Nowadays, security threats are one of the prime concerns of every business. Companies have access to large data sets which are vulnerable to hacking.
There are several types of tests that are performed to identify the risks of hackers penetrating into your systems.
In this article, we will discuss the two most common types of security tests employed to identify businesses at risk.
As the name itself denotes, penetration testing shows how vulnerable or risky the companies’ data is. The penetration test comprehensively checks various factors such as confidentiality, integrity, and data access to outsiders. The Pen Test is conducted to look like an actual DDoS attack. So, as already guessed by now, the persons responsible for conducting the Penetration testing will be security analysts who are hackers, ethical hackers to be precise. Their hacking will show up all the loopholes in the company’s security.
Coming to hackers, the word ‘hacker’ immediately makes the alarm bells ringing. Please note that the Penetration test is done by hackers who have the required permissions from the business owner. In addition, they are held accountable to provide the report so that these security loopholes can be uncovered and appropriate remedial action can be taken. An intense methodology is framed to check out the infrastructure and the various networks and OSI layers.
In short, penetration testing refers to a planned cyber attack as if carried out by real hackers. The only difference is that the company owners themselves hire the hackers. It is entirely legal and helps the business owner identify the security weaknesses and areas where exploitation is possible.
- Black Box: Here, the hackers do not know the internal systems. The action imitated is like a real outside hacker. Therefore, the hacker should be well versed with all the latest penetration tools and hacking methods. The emphasis is on finding out external vulnerabilities from outsiders (external).
- White Box: Herein, the hacker is provided all information regarding the system in use, such as the source code, documents, and access to the system. The hackers here are expected to perform static code analysis, debug, and mostly find internal vulnerabilities. This complex penetration testing involves syntax checking, typography errors, logical decisions with true/false values, etc. Also, possibilities arising out of errors in a logical flow and actual execution are explored.
- Grey Box: This is middle-level testing. The tester is provided with some basic or partial knowledge about the web application and internal network. This sort of grey box testing is ideal for companies that do not want to give out much information regarding their internal program functions and operations. Also, source code access is not required. This method is very unbiased and non-intrusive.
Red Team Assessment
Red team vulnerability assessment is a more targeted testing that identifies the loopholes in the organization’s security. It tests the business’s threat detection and response capabilities.
It helps to detect security gaps and vulnerabilities and prevents hackers from accessing systems where secured business data is kept.
How To Plan Security Testing?
Security testing and audit goes through several stages such as:
- Planning: The first stage is the planning stage, wherein matters such as which systems, methods, and scope of work will be addressed or to be looked into.
- Checking: After the initial data is gathered, the ethical hackers or testers will perform certain actions or, to be specific, perform certain attacks, uncover vulnerabilities, and determine how much damage can be done.
- Analysis: The last stage is the Analysis report, where a detailed explanation of the findings is mentioned. The penetration test report will show the data accessed, the vulnerabilities, and the possible extent of damage in case of a cyber-attack. As a remedial measure, information on how to secure the security systems will also be suggested. Right security solutions to boost security will also be given.
Why Should Your Business Conduct Testing?
Usually, the company’s internal IT team will ensure that all security concerns are addressed. However, sometimes to reinforce the security system, it is always good to have an independent check. This will show up all the vulnerabilities from an outsider’s perspective. This is a perfect preventive action to take. There are also other vital reasons why a penetration test is required or suggested. Some of them are:
- Compliance: Some service industries or companies relating to payments, such as Cards, etc., need to comply with the PCI-DSS regulations. An annual and ongoing test will help to mitigate risks arising due to the network.
- Implementation: whenever a new technology is being implemented, it is safer to have a penetration test done before it goes into the production stage. It will save time and resources so that corrective action can be taken before itself. All security loopholes can be fixed without much delay and before any damage can be done. A proper protection plan can be devised, and digital defenses can be strengthened.
- Verification: A good security test will show how good the internal security team is and reinforce the internal team’s efficiency. Also, the gaps can be identified, and necessary remedial action can be taken. A security test will also help train the internal security team for possible security attacks in the future. As a result, they will be ready for any potential threats and be informed, thereby preventing any compromise in the security systems.
- Goodwill: To maintain goodwill and reinforce its confidence in the company, it is good to have regular tests. This will boost the revenue when you have confident customers who ensure that their data is safe from any security threats or attacks. In addition, phishing attempts are regularly increasing, and their methods are constantly evolving. So, a regular and timely test will save many problems in the future.
Initially, the term penetration testing might not seem viable to many small business owners. However, keeping in view today’s circumstances, it is noted that small business owners are the ones who are more at risk. The cybercrime reports prove this fact. That is why penetration testing has become popular, with ethical hackers being in huge demand. So, bolster your internal security system by having a security test done today.