Penetration testing or “ethical hack” is that next step on from vulnerability testing where we evaluate an application or networks ability to withstand an attack. It is a manual process completed by a certified ethical hacker who will behave and perform an attack exactly like a cyber criminal.
What is penetration testing or “ethical hacking”?
A penetration test or “ethical hack” evaluates an application’s or network’s ability to withstand against a real attack. The idea of a penetration test is for your systems or applications to be tested in a real scenario and faults and vulnerabilities found before hackers and cyber criminals can because they will cause real damage.
A penetration test begins by receiving explicit written consent that our pen testers can attempt to breach your application or network using the exact same tools, knowledge and methodologies used by malicious cyber criminals and hackers.
This process will give you a very good insight into the vulnerabilities you didn’t know existed and things that won’t always show on a vulnerability scan because penetration testing goes far beyond just an automated scan and requires human intelligence and interaction to find these weak areas.
How does a penetration test differ from a vulnerability scan?
Vulnerability scans evaluates your system for potential vulnerabilities or weak configurations and its largely automated and can only ever produce part of the security related issues. Penetration testing is a manual process performed by a experienced consultant that uses the results of a Port and Vulnerability scan as a starting point before digging deeper and using other skills and tools to gain access .
With the growing frequency and complexity of cyber attacks more companies are starting to invest in penetration testing.
The reality is you would rather perform a controlled attack where the parameters and information, weaknesses found are shared in a report that you can use to improve defense and detection rather than leaving it for the cyber criminals and hackers to find their way in.
A penetration test is a tiny cost compared to the damage caused by a cyber attack. It is estimated that a cyber attack costs a UK company £172,000 on average (Source)
It is essential you choose an experienced penetrating testing partner provider with real world knowledge and is aware of all the latest tools, exploits and vulnerabilities. Wizard Cyber are a trusted Cyber security partner to many organisations and penetration is a service that we are specialists.
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