What is a Penetration Test?
A penetration test or Penetration testing is an integral part of a detailed security program, in which the cyber-security experts find the weakness in your common attack vectors that include web pages, email attachments, viruses, malware, text messages, pop-ups, instant messaging, and social engineering.
In the cyber security term, an attack vector is a path that is chosen by an attacker to gain unauthorized access to your computer system, network devices, operating systems, or application software to launch cyber-attacks, install different types of malware, and exploit system vulnerabilities.
The purpose of conducting pen testing is to identify such vulnerabilities from the system and secure them before an attacker does. In the past, penetration testing was not so important, but today companies hire an experienced penetration tester or a specialist because phishing, ransom ware, DDoS attacks, e-crime activities, and countless of other attacks are increasing day-by-day that is needed to stop them. Otherwise, you can make cybercriminals more profitable.
Check-Out the Top 4 Ways that Help Cybercriminals in Making Money:
Cybercriminals use botnets to earn more money. A botnet is a blend of words “robot” and “network”. It is two or more internet-connected devices that are used by attackers/cybercriminals to steal the company’s data, send spam information, perform distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and access the device and its interlinked connections.
Credit Card Fraud
Cyber security penetration testing is essential to protect the information of credit cards. Today, everyone prefers online shopping and they use credit cards for purchasing a number of items from the internet. Moreover, many people use online payment apps like PhonePe, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Paypal, Samsung Pay, WhatsApp Pay, etc to make quick transactions from one account to another.
Online Marketplace Scamming
Online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, Myntra, and many more sites allow customers to buy products and services from the comfort of their homes. According to the report of DailyHive, in which we found that Sergeant Ryan Forbes of the Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit says “We recognize that online marketplaces offer convenience and affordable deals to buyers and sellers, but it is crucial to keep in mind that you are dealing with the unknown on the other side”.
Thus, it would be great to perform the necessary steps of penetration testing to avoid cybercriminals from making a huge amount of money illegally.
Selling Personal Information in Dark Web Markets
There are various types of information that are used by hackers to publish on the Dark Web, which automatically harms many businesses. Most IT professionals know that the Dark Web allows us to store the information about medical records, research data, payment card details, proprietary manufacturing information, intelligence reports, Government secrets, security plans, and financial records. One who knows about the Dark Web threats like ransom ware and stolen password files, has the cyber security strategies in their hand and knows how to perform penetration testing.
Some cybercriminals make money by taking access to intangible goods. For instance, if you’ve developed gaming software, don’t forget to perform pen-testing because the gaming accounts are sometimes easier to hack by hackers. By hacking one’s gaming account, the hacker can sell intangible goods to the players and make more money.
Crypto jacking is the process of using any person’s computer without taking his/her permission to mine crypto currency. It has become the most common malware that allows hackers to make money illegally.
Apart from that, stealing money from bank accounts is a by-handed game for hackers. Skimming, fake keyboards, card trapping, keystroke logging, hidden cameras, false fonts, Sim swap fraud, phishing are some ways that criminals use to steal money from your debit or credit cards.
Must-Have Skills Required for Successful Software Penetration Testing
If you’re the person who wants to secure your system’s sensitive information or the entire IT infrastructure, you need to know the skills and qualifications that are required to obtain the best security test results and perform successful software penetration testing. With penetration testing skills, you cannot only identify the security gaps and vulnerabilities in the overall IT infrastructure but also make an effective penetration testing methodology to stop the system from breaching for a longer period.
Here is a list of skills that you need to acquire if you don’t know how to do penetration testing:
- Ability to write or script a code.
- Understanding of penetration testing techniques and processes.
- Have a positive attitude to learn.
- Achieve any offensive security certification (OSCP, OSWP, OSEE, OSCE, OSEE) or CISA, CISSP, and CISM certifications.
- Practice for public speaking.
- Be a team player.
- Learn report writing.
- Understanding of secure web communication and technologies.
- Get an insight into vulnerabilities and exploits outside of tool suites.
12 Best Penetration Testing Tools to Follow
- Burp Suite.
- Kali Linux.
- Zed Attack Proxy.
- Social Engineer Toolkit.
Types of Penetration Testing
Basically, there are five types of penetration testing that you can use to meet the security needs and to avoid attackers from committing a wide variety of cybercrimes.
- Network service testing.
- Web app testing.
- Wireless network testing.
- Client-side testing.
- Social engineering testing.
Give a 1-minute Read to Penetration Testing Stages
- Reconnaissance & planning – It is essential to define the goals and scope of a penetration test. You need to have an understanding of mail servers, networks, and domain names to determine how a target operates and its possible weaknesses.
- Scanning – There are several steps of penetration testing in which scanning is one of them. You need to understand how attack attempts give a response to the target system. Scanning can be done in two ways. One is through static analysis and another way is to conduct pen testing with dynamic analysis.
- Gaining access/ethical hacking – After collecting the data, the penetration testers should understand the web application attacks such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection to find any present vulnerability. Testers also should understand the scope of the potential damage that may be produced from a malicious attack.
- Access Maintenance – The idea here is to manipulate advanced based persistent threats that may exist in the system for many months to steal the most sensitive data of an organization.
- Analysis – It is vital to analyze which specific vulnerabilities are exploited, the sensitive data that can be accessed, and the total time the pen tester takes to check and uncheck the system. You need to prepare a thorough report with in-depth analysis to ensure that all the gaps and security vulnerabilities are fixed.
Penetration testing is a special kind of security control assessment process where the security assessors play the role of attackers and follow the common cyber security measures to keep the information system safe.
Penetration testing is not suitable for every security control, yet it can be utilized to obtain a variety of operational, administrative, technical controls using detection techniques like social engineering attempts and simulated hacking to address cyber security risks. One needs to use the different types of penetration testing methods like internal testing, external testing, blind testing, double-blind testing, and targeted testing, plus remember the penetration testing methodologies/stages, tools that we’ve mentioned above to help you secure your computer systems and keep them secure against cybercrimes.