Penetration Testing

The Single Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Penetration Testing

With new and sophisticated technology comes evermore complicated cyber-attacks.

Human error and inefficient controls can easily reveal the most complex system to security vulnerabilities, which may go unnoticed for some time.

Therefore, it would be advisable to invest in penetration testing if you want to remain proactive against the potential threat of a cyber-attack. Organizations such as can help simulate the threats posed to your company and identify how secure and prepared your systems are.

Although there’s no single security system that’s assured to be impassable, penetration testing needs to be your most important step towards beefing up your system security. Read on to learn more about its importance.

What’s Penetration Testing?

Also known as pen testing, penetration testing is a simulated cyberattack against a company’s system or software to identify their strengths and vulnerabilities.

It is essential to recognize that penetration testing is different from the vulnerability assessment. While the pen test looks for weaknesses in a system or network, vulnerability assessment looks for the known weaknesses.

The good thing about a pen test is that it lets you identify whether the present defensive mechanisms used on the network are sufficiently strong to solve the prospective security breaches.

The Best Pen Test Procedures

Pen testers use several tactics or even a mixture of methodologies when performing penetration testing. Your objectives determine the best methodology to use.

Internal Testing

The internal testing is done from a user account and then presented to the tester. With this info, the tester will simulate an attack using a malicious insider to identify whether it’s possible to access or even take action against unauthorized resources. Basically, the method tests the rogue of internal staff.

External Testing

It tests the organizational assets visible to the outsiders via a network. Well, these include DNS (domain name servers), email, company websites, FTP servers, exploitable devices or even the web application itself.

Blind Testing

It’s quite similar to the external testing only that it’s offered with the randomly targeted company’s name. However, it needs extra time to collect info from posing as an ordinary external tester.

The Double-blind Testing

It is a special pen test because the tester and client company work blindly. Yes, the company’s IT specialists are uninformed of the simulated attack, and only a handful of individuals on the customer side are well-informed of the procedure.

Different Stages of Penetration Testing

Pen test has five stages. Here are the stages:

Planning and Reconnaissance

It is the first stage and involves identifying the test’s goal and scope. It’s then followed by collecting the first data plus intelligence on your target to make it easier for you to recognize how the target functions.


Here, the tester analyses how the target system manages various attack efforts. It is available in two forms, the static analysis and dynamic analysis.

Static analysis – it entails assessing the application’s code to forecast how it performs during runtime.
Dynamic analysis – it involves inspecting app’s code as it runs. It offers real-time awareness into how the app operates.

Gaining Access

During this stage, the tester tries to gain entry to discover the company target susceptibilities, such as cross-site and backdoor script. Basically, the tester searches for the network’s vulnerabilities by intercepting traffic, escalating privileges or even stealing data.

Maintaining Access

In this stage, the tester will assess whether it’s possible to exploit the identified weakness though system manipulation.


The last stage involves the testers trying to conceal their tracks by eradicating any possible detection. The tester will collect the penetration result attempts into a report and then assess the vulnerabilities.

The Benefits of Carrying Out a Pen Test

A pen test’s main goal is to ensure vital data is secure and safe against unauthorized malicious attacks. The pen testers need to assess the technical weaknesses, design flaws, plus other exposures to strengthen software efficiently.

Another goal is to recognize security exposures in a network, system or any other technical infrastructure. Afterwards, the security specialists utilize the collected info to eradicate the susceptibilities before cyber attackers can take advantage of them.

Here is a simple breakdown of pen test pros:

  • It assists in identifying the type of attack that may attack a software.
  • It reveals the weaknesses that could arise due to the mixture of multiple low-risk weaknesses.
  • It assists in identifying the point of weaknesses.
  • It tells the strength and weaknesses of security software.
  • It shows the ideal influence of successful attacks on the company’s general operations.
  • It lets you design a much more effective response and disaster recovery plans that make it easy for you to lower the downtime should you encounter a security breach.
  • A third party will give you a set of neutral and unbiased recommendations.

The Final Take

As a company, you don’t necessarily have to understand the terms described above deeply. For this reason, it would be wise to outsource external specialists. However, you have to remember that your company could be at risk, regardless of its type and size.

All companies are a target for a prospective data breach, ransomware or malware, system hacks or other typical attacks. As said earlier, a pen test will identify the weaknesses in your security mechanisms and suggest the preventative actions you need to undertake.