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Security undoubtedly has always been the topmost concern since the beginning of time and technology is not any exception. With the evolution of technology, it has become omnipresent but unfortunately, this evolution has also opened the gates for the ‘evolved uninvited’ - Hackers.
Active organizations in the digital ecosystem have continuously been adding upgraded security functionalities to their existing applications and implementing new strategies to provide better and safer services to their customers. This action has majorly found its usability in world wide web because it is generally said that presence on the web is the most effective way to increase brand awareness and establish your product into the user’s mind. However, it is also important to understand that security vulnerabilities are not only limited to the web, in fact, can also be induced (intentionally or unintentionally) into the physical systems which have a prolonged exposure.
The Scope of Penetration Testing
Also known as pen-testing, Penetration Testing Services are a set of an authorized and scheduled process that thoroughly analyzes the network for any potential vulnerabilities and tries to exploit them at the network level or at the code level. Pen-testing is a complex manual security testing process in which the authorized tester does the job of an unauthorized hacker to break into the company’s network security. An effective pen-testing process should:
Confirm the existence of vulnerabilities
Demonstrate the impact of the vulnerability exploit on the system
A demonstration of how the solution can be linked to the loophole
Demonstrate the use of effective technologies to acquire improved control over the system
External Penetration Testing
External pen-testing tests the company assets from an external environment, such as the hacker. In the course of an external pen-test, the ethical hacker or tester tries to gain access into the network architecture by leveraging the loopholes or vulnerabilities detected externally. The thoroughfare can also be attempted by gaining access to secure and privileged data such as payment info, email and other secured documents.
The tester tries to gather every piece of information from the targeted assets such as vulnerabilities, code flaws, open ports and general access related information. The moment, tester successfully exploits the loophole and creates a breach the objective of the pen-test is achieved. The tester then proceeds towards the next step of the test - internal penetration testing.
Internal Penetration Testing
This is the next step after external pen-testing, in which the tester checks the efficiency of the security network internally. In this testing technique, the ethical intruder gets to leverage the exploited vulnerability discovered during the external pen-test. From this initial breach point internal attacks are triggered, which bypasses a poorly secured domain network and may give complete control to the attacker. Various attacks are launched from multiple points to make sure that no loophole goes undetected/unattacked.
The information found on these attacked networks is then leveraged to exploit the deeper network. With a successful internal pen-test, the attacker may gain access to the entire mainframe and once this objective is achieved the test is concluded.
Advantages of Penetration Testing
Detect Security Threats - A first-hand penetration test evaluates the defending strength of the security system for its users, applications, data and networks from internal and external intrusions. Pen-tests easily detect and dodges the unapproved intruders for making unauthorized attempts to protected assets. With regular and updated penetration testing, organizations can keep themselves safe from security breaches.
Effectively prevent the rate of network downtime - The network downtime arising due to a security breach could be really hazardous and expensive for the organization. The recuperation, in this case, maybe quite steep and may include retention programs, legal issues, user protection, ROI issues and IT remediation efforts. If an organization needs to evade these aforementioned practices then penetration testing is surely the proactive saver here.
Tests your cyber defense capability - A strategized penetration test helps both ways. It measures the organization’s cyber defense capability and also evaluates the responsiveness of the internal security team in times of breach. In the case of an intrusion, it shows how swift the security teams are and how efficiently they are able to block the tools used for the attack, loopholes and the penetration tester. Pen-test also keeps a check on the automatic threat detection system, if executed in place by the organization, whether or not it is sending immediate alerts to concerned departments in case of an intrusion.
Ensure business continuity and maintain trust - Nobody believes someone who is not able to protect themselves. A security intrusion leaves a very negative impact and affects the loyalty of the customers, suppliers, investors and stakeholders. A pen-test ensures that your business runs smoothly with round the clock safety and negative disruption impact. The tests keep a stringent check on the network downtime, data breach and any potential losses in accessibility.
Effective Penetration tests helps in managing risks properly. Thus the necessity of any such tests, conducted internally or externally, cannot be understated. The tests may take time in identifying the potential flaws, but would definitely pay in long-term towards safeguarding the security infrastructure of the organization. Ignoring the same is NOT recommended because at this very moment someone somewhere unauthorized, maybe trying to create a breach into your system.
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