A Guide to Penetration Testing

Penetration testing (also called ‘pen testing’ or more commonly ‘ethical hacking’) is the practice of testing computer systems, networks, and web applications to find vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit.
21.06.19 AAG Digital

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing (also called ‘pen testing’ or more commonly ‘ethical hacking’) is the practice of testing computer systems, networks, and web applications to find vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit.

A penetration test is an information security assessment that simulates an attack against an organisation’s IT assets. The ‘Red Team’ (ethical hackers) examine your IT systems for any weaknesses that genuine attackers would exploit to compromise the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of the network and associated data.

What is an ethical hacker?

The Red Team can be considered the actual Pen Testers. Their primary objective/goal is to emulate the mindset of an attacker; to try and crack open all of the present weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the systems. In other words, it is the Red Team that attacks all possible fronts.

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Features of a pen test:

  • A highly skilled team of ethical hackers and global security experts
  • Conduct penetration tests in the same way as actual malicious hackers
  • Latest tools and techniques used by ethical hackers
  • Not always necessary for ethical hackers to be at your premises
  • Comprehensive reporting explaining each exploitable vulnerability
  • Detailed remediation and resolution steps to enhance your Cyber-Security

Benefits of a pen test:

  • Provide real information on vulnerabilities within your IT infrastructure
  • Compliance adherence. Certain standards and certification bodies require penetration testing
  • Providing your clients and stakeholders with a clear message that you take Cyber-Security seriously
  • Thoroughly tests your existing Cyber-Security defence capabilities
  • Offers third-party expert opinion
  • Protect your reputation and brand
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