What is Network Penetration Testing?
Network Penetration Testing is a type of service performed by a penetration testing network. It is when a security organization takes advantage of a series of networking penetration testing tools and attempts to break into an outside organization’s network. It is done in coordination with the other network as part of a security test to examine just how strong and robust an organization’s security functions are, as well as identify specific vulnerabilities.
The purpose of this type of testing is to inform a client about how strong their security system is, what their vulnerabilities are, and how these issues can best be remedied. Remember, the fundamental point of penetration testing isn’t to just say “Hey, you have a problem.” The aim is to point out the specific sources of weakness within a network’s security, then make recommendations about how they can be fixed.
Stages and Methods of Network Penetration Testing
This type of testing is not the same universally, and the success of any network penetration test is typically examined by how it does over four stages.
In the first stage, a security organization will review the specific type of testing they will perform and ensure that their capabilities are in line with the client’s expectations. There are many types of testing:
- Black box testing, in which it is assumed that an average, random hacker is attempting to break into the system.
- Gray box testing assumes that an internal user or someone with some sort of network privileges is hacking into the system.
- White box testing assumes that the hacker has access to all services and system architecture, including the source code.
What type of test the client wants to be performed will ultimately impact the specific type of network penetration testing services are performed.
In the second stage, reconnaissance tools are employed. A security service will examine a network for vulnerabilities, using tools and scanners to see what these vulnerabilities are and how they can be exploited by and of the three scenarios noted above. Reconnaissance will lead to the discovery of various vulnerabilities and how they can be exploited by the penetration testing network.
In the third stage, the actual penetration test is performed. As the expression goes, this is where the rubber meets the road. During this phase, the penetration network will use the tools agreed to by the clients, as well as the data gathered from reconnaissance, to formally breach the client’s network. That can involve the use of multiple methods and specific security tools, including taking advantage of a technical or human-based approach.
This may come in the form of specific programming vulnerabilities or an actual phishing attack. The tool used by the security company will help to identify vulnerabilities. For example, if a phishing attack is successful, it may identify the need for the company in question to increase the training of their entire organization. All that is done to ensure that an attack like this cannot happen.
In the fourth and final stage, the security company in question will make a report that details what happened, including whether or not they were successful in gaining access to the network, what information they were able to gather, and how devastating such a security attack would have been if it had been carried out in reality. From there, they will make a series of recommendations to the client, based on their experiences.
If you hire a full-service networking security firm, they will also be responsible for making the actual remediation, repairing any holes in your network security, and providing training to staff to ensure that they can better identify phishing attacks. They may also make recommendations about potential changes to information technology policies.
As you can see from the above, there is no shortage of options. There are methods and network penetration testing tools that can be used to examine your network security and make recommendations about needed improvements. When it comes to this type of testing, we offer a wide array of network penetration testing services that can be utilized to determine how you can better protect your business.
Our commitment is this: Information technology and security are difficult these days, but that doesn’t make securing your network any less important. We will use all of the latest tools and technology while drawing on our years of experience to perform an appropriate network penetration test, identifying weaknesses, and remedying any potential holes in your security plan.