Theory vs Practice
Your IT security may look impressive in the keynote presentation you were given, but it’s no help if it cannot withstand attacks in the real world. You need to know that your assets are safe and secure from genuine attacks.
That’s where penetration testing comes in.
A penetration test (or pentest for short) simulates a cyber-attack on your IT system, searching for vulnerabilities that can be exploited. This attack is carried out by real certified hackers (sometimes called “ethical hackers”). They launch a full-scale assault on your network and “stress test” your systems. Such an attack aims to see if a genuine, malicious hacker could get through and exploit your infrastructure.
How Pen Tests Work
There are several stages to a typical pen test.
First of all, goals for the test, such as systems to be addressed and testing methods, are defined. Next, scanning tools test to see if the target responds to intrusions.
This usually takes the form of:
Attacks are staged to uncover vulnerabilities that our certified hackers then try to exploit, usually by:
Any vulnerabilities are then checked to see if an attacker can gain prolonged access (and thus do more damage to your infrastructure)
And finally, all the information is analysed to patch any vulnerabilities that may have been discovered.
If you plan to have your network pen tested, it is worth making sure that it is checked externally and internally.
An external test is where your visible assets on the internet are check—things such as your website and emails.
An internal test is to check your assets that lay behind your firewall. Occasionally, a disgruntled employee may try to harm your network, but more commonly, it is done by a hacker who has stolen genuine credentials in a phishing attack. There are other ways to test your network, which we would be happy to discuss if you are interested. Remember, the more ways your network security is tested, the less likely it is to fail in a genuine attack.
There are many obvious advantages to having your network tested, such as:
But there are other, less obvious but equally essential advantages too.
There are regulations and standards to consider. And your company’s reputation too. Any potential customers are less likely to want to do business with you if you become known for having a vulnerable, unsafe IT infrastructure. And you will be able to focus on your business without worrying if your network is going to let you down.
If you would like to know more about how Enterprise Defence can pentest your IT network and make sure it’s secure, contact us now!
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