Penetration Testing: More Than Just a Compliance | EC-Council Official Blog

Penetration testing, often referred to as pen testing, is a scheduled and approved cyberattack that tests the security of a computer network. Because this testing process is so involved, many business owners rely on the professionals, such as Cobalt. Understanding the multiple stages involved will help business owners to be prepared for the extensive process that is carried out and why it is important. 

Steps Involved in Penetration Testing

There are multiple steps involved in the penetration testing process. Because of the length of these steps and the expertise involved, many people hire a professional to come in and take care of them. With pen testing, companies can find out how secure their network is, so they can further protect themselves from possible cybersecurity issues now and in the future. 

  • The first step in the process is a meeting held between the company owner and the security professionals. This meeting helps to outline the goals of the pen testing to determine the scope of intervention. Once the intelligence has been gathered and the testing setup prepared, the next phase in the testing process can commence. 
  • Next is the scanning phase. During penetration testing, the goal is to scan the system to determine any vulnerable areas. In the testing process, the testers are attempting to discover how the system will respond when possible threats arise. There are a couple of different methods that can be used during these scanning processes, including static and dynamic analysis. Static analyzes the code and dynamic analyzes the code’s running state at the time of testing.
  • During the third step in the process, the experts will attempt to gain access by using multiple means. SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and backdoors are all used. Testers will find the vulnerabilities and then attempt to exploit them as much as possible.
  • In the next stage, the testers will see how long they can maintain their access. If the tester can maintain a persistent application in an exploited system, this means there are too many vulnerabilities that need to be addressed by the system and network owner. Advanced persistent threats are one of the biggest threats to network systems because they can be used to steal a company’s data over a long period of time. 
  • Finally, the pen testing is complete and the results can then be analyzed. Security personnel will analyze the results and report back to the company with a detailed account of the outcome. The company owner can then decide what measures need to be carried out. 

Scheduling Testing Is Essential for Company Owners

Pen testing needs to be carried out often to ensure a network is secure. There are multiple types of penetration testing that can be carried out and they include internal, blind, double-blind, and targeted. Sometimes, the testors will implement multiple testing types to ensure the system is entirely checked for any security threats that could lead to attacks. When this testing is carried out often, business owners can rest assured their sensitive data is protected fully.