This article contains everything you need to know about cornerstones of IT security, penetration testing – otherwise known as pen-testing. We’re going to go over what penetration testing is and what types of pen testing there are, give some examples of how your organisation can utilise it and assess how essential it is to your business. We will periodically be updating this article to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about penetration testing

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What is meant by penetration testing?

Penetration tests are intentional attacks on your IT system, executed to expose the weak spots in your system’s defences, including cross-site scripting, source codes, logic, and network configurations. Penetration tests give your IT team an understanding of the vulnerabilities in your infrastructures. 

What is penetration testing with example?

Penetration tests (or pen tests) are attacks on your companies’ software and hardware systems, carried out by ‘ethical hackers’ to expose your system’s vulnerabilities.

One example is a web application pen test. Web apps, browsers and plug-ins can house sensitive financial or personal data, so hackers are increasingly putting their efforts towards gaining access to them. The test would examine the endpoint of every web application.

What are the types of penetration testing?

They are four types of penetration testing:

  • External network pen tests involve an ethical hacker (hacking on behalf of you instead of themselves), trying to break into your organisation.
  • Internal network pen tests are similar, but the It professional doing it has a degree of existing network access.
  • Web application pen tests investigate the weakness of web apps, browsers and plug-ins, as they often house sensitive financial or personal data.
  • Social engineering pen tests identify vulnerabilities in your workforce or workplace. 

Is penetration testing difficult?

Some experts have compared penetration testing to a financial audit. Your financial team does their day-to-day work to track profit, loss and income, and an external group comes in to confirm that the internal team’s methods are up to scratch. Though your internal IT team may be skilled and experienced, penetration testers are specialists. It is essential for the survival of your business that you are as prepared as possible for risks to your day-to-day operations.

Watch this space for more answers to your penetration testing questions.