Hacking through a company’s security protections used to require a lot of time and skill. However, today’s technological advances make it easier than ever for bad actors to find an organization’s most vulnerable points. The purpose of penetration testing is to help businesses find out where they are most likely to face an attack and proactively shore up those weaknesses before exploitation by hackers.
Organizations can define penetration testing by what it is meant to assess. That includes all networks, applications, devices, and physical security components. It mimics the actions of malicious actors. Experienced cybersecurity experts leverage penetration testing to improve a company’s security posture and remove any vulnerabilities that leave it open to attack.
When appropriately done, penetration testing goes beyond merely stopping criminals from unauthorized access to a company’s systems. It creates real-world scenarios that show businesses how well their current defenses would fare when confronted with a full-scale cyber attack.
Penetration testing is an everyday part of the job description for us here at Red Team Security. In fact, it’s our specialty. Something else we deal with almost daily, though, is answering the question: “What is a penetration test and why do I need it?”
Penetration tests let companies evaluate the overall security of their IT infrastructure. A company may have robust security protocols in one area but be lacking in another. The high cost of a successful cyber attack means no company should wait for a real-world scenario to play out before going on offense. Using penetration testing tools to expose holes in a business’s security layer allows security experts and Pen Testers to address any shortcomings before they become critical liabilities.
When it comes to who typically performs a penetration test, it is entities charged with protecting private citizens’ information. Even the best IT department may not have the objectivity needed to find security flaws that could leave an organization exposed to hackers. When it comes to who typically performs these functions, it’s best to have a penetration tester conduct black-box, white box testing, and other security assessments from the outside.
Having someone separate from the business conduct intrusion tests can provide value in the following ways:
Pen testing shouldn’t be limited to a one-time effort. It should be part of a system of ongoing vigilance to keep organizations safe through various types of security testing. Updates to security patches or new components used in a company website could expose new risks that open the door to hackers. That’s why companies should schedule regular penetration testing to help uncover any new security weaknesses, and preventing any opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities. Equipping your organization with smart, actionable security measures after our penetration testing services is critical.
Network vulnerabilities typically fall into three categories: hardware, software, and human. Let’s look at different testing types to understand more about what a pen test consists of and what types of potential vulnerabilities your business is facing;
Web App Penetration tests search out places in an application open to exploitation by a hacker. Installing a new third-party component that allows viewing sensitive data on a company website could provide an opening into company systems. Security consultants carry out attack simulations designed to:
RedTeam Security uses experts who come from an application development background. The use of that experience to zero in on issues common to web development and to develop actionable remediation strategies to address web application vulnerabilities like:
When it comes to network security, experts use network penetration tests to find places a hacker might exploit in various systems, networks, network devices (think routers, switches), and hosts. They look for ways a hacker might find real-world opportunities to compromise a company, gain access, or unauthorized access to sensitive data. Many also try to take over the company’s systems for malicious purposes.
RedTeam Security uses focused network infrastructure penetration testing to identify system-level and network flaws like:
It helps to have security experts with a background in supporting systems, networks, and hosts. That experience allows penetrations testers to come up with intrusion tests that ultimately improve an organization’s security posture.
Physical penetration testing measures the strength of a company’s existing security controls. It looks for any weaknesses vulnerable to discovery and manipulation by hackers. They may compromise physical barriers like sensors, cameras, and locks to gain physical access to sensitive business areas. That could lead to data breaches through compromising systems and networks.
Some of the industries most concerned about these kinds of attacks include:
Leveraging physical penetration testing helps organizations stop unauthorized access into secure environments. It also provides invaluable insights into remedial guidance and ways to correct critical issues.
Cryptocurrency pen tests look for weaknesses in software, applications, systems, hosts, and devices used in cryptocurrency transactions and storage protocols. They should also check the social engineering aspect, like phishing attempts on company employees, vendors, and other stakeholders to gain passwords or other essential data to hack cryptocurrency networks.
RedTeam Security also conducts cryptocurrency pen testing scenarios mimicking physical attacks on cryptocurrency facilities like:
Pen testers assess the performance of a company’s physical assets when under attack.
Cloud security pen tests are essential in helping companies invested in cloud technology protect vulnerable assets. The flexibility and autonomy offered by solutions like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) technology also expose organizations to new security threats.
With RedTeam Security and our testing methodology, companies get experts who understand the risks associated with using cloud technology. They look for potential exposures from an organization’s application, network, and configuration in a business’s cloud set up that could give hackers access to:
Companies receive feedback on any identified security gaps and steps they should take to fix the vulnerabilities before outside threats discover them.
IoT security pen tests focus on exposing any hardware and software flaws that could allow bad actors to access a business’s sensitive data or take over company systems. They examine the different components in IoT devices for vulnerabilities like: