What is Penetration testing?

A penetration or pen test is an authorized simulated cyber attack performed on a computer system to find and check for exploitable vulnerabilities. To identify and illustrate the effects of system flaws on the business, penetration testers use the same tools, strategies, and procedures as attackers. Penetration testing replicates different types of cyber-attacks that can threaten a company. A system's ability to survive attacks from both authenticated and unauthenticated positions can be determined through penetration testing. 

Some of the largest companies worldwide are using penetration testing to keep one step ahead of malicious attacks. By purposely attacking your own network, you can identify any weak spots in the system's defenses before a potential breach. 

Benefits of becoming a certified python programmer

Systems and software were created to remove potentially harmful security issues. The software testing course in Ghaziabad provides insight into how successfully that goal was accomplished. Penetration testing can benefit an organization in the following ways-

  1. Find weak spots in the system's defense.
  2. Identify how reliable the controls are.
  3. Encourage adherence to data security and privacy laws (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR)
  4. Gives management-relevant qualitative and quantitative examples of the current security landscape and budget priorities.
  5. Discovers flaws in upstream security assurance methods, including automated tools, configuration and coding standards, architecture analysis, and other less intensive vulnerability assessment operations.
  6. Identifying security holes in software, both known and unknown, including minor ones that, by themselves, won't cause any concern but that attackers can exploit.

Steps of Penetration testing

Penetration testers simulate malicious attacks. They follow a plan that includes the following steps:

  •  Planning and reconnaissance

The first stage involves defining the objectives and parameters of a test, the systems to be examined, and the testing techniques to be applied. Pen testers gather as much information as possible from public or private sources to better understand how a target works and its strategy. Some sources are Internet searches, mail servers, domain registration information retrieval, non-intrusive network scanning, and occasionally dumpster diving. Pen testers can use this knowledge to visualize the target's potential vulnerabilities and attack surface. Depending on the parameters and goals of the pen test, reconnaissance may change.

  • Scanning

The next step is comprehending how the target application will react to different intrusion attempts. Pen testers use tools to look for flaws in the target website or system, such as open services, application security problems, and open source vulnerabilities. Penetration testers employ various tools, depending on their findings during research and the test. They typically use two types of analysis-

Static analysis: Examining the source code of a program to determine how it will function when run. These tools can scan the entire code in a single pass.

Dynamic analysis: In this case, the source code is examined in its running state. This scanning method is more useful because it gives a real-time view of the application's performance.

  • Gaining access

This step involves identifying a target's vulnerabilities through web app attacks such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection or malware, and a backdoor. Testers try to exploit all vulnerabilities the attackers may cause by escalating privileges, stealing data, intercepting traffic, etc., to understand the damage. Testers choose the best techniques and tools for each test scenario to gain access to the system.

  • Maintaining access

Once gained access, testers must maintain connectivity with the target long enough for their simulated attack to succeed, exfiltrating data, modifying it, or exploiting functionality. This stage aims to determine whether the flaw can be used to establish a persistent presence in the exploited system. The idea is to mimic advanced persistent threats, which can stay in a system for months, causing harm to an organization. It is essential to show all the possible impacts.

  • Analysis

After the penetration test, analysis of information such as the specific vulnerabilities that were attacked, sensitive information that was accessed, and how long it took for the pen tester to stay undetected in the system is made into a report. Security personnel examines this data to assist in configuring a company's WAF settings and other application security tools to fix vulnerabilities and defend against upcoming attacks.

Types of Penetration testing

  • External or Black-box Testing

In this testing, the ethical hacker needs to gain prior knowledge of the company's IT infrastructure or security. External penetration tests target the external technology of the company, such as the company website and external network servers. Tests begin in a remote location away from the network, where the tester must be aware of any existing security measures. Black box tests are often used to replicate an actual cyber attack and are time-consuming.

  • Internal Testing

An ethical hacker uses the company's internal network when doing an internal test. This kind of test helps figure out how much harm a dissatisfied employee can do from behind the company's firewall. Software Testing Training in Ghaziabad provides hands-on training in this type of testing.

  • Gray Box Testing

The gray box allows the tester partial access to the company network. Gray boxes are frequently used when testing a particular public-facing application with a private server backend. By combining these pieces of information, the tester can attempt to use specific services to break into other areas of the network.

  • Blind Testing

In this testing, the hacker is provided with no more background information besides the name of the target company. This gives security personnel a real-time view of how an application attack might go. You can enroll in a Software Testing Training Course in Ghaziabad to learn more about this type of testing.

  • Double-blind Testing

In this case, nearly no one in the firm, even the IT and security experts defending against the attack, is aware that the pen test is taking place.