How safe is your software with Penetration Testing?
Definition of Penetration Testing
Penetration testing (pen-testing or pentesting) is a technique of testing, measuring and enhancing established security measures on information systems and support areas. It is a kind of testing wherein the objective is to analyse security related weaknesses.
It is also known as a security assessment.
Penetration Testing in detail
Pen-testing may be conducted to balance background investigations and ensure social engineering and networking safety.
Pen-testing is implemented by simulating malicious attacks from an organization’s internal and external users. Here, the major role is to put the software to a test with various sneaky malicious techniques. The complete system is then evaluated for probable weaknesses. A plan that communicates test objectives, timetables and resources is developed prior to actual pen-testing.
Pen-testing is an invaluable process for several reasons, including the following:
- Minimal security breach potential ensures system reliability.
- Complies with regulatory or other agencies.
- Demonstrates a good-faith effort to protect customer information
Likely causes of the security breaches could possibly be:
- Defects in design and/or development
- A system configuration that is not upto the standards
- Human-related errors
Why is Pen-testing crucial?
Pen-testing is all about security assessment so there is always the fear of hackers and third party people as they play a major role for security breaches. For e.g. Financial data, while transferring to other systems, if security is hampered, it results to a huge loss. Nowadays clients are keen to opt for penetration testing at specific levels or during the entire project in order to maintain reputation and brand name in the market and also to avoid any disaster to the company.
While performing penetration testing the optimal testing tools are a must. While others tools may include:
- Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or prebuilt equipment and/or software applications
- Proprietary enterprise applications (EA)
- Potentially compromisable phone and wireless systems
- Physical controls
Benefits of Penetration Testing
- Brilliantly manage vulnerabilities
- Avoid the cost of network downtime
- Meet regulatory requirements and avoid fines
- Preserve corporate image and customer loyalty
Also remember when you plan to perform Penetration testing on someone else’s system, make sure you have the permission to do so else you yourself will be considered a hacker. This is the basic difference between a penetration tester and a hacker – to have the permission/authority to perform or not to.
Penetration Testing cannot be completed without the manual touch because automation does not make visible all the sensitivities. Design, business logic, code verification – all of that is for a tester to do manually.