To evaluate a computer system’s security, a penetration test is a simulated attack authorized by the system’s owner. To find and demonstrate business impacts of system weaknesses, penetration testers use the same tools, techniques, and processes used by attackers.
WHAT IS PENETRATION TESTING?
During penetration testing, a variety of attacks are simulated to see how they could affect your organization. The goal of a pen test may be to determine whether a system is robust enough to resist attacks from authenticated and unauthenticated positions. You can conduct a pen test on any aspect of a system you need to assess when you have the right scope.
As part of penetration testing, servers, endpoints, web applications, wireless networks, network devices, mobile devices, as well as other possible sources of exposure are systematically compromised via manual or automated techniques. Testers may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities on a particular system in order to launch subsequent raids against other internal resources, such as gaining higher security clearance levels and deeper access to electronic assets and information via privilege escalation once vulnerabilities have been exploited.
WHAT DOES A PENETRATION TESTER DO?
When working as a penetration tester, you will perform attacks against a company’s existing digital systems on a proactive, offensive basis. To find any security gaps that hackers could exploit, these tests could use a variety of hacking tools and techniques. A report will be created detailing your actions and how successfully you were able to breach security protocols.
SKILLS REQUIRED FOR PENETRATION TESTING
In order to find vulnerabilities in information technology (IT) and security systems, penetration testers need solid knowledge in these fields.
- Strong grip on Network and application security
- Programming languages, especially for scripting (Python, BASH, Java, Ruby, Perl)
- Deep knowledge of vulnerabilities and exploits
- Threat modeling
- Complete command on operating systems like Linux, Windows, and MacOS environments
- Security assessment tools
- Pentest management platforms
- Technical writing and documentation
- Cloud architecture
- Remote access technologies
WHY COMPANIES NEED PENETRATION TESTING?
Security concerns are all over the world and organizations don’t tolerate that their client’s data is approached from an intruder. Other than this, below are some of the reasons why companies need a professional pentester.
- In order to remain secure, finding vulnerabilities before criminals do is critical, which is why software security patches are so popular.
- Penetration tests can evaluate the capabilities of the employees or programs assigned to monitor your network for intruders. Using this method can help determine whether or not your intrusion detection program is functioning correctly.
- Customer concerns about their data’s safety are increasing as data breaches become commonplace news. Providing one more layer of evidence of a company’s security with a penetration test can help a company demonstrate its airtightness. Before a vendor deal is signed, penetration tests are frequently discussed.
- After a security breach, you may be forced to scramble to close all the holes created by the breach, which could cause a major outage for your business and your customers. Nevertheless, a penetration test will discover your company’s vulnerabilities before a cyber-breach occurs, allowing you to fix them more quickly and in a far less disruptive way.
TOP PENETRATION TESTING TOOLS USED BY PEN TESTERS IN THEIR DAILY ROUTINE
Following are the top 5 penetration testing tools that professional pen testers use in their daily routine:
Penetration testing applications such as Netsparker Security Scanner are popular online. This software can detect vulnerabilities of all types such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection. This tool can be used to develop websites, web services, and web applications.
With 600 authors, Wireshark is an award-winning network analyzer once known as Ethereal 0.2.0. The software allows you to capture and analyze network packets quickly. There is an open-source version of the tool available for Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, and Linux.
Among penetration testing automation frameworks, Metasploit is the most widely used. Professional teams use Metasploit to verify and manage security assessments, improve awareness, and arm their defenses with the tools they need to stay ahead of the game.
It is best used for testing a web browser as a pen testing tool. It can be used to combat web-borne attacks and to benefit mobile clients. BEEF, or Browser Exploitation Framework, locates issues using GitHub.
The purpose of Aircrack NG is to find flaws in wireless networks by capturing data packets and exporting them through text files for analysis. Although the software appeared abandoned in 2010, it has been updated again in 2019.
WHAT ARE PROFESSIONAL PENETRATION TESTING CERTIFICATES?
Certifications won’t lead directly to a job in penetration testing, so you shouldn’t put all your time and effort into them. A certification is a differentiator, not a requirement for employment. However, certain certifications are more valuable than others.
- Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)
- Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT)
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- CompTIA Pentest+
- Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)