Any business that handles card data has specific responsibilities to ensure the safety of any information they hold. These requirements are set out in the PCI DSS standard. PCI penetration testing forms part of the process of making the environment where you store card details secure. Both internal and external penetration testing must be done at least once a year. Further testing is also required if any significant changes are made to the infrastructure.
What is PCI Pen Testing?
A penetration test uses various methods to test your business systems for vulnerabilities. PCI penetration testing or pen testing helps identify and fix any possible issues across the network and business infrastructure. Primarily, you use experts to identify potential problems by attempting a cyber-attack. It is a way of resolving issues before someone else finds them and causes a data breach.
External and internal testing covers the network from all angles so that you know your business data is as secure as possible. A pen test has to be performed on the complete cardholder data environment (CDE). The tests include all systems that may have a security impact on the CDE.
Conducting this type of testing gives you valuable insight into the business systems and allows for improvements and security patches to be implemented to fix identified problems.
Which systems require PCI Pen Testing?
PCI pen testing on the cardholder data environment will have to cover every system involved in the process. It also includes anything that has a potential impact on the data, even if it is not directly involved in the payment process. Pen testing can also cover other parts of the infrastructure, such as application systems and web application systems.
In the case of data breaches, prevention is always the best way forward. By being proactive with penetration testing, you are taking the best steps to protect corporate data and customer card information.
Penetration testing process
Experts will use penetration tools and processes to try and identify and exploit any weaknesses in the infrastructure of systems. The stages of pen testing are:
- Planning – Test parameters are defined, and systems intelligence is collected.
- Scanning – Tools scan systems to evaluate the responses to potential threats.
- Access – Staged attacks to gain access and identify system vulnerabilities. At this point, tests are also conducted to see if maintained access to systems is possible.
- Analysis – After the test completion, a full analysis of the results is compiled into a comprehensive report.
The process starts with a planning stage to identify which systems will be tested. Testing can cover network security, web applications, wireless networks, firewalls, and more. The testing process starts with initial scans to identify any possible ways of infiltrating the infrastructure. When issues are found, testers will try to gain access through these vulnerable points.
If the systems can be accessed, testers will see how far into the systems and data a possible breach can get. Tests are also carried out to see if access can be maintained as this is potential tactic hackers also use.
After everything is done, you will have a comprehensive PCI pen testing report. The report will show which parts of your business infrastructure are vulnerable, how extensive the issues are, and what can be done to fix them.
Why choose OmniCyber for PCI penetration testing?
Pen testing is a way of protecting your business from the latest threats and tools used by hackers. At OmniCyber, we employ Offensive Security Certified Professionals (OSCP), or ethical hackers, to identify system problems. Our passion is to help businesses like yours with the complex issues of cybersecurity. With a high level of attention to detail and a bespoke service, you get the best pen testing available.
Whatever your requirements, our penetration testing services are tailored to your needs, so you get a service that is the right fit for your business. Contact us today to find out more about our pen testing service.