What Your Company Needs To Know About Pen Testing

What Your Company Needs To Know About Pen Testing

When companies think about hacking, they imagine shadowy figures in dark hoodies breaking into their systems, wreaking havoc, and selling sensitive information on the Dark Web. Or they think of cyberterrorism committed by hackers that represent enemy nation-states, such as Russia. 

For example, in August of 2022, a Russian group called the People’s Cyber Army attacked the Energoatom nuclear power plant in Ukraine using more than 7 million bots. Leading IT security provider Fortinet reported several attacks on national infrastructure that occurred over a few months in 2022 which were carried out by cyberterrorist organizations or ransomware groups. 

However, hacking can be a good thing when it’s performed ethically. Pen Testing is an example of a beneficial type of hacking in which cybersecurity experts hack into an organization’s system to uncover and eliminate hidden vulnerabilities. 

Companies can benefit from both internal and external Pen Testing to assess their IT security.

What is Pen Testing?

Pen Testing is performed to find out how well protected your company is against cyberattacks, whether the attack is internal or external. In Pen Testing, an ethical hacker uses various methods to evaluate your company’s systems to uncover weaknesses that black hat hackers can exploit. 

First, the ethical hacker gathers intelligence. This intelligence includes information on how to get into the system, such as passwords. 

Next, the ethical hacker uses this intelligence to create a plan for breaching the system. The ethical hacker looks through code to find backdoors for staging an attack. For example, using Wi-Fi and a stolen password, the hacker can gain access and cause temporary damage, such as escalating access privileges or stealing data. 

After breaching the system, the ethical hacker explores how long access can be maintained. Once the Pen Test has been completed, the ethical hacker compiles a report for the company that gives the details of any vulnerabilities and how to fix them. 

Internal Pen Testing

An Internal Pen Test is intended to simulate an attack that originates from inside the system. To conduct an Internal Pen Test, ethical hackers must have some understanding of your systems. As someone familiar with your network, the ethical hacker can find and exploit internal vulnerabilities to gain administrative access to sensitive documents and data. 

Once the ethical hackers have done damage, they can erase any traces of their presence. During an Internal Pen Test, an ethical hacker can move faster than during an External Pen Test because a firewall isn’t in the way. 

Internal Pen Testers can also test for external vulnerabilities, such as those in the firewall, ports, and passwords. Testing for external weaknesses is important because not every internal attack is carried out by a disgruntled employee. Instead, an internal attack can be staged by anyone who has knowledge of the system or password access. 

External Pen Testing

An External Pen Test is a planned cyberattack on your systems that’s conducted by a third party. External Pen Tests are more commonly carried out because fewer attacks are committed by internal actors. With an External Pen Test, your company can find out how dependable your firewall and website are.  

During the External Pen Test, ethical hackers will imitate a cyberattack by trying to exploit any vulnerability to access sensitive information. The ethical hackers emulate the actions of an actual threat as they try to find any way into your servers through public domains, such as your web pages, emails, or your company’s web application. 

Ethical hackers may also visit employee social media pages to look for information that can be leveraged to stage an attack using social engineering. Social engineering can be used to send phishing emails to employees that seem to come from co-workers or authority figures to see if they can recognize the email as suspicious. 

How to Take Advantage of Pen Testing

Your company should go through Pen Testing every year or whenever your company introduces new software or programs. Finding a reputable company to conduct Pen Testing as part of a security assessment isn’t easy. Unfortunately, not many technology companies offer Pen Testing because they don’t acknowledge its legitimacy or importance. 

Secure Data Technologies believes in the importance of Pen Testing. We offer Pen Testing as part of our white-glove process of delivering security assessments. 

Once we have identified any vulnerabilities, we can put together a plan for eliminating them using a winning security strategy supported by leading technologies. 

Ask for Pen Testing as part of a Security Assessment from Secure Data Technologies. Reach out today. 

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