Pen test or penetration testing is an attempt with the help of which IT infrastructure security can be evaluated while trying to exploit the weaknesses. The vulnerabilities can exist in configurations, application flaws or operating systems; the assessment is also helpful as it validates defensive methods effectiveness and also adherence of security policies by the end users. Usually, both manual and automated technologies are employed for checking servers, web apps, endpoints, network devices, wireless networks and mobile devices for exposure. If the vulnerabilities on a particular system have been exploited successfully then testers can bring in use the compromised system for launching exploits at other resources. It helps especially in achieving security clearance of higher levels and get access to the electronic assets. Information that has been exploited through pen testing is presented to the IT managers so that they can bring in use certain remediation efforts and also make strategic conclusions.
Pen Testing Strategies consists of:
Targeted Testing: In an organization, IT team and penetration testing team together performs targeted testing. This testing is also called as "lights-turned-on" approach because every person can see the test.
Internal Testing: While conducting this test, it is presumed that there is an inside attack by an authorized user having certain access privileges. This test is useful in eliminating the chances of damages that can be caused by a peeved employee.
External testing: In this type of penetration testing company's external servers and devices including web servers, firewalls, domain name servers and e-mail servers are targeted. It is done to check if an attacker from outsider can get in and if yes then how far can they reach after getting the access.
Blind Testing: This kind of testing simulates the procedures of actual attackers by limiting the information that is given to the individual or team conducting the test. This type of test requires investigation time and can be very expensive too.
Double blind test: In double blind testing firstly the blind test is carried out and is then taken to the next level. In this type of testing, only one or more people in the company are aware that the test is being carried out. This type of a test can prove to be very useful for testing a company's security system and procedures as well as the response procedures.
Every business is carried out in a different manner and the value of a penetration test varies with the business. However, it helps in managing the risk properly and gives a company the baseline on which it can work to lessen the risk in an optimal way. It also helps in increasing the business continuity and minimizes client side attacks. It protects clients, partners and third parties as a security breach affects not only the target company but also those attached to it. It also provides a snapshot of the existing security system inside the company and gives an opportunity to identify the potential points to work upon. It gives an opportunity to review how efficient are the security investments and what all needs to be improved.