Corporations that have not performed penetration testing for their IT infrastructure are considered lucky. However, these companies should not become complacent that their data is safe against cyber-attacks. Unscrupulous individuals or entities may try to use ransomware to infiltrate data networks and hold data as a hostage until the company complies with monetary demands. Other hackers may infiltrate networks to get critical data on to be used by competitor companies.
Breaches into secured data are increasing and are getting more sophisticated. Recent cyber-attacks against high profile companies have affected hundreds of millions of records and have cost corporations massive amounts of financial losses. Corporations should employ penetration testing to safeguard their data networks immediately.
Penetration testing is an intentional attack on your company’s network system to check for any weaknesses that external hackers can exploit. During a pen test, corporations employ ethical hackers with the primary purpose of getting access and sabotage the network system. During the process, these employed hackers will report all the vulnerabilities encountered in the network.
Penetration Testing Methods
Corporations that strongly rely on their network infrastructure for data safekeeping need to explore the strengths and weaknesses of their network fully and should implement the following penetration testing methods.
- External Testing. An external pen test targets a company’s assets, such as company website, domain, and email servers, and any online application related to the company. The main goal of an external pen test is to extract valuable company information through the internet by infiltrating its website, firewall, or DNS servers. In external testing, the company’s testing team (hackers employed) has information on all the company’s external-facing assets.
- Internal Testing. Internal penetration testing is a simulation attack on the company’s network infrastructure, which assumes hackers have penetrated external firewalls. Internal testing will also simulate an attack by disgruntled company employees who still have internal access to the company’s network system.
- Blind Testing. A blind pen test will stimulate the actions and procedures of a real hacking attempt at a company. The testing team will only be given the name of the target corporation and will attempt to extract information and sabotage that target’s data network. The hackers will then report all actions that they did on their attempt to the security team.
- Double-Blind Testing. During a double-blind test, both the security team and the testing team (hackers) are aware that an analysis is being done. However, the security team does not know the procedures that the hackers (testing team) are going to use for the breaching attempt. This allows the corporation to observe how their data security team is reacting against the attempted breach.
- Targeted Testing. In targeted testing, both the security team and the testing team are working together to explore all the vulnerabilities of the system. During this testing approach, the hackers will be in constant real-time communication with the security team on their strategies in conducting a breach in the company’s network infrastructure. On the other hand, the security team can immediately check and correct the vulnerabilities discovered by the testing team.
All the methods stated above are essential to test a corporation’s data network thoroughly. However, for all these testing methods to be effective, companies should use both an internal testing team and a third-party team to perform the breach.
Author Bio: John Navarra is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.