Penetration Testing Services for Cybersecurity

Penetration Testing for Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is more critical than ever before. With the rise of hacking, phishing, and other cyber threats, businesses must take steps to protect themselves. One way to do this is through penetration testing. Penetration testing is a type of security testing that simulates an attack on a system to find vulnerabilities. By doing this, businesses can find and fix weaknesses before malicious actors exploit them. Does your company ever perform penetration tests?


Penetration Testing Services

When it comes to a penetration test definition, it varies to some degree. However, in its most basic form, a penetration test, sometimes called a pen test, is a simulated attack on a computer network or company’s system that cybersecurity consultants perform to evaluate the security with prior authorization. Businesses allow cybersecurity companies to look at their devices and network for vulnerabilities. These tests point out where hackers could enter the company and wreak havoc. 

Is a Penetration Test the Same As a Vulnerability Scan? 

The main difference between a penetration test and a vulnerability scan is that a vulnerability scan is performed without authorization from the system or network owner. In contrast, the owner authorizes a penetration test. Penetration tests are usually more thorough than vulnerability scans and include activities such as social engineering and physical security attacks, in addition to testing for vulnerabilities.

Who Conducts Penetration Tests?

External cybersecurity consultants with specific expertise typically perform these types of tests. The consultant works with the organization to understand its particular needs and then designs and executes the test accordingly. After completing the test, the consultant provides a report detailing their findings and recommendations for improving security.


Penetration Testing Steps 

Five main penetration testing steps allow a thorough look into the network and data. From there, the company and consultant can decide how to fix the problems found. Here are the basic penetration testing steps: 

1. Planning:

Planning is the first step in any penetration testing project, which includes scoping the engagement, defining objectives, and creating a test plan. The scope of the agreement will determine which systems and networks they will test and what type of testing is appropriate. Objectives should be specific and measurable to be clear when they have been met. Once objectives are defined, the consultant will create a test plan outlining the methodology during the engagement.

2. Scanning:


After planning is complete, the next step is scanning. This phase involves identifying potential vulnerabilities in the systems and networks under test. Consultants can use various tools for this purpose, including network scanners, application scanners, and vulnerability assessment tools.

3. Accessing:

Once potential vulnerabilities have been identified, the next step is accessing them to confirm their existence and assess their impact. Cybersecurity consultants use various methods, such as exploit frameworks, manual exploitation techniques, or automated exploitation tools.

4. Maintaining Access:

Once access has been gained to a system or network, the next goal is to maintain that access for future use. Consultants do this by creating persistent backdoors or establishing pivots to other systems within the environment.

5 Analysis and Configuration: 

After gaining access and maintaining it throughout the engagement, the data gets analyzed. The analysis allows the company and consultant to work together to configure the areas of weakness, allowing them to close. Once complete, many consultants retest to ensure those vulnerabilities are corrected. 


Types of Penetration Testing

When it comes to penetration testing, several different types can be employed to test the security of a system. 

  • Open-box testing, also known as white-box testing, is a type of penetration test where the tester has full knowledge of the system they are testing. 

  • Closed-box testing, on the other hand, is where the tester has limited or no knowledge of the system they are testing. 

  • Covert testing is another penetration test where the testers attempt to gain access to the system without being detected.

  • Internal testing is a type of penetration test conducted by an organization’s staff members.

  • External testing is conducted by an outside party, such as a consultant or security firm.

  • Blind tests occur without any prior knowledge of the tested system.

  • Double-blind tests are even more difficult, as they require both the tester and the client to be unaware of the details of the test until it’s complete.

  • Targeted tests focus on specific areas or components within a system.

Each type of penetration test has advantages and disadvantages. Open-box tests can provide more comprehensive results but may take longer to complete. Closed-box tests may be faster but may only identify some potential security vulnerabilities. 

Covert tests can provide valuable information about an organization’s ability to detect and respond to unauthorized access attempts but carry a higher risk of legal repercussions if discovery occurs during or after the test. Internal and external tests have pros and cons, so selecting the correct test type based on the organization’s needs and goals is essential.


Penetration Testing Examples

There are many different examples of penetration tests. Each type will return different results and take a different amount of time. The most common penetration test examples include: 

  1. Brute force attacks

  2. Password guessing

  3. Social engineering

  4. SQL injection

  5. Denial of service (DoS) attacks

  6. Buffer overflow attacks

  7. Session hijacking

  8. Cross-site scripting (XSS)


How Often Should You Perform a Pen Test?

As a general rule of thumb, you should pen test your systems at least once a year. However, several factors can influence how often you should test. These include the size and complexity of your system, the sensitivity of the data it handles, how often it changes, and the level of security you need.

If you have a small system with static data, you might be able to get away with testing every other year. However, if your system is large and complex or handles sensitive data, you should aim to test it at least 1-2 times a year. If your system changes frequently, you may even need to test it more than once a year. Ultimately, your security needs should dictate the frequency of your tests.


Contact US Cybersecurity for Pen Test Today!


If you’re looking for a comprehensive penetration test for your cybersecurity needs, contact US Cybersecurity Inc today. We’ll work with you to determine the scope of the test and tailor our approach to fit your specific goals. With our experienced team of security experts, we’ll help you identify vulnerabilities and recommend solutions to improve your overall security posture. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us today and let us help you protect your business.