What is Cybersecurity Penetration Testing?
When hiring an IT company to help button down your computer security, penetration testing is definitely something to consider.
A penetration test is when IT security analysts simulate a cyberattack against your business computer systems and servers to check for exploitable vulnerabilities. Not only can cybersecurity penetration testing involve the hacking of applications and servers, but it can also uncover major loopholes where attackers can inject code or hijack your computers.
The benefit of penetration testing is that it provides insights that can be used to fine-tune your technology security policies and patch detected vulnerabilities.
Cybersecurity Penetration Testing Stages
The cybersecurity penetration testing process can be broken down into stages...
1. Planning & Research
Defining the scope and end goals of a test, including the systems to be analyzed and the testing methods to be used. Gathering information (e.g., network and domain names, mail servers) to better understand how a target operates and its potential vulnerabilities to be exploited within the simulation.
2. Scanning Systems
The next step is to grasp how the targeted application or system will respond to various intrusion attempts. With dynamic analysis, the scans provide a more practical way of examination, as it provides a more real-time view of an IT system's performance.
3. Achieving Access
This stage uses application attacks to uncover a target’s biggest vulnerabilities. Our IT analysts then try to exploit these vulnerabilities, typically by escalating privileges, stealing data, or intercepting traffic-- all in order to understand the damage potential attackers can cause.
4. Maintaining Access
Our IT analysts and cybersecurity experts then access if the unearthed vulnerabilities can be used to gain a persistent presence in the exploited system— long enough for an actual attacker to gain in-depth access into systems. The idea is to imitate advanced persistent threats, which often remain in a system for months in order to steal a business' most sensitive data.
5. Final Analysis
The results of the penetration test are finally compiled into a report detailing findings, like:
Specific vulnerabilities that were exploited
Sensitive data that was accessed
The amount of time the penetration tester was able to remain in the system undetected.
Penetration testing methods
External penetration tests target the assets of a company that are visible on the internet (i.e. the company website, and email and domain name servers (DNS)).
Simulating a rogue employee, or an employee whose credentials were stolen due to a phishing attack.
Encompass IT Solutions has several solutions designed to meet all of your business IT and cybersecurity needs. From penetration testing to ongoing, consistent testing and employee training, we have an IT solution to fit your business needs. Contact us today at (860) 785-6233 to learn more about how we can help!