Network Penetration Testing

Penetration testing in simple terms is a simulation of a process a hacker would use to launch an attack on a business network, attached devices, network applications, or a business website. The purpose of the simulation is to identify security issues before hackers can locate them and perform an exploit.

Pen tests identify and confirm actual security issues and report on the manner in which the security issues can be located and exploited by hackers. When performed consistently, a pen test process will inform your business where the weaknesses exist in your security model.  This ensures your business can achieve a balance between maintaining the best network security possible and ensuring ongoing business functions in terms of possible security exploits. The results of a pen test can also assist your business with improved planning when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery.

Although pen tests simulate methods hackers would use to attack a network, the difference is the pen test is performed without malicious intent.  For this reason, network professionals should have the appropriate authorisation from organisational management before proceeding to conduct a pen test on the network.  Additionally, if the penetration test is not planned correctly and is lacking in components, the end result could be disruption of business continuity and daily operations.

There are several steps that are involved with penetration testing with the planning phase being the most critical.  During the planning phase, network professionals review user documentation, network specifications, various cases of network usage, and other types of relevant documentation.  The information is then used to design a series of test cases for the penetration test.

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