Penetration test: how to make it work best for your business

Whether you’re a small, medium, or large enterprise, the penetration test is a must-follow security business testing technique. As a form of ethical hacking, this process can help you maintain your digital security and prevent a data hack. 

How so? 

Well, with the majority of companies now operating through online platforms, the risk of hackers, cyber attackers, and breaches of confidential data, are no longer just movie themes. They have since become credible threats to security and even personal information. And this is where the penetration test has really changed the concept of online security. 

What exactly is the penetration test? 

Penetration test: young female hacker sitting in front of a computer screen
Image: Envato

In a nutshell, pen testing, or ethical hacking, prepares and plans an authorized breach of a company’s security system. Skilled testers evaluate your system for attack susceptibility to prevent a real-life hack from taking place. This incredible tool exposes vulnerable loopholes hackers could potentially exploit in a company’s IT infrastructure. Now, the aim of the penetration test is to basically identify any weakness in the system by following a structured and authorized test. Weaknesses are then reported and rectified to prevent any long-term security failures. 

The test is performed by either tech personnel or an automated AI program. Essentially, by attacking a network through a host of techniques, and back channels, the testers will see just how much of the system they can penetrate. The main focus of the test is to access the company’s network and try to gain full control. Although it sounds like something straight out of Hackers, the penetration test is not there to scare or rip you off in any way. In fact, this test has been used in various industries with positive outcomes. If a company systematically and intentionally attacks its own network, it can find various points of access that could lead to a breach. Having this useful knowledge can help companies plug the hole before it’s exploited. 

Different types of penetration tests

These tests can work on apps, and even IP address ranges making them versatile and efficient. Simulated attacks also identify the vulnerabilities in a system’s defense, making companies aware of how hackers could infiltrate authorized-only areas and gain access to personal information. Now, penetration tests differ because of a project’s scope and the projected test’s end result. These are often referred to as black, white, and gray box testing.

Black box penetration testing

In an actual hack, the cyber attacker won’t know the specifics of a company’s IT infrastructure. To achieve success in a short amount of time, the hacker will usually launch an all-out invasion of the company’s system. The purpose is to force-find a weakness that could turn into an opportunity.

For this test to work, the pen tester likewise lacks specific information about the company’s system. They’ll start from scratch and knock on as many doors as possible until they find the weakest one to open. However, going-off very little information means the black-box test is more of a marathon than a sprint. 

Penetration test: Image of a cyber security graphic
Image: Envato

White box penetration testing

As the name suggests, this test is more transparent than the black-box test. The tester knows how to gain access and has the necessary codes, passwords, and information to achieve it. Since the tester has the information this test is considerably shorter than the black-box test. On the downside, it takes longer for testers to know which part of the system to pay more attention to since they have access to everything. Also, the tester needs to use advanced tools and software to get better results. 

Gray box Penetration testing

This is a black-and-white-box combo test where the tester has limited knowledge of the company’s system. The tester uses auto and manual methods to gain access but the plus side is that they can pay more attention to specific system areas. This directly targets weaknesses and vulnerabilities that may otherwise have slipped through the cracks.    

What do penetration tests target?

Penetration tests are not confined to any one security element. In fact, the pen test encompasses specific apps and entire networks and services. So, large companies may want to focus on certain network security aspects and small companies may prefer to target their entire security system. In this way, there’s something for everyone. The penetration test could target:

  • Wireless networks
  • Web apps
  • Social engineering
  • Network Infrastructure 

Why should you do the penetration test?

Penetration testing helps companies in a host of different ways. It identifies high-risk areas primed for exploitation by a hacker. With automated networks and software, most times security weaknesses go undetected until they’re exposed by a hacker. Pen testers on the other hand expose these invisible cracks in the wall ahead of time enabling companies to vamp up their defense systems. It also tests the fragility of an existing defense and the company’s ability to detect, deflect and deter an attack. The purpose of the test is to find any and all security issues before they’re found by a hacker and then fortify the gap against future attacks. 

Final thoughts 

The penetration test is essentially a sanctioned hack on a company’s security system. It’s also an integral part of security because it makes companies more aware of what their security objectives should be. As we become more and more dependent on technology penetration testing becomes even more important for security.

With that in mind, we’d like to wish you well as you traverse the road of penetration testing. And once your company’s data is secure, why not secure a talented voice actor to further cement your company’s name? Voice123 has the best voices in the world for all your promo and advertising needs. To find a voice actor, simply post a project for free. You can listen to awesome vocal samples and even custom auditions to find the voice that suits your project’s needs. Be sure to secure your voice actor today!


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