Understanding Penetration Testing – Its Tools and Methodologies

Last updated on April 7th, 2024 at 10:35 am

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It is quite clear that penetration tests are important and have a positive impact on an organization’s security posture. Organizations take this approach to achieve access and thus, they need to consider many areas of the organization. In order to strengthen a company’s security posture, a business should hire a penetration testing company to achieve success in achieving its goals while maintaining security. Let’s have a look at a few ways how penetration testing works best:

Establish the Goals 

It is extremely crucial to involve all key stakeholders in an organization in establishing the objectives of software testing. Internal stakeholders are normally responsible for managing business operations and help in defining the crucial areas of the business and where to utilize resources to protect the business from potential risks. It is also necessary to confirm objectives and design a testing plan. If a business allows an external panic test, they will be successful at defending it, however they might miss the chance to uncover many others. For instance, a business may have a goal to meet challenging compliance requirements, or it could be understanding the network defenses. No matter what the goal of an organization is, it is clear that having a proper test strategy is important and a QA manager needs to have a comprehensive program. 

Scope the Test 

This is one of the most important steps required to achieve satisfactory results that allow a penetration testing company to focus its resources on the right areas. It is crucial to answers like what exactly should be included in the test and how it will be conducted? Is an organization concerned about examining its defensive capabilities? Or concerned about the internal systems like hardware security and firewalls? So when defining the scope of tests, teams have to keep in account the constraints. The financial and time limitations should be defined and the crucial areas of the business that cannot be assessed. All these factors should be considered before setting the scope for testing. 

Plan the Test

With the help of a proper plan, teams can ensure the success of their program. QA teams need to plan ahead of time and implement a change in their system so that the IT teams can have their heads up for a higher load on the target assets during testing. Here, it is important to involve all the stakeholders in the test planning process to ensure minimum impact on the business operations. 

Apply an Improvement Program 

Once the vulnerabilities in a system are rectified, it is important to ensure that the process does not stop. In order to stay ahead of the threats, it is crucial to keep improving the testing processes. Since a pen-test report highlights the state of vulnerabilities at the present moment in an ever-evolving environment. Pen-tests have the expertise to implement a regular testing program to stay updated with new malicious vulnerabilities and compliance requirements. 

Hire an Accredited Penetration Testing Company 

It is important to ensure that an organization chooses a partner for this venture, that has a solid and secure reputation with highly experienced pen testers that provide quality services. Choosing a company is not an easy task, however, with some research, it is possible to partner with the right penetration testing company to achieve the security goals and objectives. 

Penetration Testing Tools

There are different kinds of penetration testing tools that teams use to ensure faster, efficient, easy, and reliable pen tests. There are many popular tools where most of them are free open-source tools, while other tools widely used are paid. Examples of a few pen-testing tools are Nessus, Nmap, Wireshark, Metasploit, etc. that help in improving pen-testing processes. 

Simply put, a penetration tester usually begins by collecting as much information about the target as possible. The next step is to identify the possible vulnerabilities in the system by scanning it, and then he launches it as an attack. After the attack, pen testers analyze each vulnerability and all the possible risks involved. In the end, he submits a detailed report to the stakeholders while summarizing the results of the penetration test. The sole purpose of pen testing efforts is to ensure that the system is checked for any vulnerabilities before malicious attackers can exploit them. It is a proactive approach to testing that assists organizations in maintaining their cyber health and protecting it from any attacks. Penetration testing is performed once a year but according to the requirements each organization may choose to perform them multiple times.

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