What is penetration testing?

What is penetration testing?


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Penetration testing is comprehensively performed over a fully functional system’s software and hardware. This technique helps identify any weak points in the system that an attacker may be able to exploit.

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In addition to minimizing the risk of compromise to the system, the system’s configuration is also analyzed by validating checks on software and hardware. Penetration testing is also known as ethical hacking and can be performed both manually and through automation. To achieve the goals of pen-testing efficiently, various scenarios are designed to emulate breaking into the system to evaluate expected behavior for accurate results.

Why do we perform Penetration Testing?
As discussed initially, penetration testing is carried out in a controlled environment where potential loopholes are identified and eliminated before attackers exploit them. If any loophole remains there, the attacker can gain access to the system and can utilize the data for malicious activities.

Pen-Testing Requirements: The Five Rs
Whenever organizations plan to carry out penetration testing in a controlled environment, the requirements should be realistic and reliable because the ethical hacker will simulate an actual activity where the system may be compromised. Hence, employee privacy rights need to be taken into consideration before performing this kind of activity. There are five such requirements of pen-testing, which should be fulfilled before pen-testing begins.

Respect: Everyone associated with the system should be treated with respect during the execution of pen-testing and should not be pressurized or made to feel uncomfortable.
Restriction: People should behave in a normal manner, with no change from the way they act in their everyday lives.
Reliable: Pen-testing should be reliable but not cause any slacking-off from the company’s routine work.
Repeatable: Similar to other testing methods, pen-testing is executed multiple times for precise results. When the environment does not change, the results should remain the same.
Reportable: It is essential to monitor and improve the process to increase its effectiveness in the future. A log should be made for every important action, and the test results should be arranged in a meaningful order to help with decision-making.

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