Penetration testing (PenTest) is the cycle to distinguish security weak points in an application by assessing the system or network with different malignant strategies. The weak areas of a system are exploited in this cycle through an approved simulated attack. The objective of this test is to get significant information from hackers who have unapproved access to the system or network. When the weak spot is distinguished it is used to misuse the system to access critical data. A penetration test is otherwise called the pen test and an outside contractor is likewise known as an Ethical hacker.
The pen testing cycle can be divided into five phases:
1. Planning and Reconnaissance
The first stage includes:
Characterizing the scope and objectives of a test, involving the systems to be dealt with and the testing strategies to be used.
The subsequent stage is to see how the target application will react to different interruption endeavors. This is normally done using,
- Static analysis: Estimating an application’s code to assess how it acts while running. These devices can check the whole of the code in a single pass
- Dynamic analysis: Inspecting an application’s code in a running state. This is a more functional method of examining, as it gives an actual view into an application’s execution
3. Getting Access
This stage uses web application attacks, for example, cross-site scripting, SQL injection and backdoors, to reveal a network’s weaknesses. Testers at that point attempt and misuse these weaknesses, commonly by escalating privileges, stealing information, intercepting traffic, and so on, to comprehend the harm they can cause.
4. Maintaining and securing access
The objective of this stage is to check whether the weakness can be used to get a constant presence in the exploited system. The intention is to copy advanced persistent threats, which usually stay in a system for a long time to take an organisation’s most critical information.
Penetration test results are compiled into a report detailing
- Explicit vulnerabilities that were abused
- Valuable information that was stolen
- In the timespan, the pen tester had the option to stay in the system undetected
This data is analyzed by the security team to help organize enterprise WAF settings and other application security solutions to fix weaknesses and ensure against future assaults.
Why do Penetration Testing?
Penetration is crucial in an undertaking because,
- Financial categories like Banks, Investment Banking, Stock Trading Exchanges require their data to be protected and penetration testing is vital for data security
- If an organisations software is hacked or compromised. And they want to check whether risks are still present in the systems and networks to evade future hacks
- Proactive Penetration Testing is the best shield against ethical hackers
A penetration test will be compelling if there is a strong well-established security strategy. Penetration testing strategy and method should allow pen testing to be more viable.
Watch top experts from across the world talk about penetration testing at AntWak: How to perform penetration testing in cybersecurity?