A penetration test, or “pen test,” is an attempt to evaluate the security of IT infrastructures using a controlled environment to safely attack, identify, and exploit vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities may exist in operating systems, services, networks, and application. They may also exist due to improper configurations or risky end-user behavior.
Penetration testing assessments are also useful in validating the efficacy of defensive mechanisms and determining how well end-users adhere to security policies.
Penetration tests provide detailed information on actual, exploitable security threats. By performing a penetration test, you can proactively identify which security weaknesses are most critical, which are less significant, and which are false positives helping you prioritize resources and response.
Recovering from a security breach can cost an organization millions of dollars in IT remediation efforts, customer protection and retention programs, and legal activities. Penetration tests help you discover and remediate potential risks before they lead to a security compromise.
Penetration tests are typically performed using manual and/or automated technologies to systematically compromise servers, endpoints, web applications, wireless networks, network devices, mobile devices, and other potential points of exposure.
Once vulnerabilities have been successfully exploited within a system, testers may use compromised systems to find other weaknesses that allow them to obtain higher and deeper levels of access to assets and data.
Information about security weaknesses that are successfully identified or exploited through penetration testing is typically aggregated and presented to IT and network system managers helping them make strategic decisions and prioritize remediation efforts.
Penetration testing helps IT professionals measure risk and evaluate the consequences that attacks, or similar incidents, may have on resources and operations.
Penetration testing tools help organizations address the general auditing & compliance aspects of regulations. The detailed reports penetration tests generate can help your organization avoid significant fines and help you document ongoing due diligence through maintaining required security controls.
Each incident of compromised customer data can be costly: negatively affecting sales and tarnishing an organization’s public image. Penetration testing helps you prevent data incidents that put your organization’s reputation and trustworthiness at stake.