Everything that can be tested, will be tested.
Every time you go to buy something, you want to be 100% sure that what you bought works properly. If you want to buy a car, you take it for a test drive. If you buy new clothes, you try them on to see how they look in you. People always want make sure that the product they’re consuming fits their expectations, to feel that they made a good investment, and how do humans know if they like a product or not? By testing it.
May be an odd thing to say that humans test everything, but how else would we know if something works? Tests allow this and more.
Companies tests their products in several ways. An example of this would be market studies to check if a launching product has the tendency of being successful or not, as this could mean profits or loss for their company, so they want to make sure they’re getting their money back. Assuring the quality of a product is a process that implies testing it, not only to check if it works as it should, but mainly used to detect flaws in order to come with the best product possible. In the field of cybersecurity, companies need to make sure that their systems are operating without problems that could compromise its integrity and information, so test methods have appeared in order to fill this necessity, one of them being the Pentest.
What is a Pentest? How does it work?
A Pentest or penetration Testing can be defined as an intrusion method that aims to find potential vulnerabilities in a system, server or, in general, in a network structure. But, more than that, Pentest uses specific tools to perform the intrusion that shows what information or corporate data can be stolen through the action. These tests allow to see the real image of the threat in the security system and determines the organization’s vulnerability to manual attacks. Conducting a Pentest on a regular basis will determine the technical resources, infrastructure, physical and personnel arsenal containing weak aspects that require development and improvement.
As we see, the detection of flaws in the system cannot always be seen just by looking what there is, but forcing the system by attacking its weak spots can give knowledge of how to improve it. These are some Pentests types:
- White Box: It consists in a comprehensive analysis that evaluates the entire network infrastructure. In the event of a system error, it is possible that, when starting the Pentest, Pentesters (ethical hackers, essentially) already have knowledge of all the essential information of the company, such as topography, passwords, IPs, logins and all other data that refers to the network, servers, structure, possible security measures, firewalls, etc. This information allows to accurately target an attack and discover what needs to be improved and redirected. This type of Pentest is usually performed by the company’s own IT team.
- Black Box: Unlike the previous type, Pentesters don’t have access to the overall system information, so it works more as a simulation of a real attack to the system. It’s a way to discover weaknesses in the network structure in real time.
- Gray Box: Usually defined as a mix of both previous types. Consists in the intrusion of the system by having little information of the company to work with, not having much as a White Box Pentest would. This way, testers will invest time and resources to identify such vulnerabilities and threats, based on the amount of specific information the company gives to them. This is the most recommended type of Pentest, if there is a need to hire any of these services.
- External Pentest: Consists in an attack by an ethical hacker that is carried out against the organization’s external servers or devices, such as its website and network servers. The objective is to determine if and how far an attacker can penetrate the system remotely.
- Internal Pentest: An authorized user with standard access rights performs a mimicry of an attack, allowing to determine what damage an employee who has some personal accounts can cause in regards to the administration.
These tests can allow companies to detect several problems in various levels. Some of these are:
- Identification of network and system level vulnerabilities.
- Identification of incorrect settings and adjustments.
- Identifying vulnerabilities in a wireless network.
- Fraudulent services.
- Lack of secure passwords and weak protocols.
- Identification of application level deficiencies.
- Falsification of applications.
- The use of malicious scripts.
- Management of interrupted sessions.
- Physical barrier hacking.
- Checking and breaking locks.
- Malfunction and bypass sensors.
- Failure of CCTV cameras.
- Identification of device hardware and software defects.
- Brute force weak passwords.
- Definition of insecure protocols, APIs and communication channels.
- Configuration violation.
Why is important to companies to do Pentest?
Pentest can often be seen by people with bad looks, due to the fact that no one wants to get hacked, but this resource can generate multiple benefits that, as a company, you should be interested in. Here are some of them:
- Helping companies to test their cyber security capabilities and how to improve them.
- Discovering weaknesses in the security system before a cyber-criminal does.
- Allowing companies to adopt new positions in relation to Information Security, as well as presenting justification for investments in the area.
- To watch over your company’s reputation, since an intrusion test shows the commitment to ensure business continuity and maintain an effective relationship with corporate security.
Demyo is an IT security company that provides protection services to all size companies, offering Web Application Penetration Testing, Network Penetration Testing, Threat Analysis, Intelligence providing and more. Keeping your company safe should be a top priority. Cybersecurity services allow you to keep your information safe from cybercriminals, in a way you can always be productive.