What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing (or pen testing) is a security exercise where a cyber-security expert attempts to find and exploit vulnerabilities in a computer system, network, website, and application. This simulated attack aims to identify any weak spots in a system’s defenses that attackers could take advantage of.

What is Vulnerability Assessment?

A vulnerability assessment is a process of identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing security weaknesses in computer systems, applications, network infrastructures, and hardware It helps to discover possible threats, measures their severity and recommends actions to help mitigate them. Vulnerability assessment provides organizations with the necessary knowledge, awareness, and risk insights to understand and respond to potential threats.

Difference between Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing (PT)Vulnerability Assessment (VA)
Definition Proof-of-concept approach to explore and exploit vulnerabilitiesA systematic technical approach to finding the security loopholes in a network or software system
TasksExploit the vulnerabilities to probe the damage that could result from the VASearch and check the underlying design to detect holes
Frequency PeriodicallyContinuous
Process Identifies unknown and exploitable vulnerabilities, and an independent outside service performs it.Identifies known vulnerabilities that could be exploited, and it’s performed by in-house staff.

What are the stages of Penetration Testing?

What are the stages of Penetration Testing

Pre-engagement Stage

Penetration testers will prepare and gather the required tools, OS, and software to begin the penetration test.
The necessary tools vary depending on the type and scope of engagement but will be defined by a quality penetration tester at the start of any penetration test.

Intelligence Gathering

The organization being tested will provide the penetration tester with general information about in-scope targets, and the tester will gather additional details from publicly accessible sources.

Threat Modeling

Threat modeling is a process for prioritizing where remediation strategies should be applied to keep a system secure.

Vulnerability Analysis

Penetration testers are expected to identify, validate, and evaluate the security risks posed by vulnerabilities.
This analysis of vulnerabilities aims to find flaws in an organization’s systems that a malicious individual could abuse.

Exploitation

This penetration test phase involves exploiting identified vulnerabilities in an attempt to breach an organization’s system and its security. 

Post-Exploitation

After the testing is complete, the penetration tester must consider the value of the compromised machine and its usefulness in further compromising the network.

Reporting

An executive-level and technical-level report will be delivered covering what was tested, how it was tested, what vulnerabilities were found, and how the penetration tester found those weaknesses.

What are the methodologies we use in PT?

Penetration testing methodologies are essential for selecting the proper assessment techniques because the selection of test cases and threat models can influence security assessments.

The approach of Penetration testing

The approach of Penetration testing