Penetration testing, or pen-testing, is an attempt to evaluate the security of a company's IT infrastructure by safely trying to exploit vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities may exist in operating systems, services and application flaws, improper configurations, or risky end-user behavior.
Pen-Testing is also useful in validating the efficacy of defensive mechanisms, as well as end-user adherence to security policies. Tests are typically performed using manual or automated technologies to systematically compromise servers, endpoints, web applications, wireless networks, network devices, mobile devices, and other potential points of exposure.
Penetration testing lets you find the weaknesses in your system before a malicious actor does. Quickly identify points of failure and paths that are vulnerable to exploitation and provide recommendations for how to remediate them.
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What exactly are Penetration Testing Services?
Penetration Testing is a controlled, pre-determined attempt to penetrate IT systems. Pentest is typically performed on behalf of an organization, to find and resolve security vulnerabilities within its network.
However, organizations may also use penetration testing to test the functionality of their internal computer networks, or to check the accuracy of their software. Businesses may use a variety of different techniques to conduct penetration testing, including manual penetration, automated penetration testing, and virus and spam attacks on internal network data.
A penetration testing service can help resolve any number of potential IT vulnerabilities, ranging from simple glitches to what are known as "malware" infections.
Malware is any type of program that has the potential to cause harm to a computer - including key loggers, keystroke monitoring tools, remote-control programs, and viruses.
These types of vulnerabilities can typically be quickly exploited and taken advantage of by an intruder, giving them complete access to an organization's most sensitive information. In some cases, an intruder could take out a business's network and gain unauthorized access to the personal data of employees.
In most cases, penetration testing services will verify if a specific web application is able to withstand attacks from various threats and that it can run under specific operating conditions. These services will also test for issues with the application's performance and response time. Additional elements that may be tested include network and connection setup, database queries, and transactions, as well as the code of the web application itself.
Web application penetration testing services utilize a variety of tools and techniques to test a given application and help organizations find and fix vulnerabilities that could put their confidential information at risk. A penetration testing service may perform a comprehensive search of an application, run a vulnerability analysis on it, and perform controlled, live changes in to find holes and vulnerabilities.
In many cases, these types of services will perform a fuzzing test, which allows them to collect data from the system that may be used to simulate a hacker's strategy. This allows the provider to quickly pinpoint weak spots and patch them before a hacker can exploit them.
Penetration Testing Goals for Organizations
The goal of these services is to ensure that a company's network can provide adequate levels of online protection and that a business's confidential information is running smoothly and securely.
Many large companies rely on outside sources to perform network and application security testing. Companies that contract with a skilled security testing firm can save time and money and avoid spending resources on costly security audits. When selecting a provider of contract penetration testing services, it is important to check that they have the skills and resources necessary to successfully complete the tasks involved.
While these professionals do have some level of experience, their expertise will not be fully exploited in the event of a penetration test failure.
With the advances in internet technologies, it is more important than ever to contract with the best penetration testing services. Cloud providers often offer a variety of tools for network testing including penetration testing tools, network vulnerability assessment programs, and advanced network security software.
Because cloud servers are constantly being upgraded, it is easy to stay current on the newest threats and work with a security testing firm that provides these services as part of a package. Outsourcing to a cloud provider that can provide the best tools for your network will give you peace of mind and keep your company secure.