infrastructure or uses a different type of attack simulation.
External: An external pen test targets the assets of an organisation that are visible to the rest of the internet. These are public-facing assets such as a website, web or mobile application, or a DNS.
Internal: An internal pen test simulates an attack from an insider within the network. This could be a rogue employee or a cyber-attacker that breached the network previously. It can also simulate situations such as an employee’s password being stolen or a phishing attack.
Blind: A blind test involves the tester being given very little information before simulating an attack. Often, this will only be the name of the organisation being targeted. This is a great way to test how an actual attack would often take place.
Double–blind: In a double-blind test, both the tester and security personnel have no knowledge of the simulated attack before it takes place. This is the closest simulation to a real-world attack due to the lack of preparation time.
Targeted testing: This method of testing involves the testing team and security personnel working together in real-time. They inform each other of what they are doing during the simulation and feedback is provided to assist the security team in improving in the future.
There are other, more niche penetration testing methods that we haven’t covered here, but these are the most common forms. If you are looking for a specific kind of pen testing, get in touch with us today to speak with one of our pen testing experts.
How can penetration testing benefit my business?
By regularly scheduling pen tests, you can ensure that your business’s key assets are protected against cyber-attacks.
This greatly reduces the risk of being affected by these attacks, which can lead to data breaches, loss of reputation, and a costly clean-up process. For more information on the consequences of a cyber-attack, take a look at our recent article.
If your business is considering penetration testing or is looking for a new supplier, get in touch with us. Our cyber security and pen testing experts will be happy to talk to you about your requirements and answer any questions you might have.