Penetration Testing 101
Types of Pen Tests:
- Internal Penetration Tests – Identifying how far an attacker can transverse the network once a breach has occurred.
- External Penetrations Tests – Attempting to gain access to the internal network by exploiting vulnerabilities found on external assets.
- Mobile Penetration Tests – Focusing on the endpoint devices in realistic scenarios to see what information can be accessed.
Pen testing is a highly valuable, and sometimes mandatory step, in a security program. The goal is to identify weaknesses in your system and produce a risk score at the end of testing, so your team can address security gaps. Most organizations, at a minimum, will take the second approach (External Penetration Testing) as it ensures third-party, un-biased and more credible recommendations. If your organization has the resources, it is strongly recommended to conduct both internal and external penetration tests. It is also recommended running a test at least once a year.
Pen testing software will probe all devices – searching for high risk open application access ports, un-remediated vulnerabilities, user access risks and general software upgrades. By adding a proper security expert review, relative risk and priority are added which helps determine the practical approach to resolution.
Examples of value from experts include:
- A dialogue around what applications are currently in use
- Critical technology for business operations
- How to segment the network to reduce risk
The job of security is always to focus on reducing the attack surface; pen testing helps you identify the risks in order to do this.
Deciding between keeping IT security tasks in-house or relying on a partner with specialized expertise, can be compared to managing home improvement projects. There are many things you can try to repair using the Do-It-Yourself approach. If everything goes just right, you might save yourself some money, and hopefully, you’ve got time left over to relax. But what if everything goes wrong?
Take a moment and think about your company’s network as your home. In our houses, we go to great length to secure ourselves—doorknob locks, deadbolts, smart locks. Now look at your corporate network, how do you feel about the front door of your network? Does it give you the same sense of security that the front door of your home does? This is why we need network security.
Once ransomware is resident on a system, it can be a simple money collection exercise or a means to an end to capture intellectual property. Lost intellectual property may allow an organization in another country to leap forward and deliver your discoveries.