Security Penetration Testing: What Goes on in a Penetration Test?

April 4, 2015 by milestodd8207  

Security penetration exams are an essential part associated with a organisation's information security provision. However many security controls you implement for your data, you will not ever know for sure how effective these are and soon you actively test them by commissioning security penetration testing (often known as "pen testing").

In the course of security penetration testing, the tester will probe your organisation's computer and network defences, and can then attempt to breach them (together with your permission), but without resulting in the damage that the malicious hacker might cause. The outcome are explained in a report that also includes ideas for actions to improve any security loopholes inside your systems.

To get the best from the test results, it is very important keep in mind the overall pattern taken by the penetration test. This assists you to make certain your provider is following a correct methodology. The primary stages are as follows:

* Foot-printing: Public resources are utilized to gather information about your organisation's Internet presence.

* Scanning: Standard tools are used to map your network within a non-intrusive way, determining the number of computers and the network configuration.

* Enumeration: This stage involves attempting active connections in your systems to determine information (for example valid account names) that has to be exploited by hackers. This stage along with the two preceding stages are all legal: the further stages would not be legal without your organisation's written permission.

* Gaining access: This is the point where security penetration testing has its own, because test demonstrates whether a hacker would be able to access your network.

* Increasing access rights: Having gained access, the pen tester now seeks to increase his/her access rights to the highest level possible, to find out whether your network is susceptible to this kind of "exploit". A hacker who succeeds in gaining high-level access can wreak considerable damage around the systems.

* Pilfering and theft of information: Entering into a far more active mode, the protection penetration testing procedure now covers the attempted theft of information.

* Covering one's tracks: A skilled pen tester will endeavour to hide his/her tracks so your attack remains undetected, in order to show you could do, since a stealth attack is regarded as the dangerous kind.

* Making a back door: An extra refinement would be to create a "back door" that produce it simpler to access your systems down the road. If your penetration tester finds that this may be possible, it is going to certainly be highlighted within the report as being a major weakness of the systems.

* Denial and services information: Finally, the tester may look to discover whether a "denial of service" attack may be possible, whereby resources become unavailable to legitimate users.

You will need to be aware that the more active phases of testing may disrupt the normal operation of networks, ultimately causing a certain amount of denial and services information. That is why, some organisations choose the security penetration testing to stop less than those stages. Each pen testing project should be covered by a specific contract starting off what exactly will or will never be attempted. Generally, penetration testing should be carried out at regular intervals, and certainly after major changes to the computer network. Used correctly, pen tests is an indispensable assist to your organisation's information security management system.

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