System hacking testing (Pentest, or cyber security testing) is a detailed audit of all segments of the IT infrastructure security of a company by simulating unauthorized access. This technique allows you to reveal hidden vulnerabilities in the system, identify a security hole and assess the current state of protection.
Pentest allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of protection in real conditions. This is an excellent opportunity to verify the real reliability of the system and obtain information to organize possible changes and eliminate identified problems.
What tasks can be solved using a pentest?
1. Search for vulnerabilities in the company’s security system.
2. Monitoring of the current state of IT infrastructure protection.
3. Ability to plan an effective decision-making system for possible cyberattacks.
5. Generation of detailed reports to adjust the company’s security budget.
Modeling and conducting a hacker attack reveal the real flaws in the information security of the system and determine the vulnerability of the system. Regular testing will determine the potential of technical services, infrastructure capabilities, human resources and find solutions for possible modernization and improvement of IT departments.
The main types of penetration testing:
1. Pentest hidden. With this option, only key employees of the company know about the penetration test. First of all, security specialists will counter the hacker threat.
2. Pentest external. A planned attack on external servers and network applications in order to determine the possibility of unauthorized entry and the extent of possible damage.
3. Pentest internal. The threat of an attack comes from a registered user with basic access to determine damage from a staff member.
Key stages of pentesting
Determining the purpose of testing the system
It is important to take into account that imitation of hacking the customer’s IT environment is carried out exclusively at the request of the client himself and is a fully agreed and authorized action. After signing the necessary documents and agreeing on the testing model, the hacker team tests the specified system for strength.
Collection and consolidation of information about the customer company
With the help of public sources of information, the pentester collects the data of interest and develops a method for possible hacking. For this work, various scanning and information retrieval tools are used. For example, the Wayback Machine can help you determine your website history, URL information, employee email addresses, and more.
Analysis of system vulnerabilities
With the help of scanner applications, the pentester automates and organizes the list of vulnerabilities. Spy programs find weaknesses in the security system, problem areas when connecting and transferring data, possible gaps in encryption and decoding of information.
Implementation of identified vulnerabilities
To penetrate the system, the hacker uses utilities or malware that can imitate standard fragments of the system code. For these actions, special applications (Metasploit) or authoring software are used. In general, the hacking modeling methodology is quite extensive and can include complex attacks from various devices and platforms. The main task of a hacker is to penetrate the system without damaging the immune system and inflicting maximum damage on the victim.
Based on the assigned tasks, the pentester can unauthorizedly copy certain documents, change the access level for certain user groups, or completely paralyze the system.
Report preparation and analysis of the conducted testing
The final document, formally completing the testing of the system, is provided to the client after the written opinion of the pentester and his team. It lists all the vulnerabilities of the system, the model of the attack used, the nature of the penetration, and the amount of possible damage. Also, the pentester analyzes all fragments of the IT infrastructure and provides recommendations for eliminating certain deficiencies.