How Pentest Is Performed?

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Overview


IT network VAPT, or penetration testing, is an important task to be carried out by IT administrators. This is because of the rise in hacking attempts irrespective of the industry type. Attacks can happen from internally or externally with no or little knowledge of the network.

Below are the types explaining how a penetration test is performed:
  • Social Engineering

  • Human errors are the main causes of security vulnerability. Security standards and policies should be followed by all staff members to avoid social engineering penetration attempt. Example of these standards include not to mention any sensitive information in email or phone communication. Security audits can be conducted to identify and correct process flaws.

  • Application Security Testing:

  • Using software methods one can verify if the system is exposed to security vulnerabilities.

  • Physical Penetration Test:

  • Strong physical security methods are applied to protect sensitive data. This is generally useful in military and government facilities. All physical network devices and access points are tested for possibilities of any security breach.

What are the various pen testing techniques:

1) Manual penetration test
2) Using automated penetration test tools
3) Combination of both manual and automated process

The third process is more common to identify all kinds of vulnerabilities.

Manual Penetration Testing:


The thumb that real life hackers follow, is not to use automated tools, but to do the hacking manually. This is because it is not entirely possible for tools and scripts to find all vulnerabilities. There are some vulnerabilities which can be identified by manual scan only. Penetration testers can perform better attacks on application based on their skills and knowledge of system being penetrated. The methods like social engineering can be done by humans only. The same applies to website attacks such as SQL Injection, Cross site scripting (XSS) and cross site request forgery (CSRF). Manual checking also covers design, business logic as well as code verification.

How exactly the pentest is performed?

  • Data collection

  • Various methods including Google search are used to get target system data. One can also use web page source code analysis technique to get more info about the system, software and plugin versions. There are many free tools and services available in the market which can give you information like database or table names, DB versions, software versions, hardware used and various third party plugins used in the target system.

  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Based on the data collected in first step one can find the security weakness in the target system. This helps penetration testers to launch attacks using identified entry points in the system.

  • Vulnerability Exploitation
  • This step requires special skills and techniques to launch attack on target system. Experienced penetration testers can use their skills to launch attack on the system.

  • Result analysis and report preparation
  • After completion of penetration tests detailed reports are prepared for taking corrective actions. All identified vulnerabilities and recommended corrective methods are listed in these reports. You can customize vulnerability report format (HTML, XML, MS Word or PDF) as per your organization needs.

Why such a test is needed?

What

Why

How

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