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What is Penetration Testing? Types, Stages, Benefits and More


Cyber attacks have been ranked as the fifth most dangerous risk in 2020 and have set new standards in both the public and private sectors. This hazardous business continues to expand in 2022 as IoT cyber assaults are estimated to increase twice by 2025.  Cybercrime is expected to cost companies $10.5 trillion annually globally by 2025, with just $3 trillion in 2015. Cybercrime constitutes the most significant transfer of economic value in history, 

Cyber attacks thus have a wide range of consequences for a company, ranging from minimal operational interruptions to significant financial losses. Whatever the sort of cyber assault, every result has a cost, either economic or non-economic. 

The repercussions of the cybersecurity attack may continue to influence your firm for weeks, if not months. Now the question arises what should be done? How can organizations make their system solid and free from such vulnerabilities? The answer lies in penetrative testing! 

But What is Penetration Testing? And how does it work? Keep on reading to find out! 

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is an essential process used by organizations to identify the vulnerabilities or weaknesses in their network security systems that their IT tools might not be able to recognize. It is done through false/dummy invasion in the application to figure out the weak spot that can allow the cyber attacks and then find solutions to fix these issues. This information is then used to create a report that can help the company improve its cyber security measures. 

What are the types of Penetration Testing?

There are six types of Penetration testing. They are as follows:  

  • Web Application 

Web application penetrating tests are used to find (if any) vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the system of a web-based application. Due to its complexity, this testing requires copious planning and execution time. The primary purpose is to fix or strengthen the vulnerabilities in the components like database, source code, etc. 

  • Network Service 

It is the most widely-known form of penetration testing. It includes testing an organization’s network infrastructure to determine its vulnerabilities and fix the bugs/issues before they can be exploited. This testing prevents common network attacks like database attacks, proxy server attacks, Firewall Misconfiguration, Firewall Bypass, etc. 

  • Client Side 

In this type of testing, the tester identifies the vulnerabilities in the client’s code or application. This cyber hunt also extends to commonly used sites such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office. As a result, the system is protected against web attacks such as form hijacking, clickjacking, and HTML injection. 

  • Wireless 

Wireless penetration testing involves scanning and examining the various devices and their connections to a business wifi/ Bluetooth. These include electronic devices like tablets, laptops, mobile devices, etc. Wireless connections enable instant data flow to the connected source, so this penetration test is vital. Hence, wireless systems must be protected from weak links that allow intrusions. 

  • Physical Penetration Testing 

The purpose of this testing is to create a simulation of a real-life breach into your network infrastructure. A tester portrays himself as an enemy and tries to breach the physical boundaries of a business, including its employees and systems.  Such testing helps identify the faults in the physical control of locks, cameras, barriers, etc. 

  • Social Engineering 

In this type of testing, a malicious tester tries to trick the user into giving personal data such as passwords and usernames. The most common type of attacks performed by the tester includes eavesdropping, tailgating, gifting, smishing, name-dropping, etc.  

Why is Penetration Testing Done? 

Rivals can exploit weaknesses of your system. Penetration testing provides the solution to those concerns. The following points highlight the importance of penetration testing for an organization: 

  • Infrastructure Security 

Secure infrastructure is an essential aspect of any organization. By addressing the vulnerabilities in the security system, organizations can prevent their network or application from various types of data breaches that may cause intense losses. 

  • Client Trust and Public Image 

The public image of the company and the client’s trust are essential for the growth of any company. But instances of a data leak can severely damage both of them. 

  • Security Awareness and Efficiency 

Penetration tests make the organization aware of the current status of the system’s security. It helps in identifying potential security gaps. Such analysis helps them plan out ways by which they can upgrade their existing technology to prevent it from getting exploited. 

What are the stages of Penetration Testing?

  • Planning and Reconnaissance 

The first stage involves defining the goals and the scope of the test. It also establishes the testing method. Further, information and intelligence are gathered about the servers, networks, etc., to understand our target and its vulnerabilities.  

  • Scanning 

At this stage, efforts are made to understand how the application will behave against the various invasion attempts. This is done in either of the two ways: 

  • Static Analysis: 

In static analysis, the application code is reviewed, and estimates are made about its behavior in the functioning state. 

  • Dynamic Analysis:  

In dynamic analysis, the application code is observed in the functioning state. This is recommended as it gives a better real-time idea of the app’s performance.  

  • Attack Simulation and Exploitation 

After understanding the code and its behavior, the tester performs a real-life simulation of the system by attacking the system. The tester uses various attacks, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and backdoors which make the system vulnerable.  

  • Analysis and Reporting   

Following the completion of the testing process, a thorough report is made by the tester based on the observation. The report contains all the results and findings found during the testing stage. The document also includes a list of targets, system vulnerabilities, and how these loopholes can be fixed.  

  • Re-testing 

The process of penetration testing requires re-testing. Though it is an optional part of the process, several organizations conduct a test again after fixing all the vulnerabilities to ensure that all the loopholes have been appropriately set.   

What are the benefits of Penetration Testing to an organization?

Regular penetration testing has many advantages for the company revolving around a more robust software network. These benefits include: 

  • Recognizing Risks 

Regular penetration testing helps firms assess the security of internal networks, online applications,  and external networks. It also assists organizations in understanding what security measures are required to achieve the degree of protection to safeguard their assets. Prioritizing these risks offers firms an advantage in anticipating hazards and preventing harmful assaults. 

  • Protection against Invaders 

The entire purpose of penetration testing is to simulate the situation of a real-time attack by a hacker. Regular penetration testing helps organizations evaluate the IT system’s security and helps identify security flaws, allowing organizations to address any inadequacies before an attack happens. 

  • Growth of the company 

The organization can attain a competitive edge over other firms in the industry by continually improving its security infrastructure. This is because such steps show that the organization is invested in meeting compliance and maintaining information security along with the high-security level.  

  • Avoiding loss due to data breaches 

Data breaches can have a severe impact on the image of the organization. Moreover, such violations can cost an organization millions of dollars in the form of  IT Remediation, legal fees, loss in sales due to disappointed clients, client protection schemes to protect their data, etc. It is, therefore, better to play it safe by conducting frequent penetrating tests. 

How can Sattrix help your company?

With the recent increase in cyberattacks, organizations must understand the risk and start discovering the weaknesses in their infrastructure. Cyber attacks are becoming not just more common but also cleaner. As the intensity and frequency of these cyberattacks increase, so does the demand for cyber security testing. Penetration testing is a critical method for detecting weaknesses and problems that conventional IT security solutions cannot see.  

Regarding penetration testing, Sattrix is known as a market pioneer. We have skilled penetration testing analysts who assist organizations in determining the appropriate frequency of penetration tests after studying your business requirement and IT infrastructure. They also advise on the essential processes and expenditures to create a secure environment inside your firm. 

With our guidance, you can protect your organization from such attacks. We offer specialized penetrative testing services that come with perks such as:  

  1. Minimal downtime,
  2. Remediation Roadmap Development
  3. 24*7 support
  4. Architecture Assessments
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