Penetration testing commonly known as pen testing or ethical hacking is the practice of testing a computer system, network or web application with the aim to find security vulnerabilities that an attacker could achieve. Penetration testing can be done with software applications or performed manually. Both the way, the process requires gathering information about the target before the test, identifying possible entry points, attempting to break in — either virtually or for real — and reporting back the findings.
The objective of Penetration Testing
There must be a question in your mind, that why it is necessary to do penetration testing in any system or organisation. Here, you go, the main objective of penetration testing is to identify security weaknesses. Similarly, Penetration testing can also be used to test an organization’s security policy, its adherence to compliance requirements, its employees’ security awareness and the organization’s ability to identify and respond to security incidents.
Pentesting identify weak spots in an organization’s security posture, as well as measure the compliance of its security policy, test the staff’s awareness of security issues and determine whether — and how — the organization would be subject to security disasters.
Furthermore, a penetration test also highlight weaknesses in a company’s security policies. For example, although a security policy focuses on preventing and detecting an attack on an enterprise’s systems, that policy may not include a process to expel a hacker.
Penetration testing methods
Primarily, there are five types of Penetration testing methods. They are: