What is Penetration Testing, and Why Is It Important?

For organizations of all kinds, cybersecurity is key. If you’re looking to enhance your approach to security in order to ensure you don’t end up being compromised by future attacks, now is the time to explore penetration testing in more depth.

Penetration testing is a way of staying on top of your security situation and finding areas in which your approach is lacking. We’re going to give a more thorough explanation of the concept below, as well as an explanation of how penetration testing works. So read on now to find out more.

What is Penetration Testing?

A penetration test is the name given to the process of attacking your web application in a controlled and simulated way. The purpose is to find vulnerabilities that need to be addressed in order to ensure that if and when a real attack takes place, your web application will be able to withstand it.

It’s usually the case that experts recommend having your web application undergo penetration testing on a quarterly basis. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t follow that advance and only undergo penetration once a year, if that. But the threats are on the rise, and strong cyber security has never been more important than it is today.

The Stages of Penetration Testing

There are very different stages that have to take place when penetration testing is carried out. Here’s a bit about each of the 5 stages, what they’re used for and why they’re important.

Planning: The planning phase allows you to define your goals, what exactly you’re going to be testing and which methods will be used. Data on the target of the attack also needs to be gathered.

Scanning: Things such as vulnerability scanners and DAST tools need to be used to start the scanning process.

Gaining Access: This part of the test is about seeing how much access can be gained and therefore, how much damage can be done via the attack. Cross-site scripting can expose these kinds of issues and vulnerabilities.

Maintaining Access: After access has been gained, the test needs to establish whether or not it’s possible to maintain access and begin to access data that’s sensitive.

Covering the Tracks: The test will then establish whether the tracks of the attack can be covered, making the changes they make harder to detect and ensuring the attack drags out longer, allowing more potential damage to be done.

Why It’s So Important

There are many reasons why penetration testing is important. First and foremost, it’s important because it allows you to manage patches and discover bugs that need to be dealt with. It also makes it possible to spot weaknesses in your digital infrastructure, and to test the protections and controls you’ve already put in place.

Managing your IT services is tough and there are many things that need to be taken care of. But that’s never an excuse to overlook things such as penetration testing. If you want professional assistance with this, a managed service provider in Milton, MA, knows what it takes when it comes down to your network security.