With cyber attacks becoming the norm, it is more important than ever before to undertake regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities and ensure on a regular basis that the cyber controls are working.
Pentesting or security testing also referred as penetration testing, is the process of reviewing or testing your applications for all kinds of threats and vulnerabilities. Penetration tests can be carried out on a range of varied IP addresses, personal applications, or even on a small sized website or a small company name.
Penetration testing looks at vulnerabilities and will try and exploit them. The testing is often stopped when the objective is achieved, i.e. when an access to a network has been gained – this means there can be other exploitable vulnerabilities not tested.”
In an internal penetration testing, protection from internal threats is provided and it helps to minimise the misuse of the internal user privileges. On the other hand,External penetration testing services in, a review of vulnerabilities or attacks by external users without credentials is made. In all penetration tests, whether internal or external, one thing which is common is that there no such thing as a perfect system and all organisations need to take steps to improve their security. The basic motive of a penetration test is to find out the key weaknesses/drawbacks in any systems and applications, to find out how to allocate resources in the best way to improve the security of a system/an application/organisation as a whole.
Organizations need to conduct regular testing of their systems for the following key reasons:
- To determine the weakness in the infrastructure (hardware), application (software) and people in order to develop controls
- To ensure controls have been implemented and are effective – this provides assurance to information security and senior management
- To test applications that are often the avenues of attack (Applications are built by people who can make mistakes despite best practices in software development)
- To discover new bugs in existing software (patches and updates can fix existing vulnerabilities, but they can also introduce new vulnerabilities).