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What Is Pentesting? Who Are Pentesters?

In a corporate network, if we talk about information security & security audits, the most common term “Pentester” is often used. Pentesters are the penetration testers having permission to penetrate a system. Penetration testing, in short, Pentesting is a penetrating process with the permission of the owner to evaluate security, hack value, Target of Evaluation (TOE), attacks vectors, exploits, zero-day vulnerability & other components such as threats,

What is Pentesting? Who are Pentesters?

Technology Overview

In a corporate network, if we talk about information security & security audits, the most common term “Pentester” is often used. Pentesters are the penetration testers having permission to penetrate a system. Penetration testing, in short, Pentesting is a penetrating process with the permission of the owner to evaluate security, hack value, Target of Evaluation (TOE), attacks vectors, exploits, zero-day vulnerability & other components such as threats, vulnerabilities, and daisy chaining.

Security Audits: Inspection or evaluation of security measures which are being followed by an organization or department with no concern for threats and vulnerabilities.

 

Vulnerability Assessment: Vulnerability Assessment is the evaluation or discovery of threats and vulnerabilities that may exploit, may impact on performance and delivering the services by an organization

 

Penetration Testing: Penetration Testing is the process of security assessment includes not only security audits & vulnerability assessment. Additionally, it also demonstrates the attacks, and their solution, remediation, and policies.

Important for Penetration testing

If you want to be ready for an attack, you must be smart, to think like them, act like them. The need and importance of penetration testing, in the modern world having advanced threats such as denial-of-service, identity theft, theft of services, data loss and data leakage are common; System penetration ensure to counter the attack from malicious threats by anticipating methods. Some other major advantages and need for penetration testing is to uncover the vulnerabilities in systems and security deployments in the same way an attacker gains access: –

  • To identify the threats and vulnerabilities to organizations assets.
  • To provide a comprehensive assessment of policies, procedures, design, and
  • To set remediation actions to secure them before they are used by a hacker to breach security.
  • To identify what an attacker can access to steal.
  • To identify what information can be theft and its use.
  • To test and validate the security protection & identify the need for any additional protection layer.
  • Modification and up-gradation of currently deployment security architecture.
  • To reduce the expense of IT Security by enhancing Return on Security Investment (ROSI).

 

Blue teaming is an approach, in which a security team is responsible for performing analysis of security control & efficiency of an information security system. They detect and mitigate red team attacks.

 

In Red teaming approach, a team of ethical hackers or pentesters, responsible for system penetration with limited or without any granted access to internal resources to evaluate Security policies, access controls and other aspects of an information security system by detecting, evaluating & exploiting vulnerabilities from an attackers perspective.

Types of Penetration Testing

Three types of Penetration testing are important to be differentiated because a penetration tester may have asked to perform any of them.

Black Box

The black box is a type of penetration testing in which the pentester is blind testing or double-blind testing, i.e. provided with no prior knowledge of the system or any information of the target. Black boxing is designed to demonstrate an emulated situation as an attacker in countering an attack.

Gray box

Gray box, is a type of penetration testing in which the pentester has very limited prior knowledge of the system or any information of targets such as IP addresses, Operating system or network information in very limited. Gary boxing is designed to demonstrate an emulated situation as an insider might have this information and to counter an attack as the pentester has basic, limited information regarding target.

White box

The white box is a type of penetration testing in which the pentester has complete knowledge of system and information of the target. This type of penetration is done by internal security teams or security audits teams to perform auditing.

Phases of Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a three-phase process.

  • Pre-Attack Phase
  • Attack Phase
  • Post-Attack Phase


Figure 1-15 Penetration Testing Phases

Security Testing Methodology

There are some methodological approaches to be adopted for security or penetration testing. Industry-leading Penetration testing Methodologies are: –

  • Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)
  • Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM)
  • Information Systems Security Assessment Framework (ISAF)
  • EC-Council Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) Methodology

Mind Map

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