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What is Penetration Testing and its Types?

Penetration Testing is an approach where cyber security team simulates an attack on a network or system to understand the vulnerabilities of the network or system security with the authorization of system’s users. This is also known as PEN TEST.

It is an authorization simulated attack performed by the cyber security professionals on computer to evaluate its security. The security professionals use the same tools, techniques as a cyber attacker to find the weaknesses or vulnerabilities of the system. The process works similar to how the real-world  hacker would attempt to gain access to an organization’s systems. The cyber security testers will also attempt to enter and control the organization’s systems. The cyber security testers start  examining and recording the hosts, ports and network services associated with target organization. Then they record the loopholes in the organizations systems or networks.

With the right tools and methods of performing the PEN Testing, the testers can get into the organizations systems easily. Anyone with event he slightest of or no knowledge about the system can conduct this testing so that the loopholes, mistakes made by developer will be identified and showed out. This test is performed mostly by third party security testers or cyber security organizations. They are called as ‘ETHICAL HACKERS’. They hack the system with permission.

There are 3 Approaches to Perform Penetration Testing:

  1. Black Box Penetration Testing
  2. White Box Penetration Testing
  3. Gray Box Penetration Testing
  1. Black Box Penetration Testing:
    It is also referred to as “Trial and Error” or Opaque Box Testing. Here, the hacker will not be having any idea about entries or exists of the organization’s systems. Due to this the adversary uses various attacks on the system such as Brute Force attack to find vulnerability and loopholes of which they take an advantage to get into the system. Here, the penetrator will not be having any prior knowledge about the internal systems, hence it takes more time for the person to perform this testing and identify system vulnerabilities.
  1. White Box Penetration Testing:
    It is also referred to as ‘Clear Box Testing or Transparent Testing’. This this case the tester will have complete information about the source code, software design of the infrastructure and more. So, this makes the testing period faster and easier. But one disadvantage is since the   penetrator already understand the system they will only concentrate on the existing vulnerable areas and perform testing.
  1. Gray Box Penetration Testing:
    It is a combination of both White Box and Black Box Tests. The penetrator will only have a partial understanding of internal infrastructure of organization. Here both manual and automated testing methods can be employed. Also known as “Semi-Opaque Box”, It helps to find out the most difficult loopholes in the system.

Categories of Pen Tests:

  1. Web Apps:
    This is most important and dynamic testing, where testers identify the hidden and vulnerable areas on the system.
  1. Mobile App:
    The testers looks after the vulnerabilities using automated and advanced testing tools.
  1. Networks:
    It is necessary for every business to perform this testing because the threat can be either inside or near organization’s infrastructure. It identifies the vulnerabilities in internal or external networks.
  1. Cloud:
    It provides great advantages and endless facilities to any business today, so the business organizations will resist in shifting the cloud environments.
  1. APIs:
    This testing framework helps the tester to plan whole journey from beginning to end.
  1. Containers:
    These are another buzzing tech obtained from Docker and has a lot of vulnerabilities which causes a lot of damage to the system.
  1. Embedded Services:
    IoT (Internet of Things) devices are becoming major component in many industries, including Health, Oil and Gas Industry, Power Sector, Automobiles, Home appliances, Watches etc.
  1. CI/CD Pipeline:
    Modern DevSecOps practices incorporate automated and smart also secure code analysis tools into CI/CD pipeline. It helps to find, discover vulnerabilities, and also can determine hidden vulnerabilities.

Penetration testing becomes very important as it helps find vulnerabilities in systems and fix them before an attacker does. The Offensive Defence provides one of the top cybers security certification programs to develop cutting edge Cyber defence and hacking skills on International simulators, through guided training for you be become a certified cyber security professional. With the Offensive Defense Certified Professional – Blue (ODCP-B) certification, master in demand skills and get 100% job assurance.


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