During this vast digital era, enterprise information systems are becoming more and more multipart, ranging from website to mobile, from IoT devices to CRM/ERP systems, and also network infrastructure. With cyber-attacks progressively becoming more complicated and forever on the rise, it’s become more important than ever that organizations perform regular penetration testing to identify their exposures, block holes, and ensure that cyber controls are working as intended. All these gears are exposed to the internet; they accidentally increase the risk of businesses being attacked by cyber-criminals. Besides passive security measures such as using software or firewalls, Penetration testing is an effective method to combat attacks on enterprise systems.
Penetration testing, is also known as pen testing or ethical hacking, which describes the intentional launching of simulated cyber attacks that seek out exploitable vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, websites, and applications. It is an authorized simulated attack performed on a computer system to evaluate its security. Penetration testers use the same tools, techniques, and processes as attackers to find and demonstrate the business impacts of weaknesses in a system. Penetration testing tools can also be used to test the strength of an organization’s security policy, its regulatory compliance, its employees’ security awareness, and the organization’s ability to identify and respond to security incidents as they occur. The purpose of this test is to secure important data from outsiders like hackers who can have unauthorized access to the system. Once the vulnerability is identified, it is used to exploit the system to gain access to sensitive information.
Causes of Vulnerability:-
- Design and Development Errors:
- Poor System Configuration:
- Connectivity & Password
- Complexity & Human Errors
- Lack of training for staff
The pen testing process can be done in five stages.
Pen testers simulate attacks by motivated adversaries. To do this, they typically follow a plan that includes the following steps:
- Reconnaissance: The first step is to define the goals of the Pen test. Start gathering as much information about how the target works as possible from public and private sources to inform the attack strategy.
- Scanning: The next step is to analyze how the target application will respond to various intrusion attempts. Pen testers use tools and techniques to examine the target website or system for weaknesses, including open services, application security issues, and open source vulnerabilities.
- Gaining access. This gaining access stage uses web application attacks, such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection and backdoors, to uncover a target’s vulnerabilities. Attacker motivations can include stealing, changing, or deleting data; moving funds; or simply damaging a company’s reputation.
- Maintaining access. The idea is to imitate advanced persistent threats, which often remains in a system for months in order to steal an organization’s most sensitive data. Once pen testers gain access to the main target, their simulated attack must stay connected long enough to accomplish their goals of end.
- Analysis: The final stage is to analysis the results of the penetration test are then finalized into a report referring
- Particular vulnerabilities that were exploited
- Sensitive data that was accessed and used
- The amount of time the pen tester was able to remain in the system undetected.
Above mentioned information are analyzed by security personnel to help configure an enterprise.
Why should you conduct a penetration test?
An organisation conducts a Penetration Test for the accomplishment of following requirements:
- To find security vulnerabilities in an application.
- To meet the information security compliance in the organization.
- To discover loopholes in the system.
- To assess the business impact of successful attacks.
- Secured Financial or critical data while transferring it between different systems or over the network.
- Many clients are asking for pen testing as part of the software release cycle.
- To secure user data.
- To implement an effective security strategy within the organization.