If you’re reading this, there’s a high possibility that you’ve come across the term “pentest” previously and want to know what it entails. In a nutshell, pentesting (also known as penetration testing) is the practice of scanning a computer system or network for vulnerabilities.
Pentesters simulate real-world attacks in order to find and exploit any weaknesses in the system. Allowing businesses to fix vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by hackers, allows them to prevent attacks. In this blog entry, we’ll cover everything you need to know about pentesting! We’ll answer common questions like “what is a pentest?” and “why is pentesting important?” And we’ll also provide a checklist for conducting your own pentest!
Table of Contents
What Is A Pentest?
A pentest is a type of security test that is performed by ethical hackers, also known as white hat hackers. These hackers use the same tools and techniques as malicious hackers (or black hat hackers), but with one key difference: pentesters are authorized to conduct their attacks. When you’re given permission, this means that you have authorization from the system owner to test for flaws. On the other hand, black hat hackers do not have permission to attack systems and are therefore considered criminals.
Pentests can be divided into two main categories: external tests and internal tests. External tests are conducted from outside the network, while internal tests are conducted from within the network. Pentesters will often conduct both types of tests in order to get a complete picture of the system’s security.
External tests are often used to simulate real-world attacks, such as phishing or SQL injection. Internal tests, on the other hand, are used to test for vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious insiders. For example, an internal test might involve testing for weak passwords or unpatched software.
Features Of Pentest
-The goal is to keep cyber-criminals from breaking into networks that are already vulnerable.
– The goal is to prevent hackers from breaching secure networks that are already susceptible.
– Conducted from outside the network (external tests) or from within the network (internal tests).
– Pentesters use the same tools and techniques as malicious hackers but with one key difference: pentesters are authorized to conduct their attacks.
– External tests are used to simulate real-world attacks, such as phishing or SQL injection. Internal tests, on the other hand, are used to test for vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious insiders.
– In order to guarantee that their networks are safe, businesses should perform regular pentests on a regular basis. Pentesting frequency will vary depending on the organization, but most experts recommend conducting a pentest at least once per year.
– Reviewing the results of a pentest helps understand what went well and what could be improved for next time.
What Makes A Pentest So Important?
Pentests are essential for detecting and correcting flaws before they can be used by hackers. By simulating real-world attacks, pentesters can identify weaknesses in the system and make recommendations for how to fix them. Additionally, pentesting can help organizations create an incident response plan in case of a successful attack.
To maintain their data security, organizations should evaluate their programs on a regular basis to ensure that they are safe. Pentesting frequency will vary depending on the organization, but most experts recommend conducting a pentest at least once per year.
Conducting A Pentest: Checklist
If you’re planning on conducting a pentest, there are a few things you’ll need to do first. Here’s a checklist of everything you’ll need to do in order to conduct a successful pentest:
– Choose the right tools: There are many different tools available for pentesting, so it’s important to choose the right ones for your needs.
– Understand your target: Before beginning your attack, it’s important to understand as much about your target as possible. This data will assist you in selecting the proper tools and methodologies for your attack.
– Get permission: As we mentioned before, it’s important to get permission from the system owner before conducting your pentest. You may be fined or arrested for violating any regulations if you go about your business as normal.
– Plan your attack: Once you have all the necessary information, it’s time to start planning your attack. You’ll need to choose the right tools and techniques for the job and make sure that everything is ready before you begin.
– Conduct the pentest: Now it’s time for the actual pentest! Follow your plan and conduct your attacks. Remember to document everything so that you can review your results later.
– Review your results: After completing your penetration test, take the time to review your findings. Consider taking notes. Consider questions to evaluate your performance and identify areas for improvement.
If you want to save time for conducting all these steps then you can always look for top penetration testing firms that can do this job for you.
We hope this article has answered your questions about pentesting! If you’d like to learn more, we suggest going through some of our other articles on the topic. Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing “engineering in marketing” to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events.
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