Penetration testing is used to identify vulnerabilities in networks, computer systems, and applications. The standard penetration testing procedure includes the analysis of conventional vulnerabilities as well as either software testing or network security scanning. It is a set of methodologies for investigating the various problems in a system and testing, analysing, and recommending solutions.
Penetration testing phases
Pre-engagement, engagement, and post-engagement are the three stages of the penetration testing process.
- Planning and Scoping
The penetration test provider is usually involved in defining the scope of the testing. It should include the test plan as well as the level of intrusion permitted when vulnerabilities are discovered. Penetration testing is a white hat approach in which the attacker is a tester who follows the scope definition’s rules of engagement. Before performing the penetration test, the ethical hacker must sign a confidentiality agreement since he or she may have access to classified data and information.
- Information gathering and analysis
Following planning and scoping, the next phase is to gather information on the systems or networks to be tested. The penetration tester may or may not have access to information about the organization’s internal processes. In some cases, a firm will direct an attacker to specific vulnerabilities or targets that they are concerned about.
- Vulnerability Analysis
During this step, the penetration tester deploys a probe on the target network, collects preliminary data, and analyses the results to identify exploitation routes.
This phase may yield insights such as :
- the server’s directory.
- Use a secure connection to connect to an FTP server.
- SMTP access points that send error messages containing network architectural information.
- The likelihood of remote code execution.
- Security flaws in cross-site scripting.
- To sign and insert new scripts into the network, an internal code-signing certificate can be utilised.
- Penetration Testing
During this step, a penetration tester searches target properties for vulnerabilities using automated tools. These programmes typically have their own files that contain information about the most frequent vulnerabilities. Testers, on the other hand, discover Network Exploration, which involves the discovery of new networks, routers, and other equipment. It also features Host Discovery, which defines available ports on these devices.
- Active Intrusion Attempts Phase
Once a penetration tester has breached the security perimeter or exploited a target device, they can use malware or another way to gain continual access, much like a true advanced persistent threat. Furthermore, if the system is rebooted or maintained, the control function should be durable and remain on the network.
Following penetration testing, both testers and clients must complete a number of tasks.
1.Post-test exploitation and risk identification
Recommendations for resolving discovered vulnerability problems in the environment can be a significant aspect of a penetration tester’s evaluation. Any severe problems detected during the penetration test should be corrected by the penetration testing company.
- Report on Penetration Testing
Finally, the penetration tester submits a report to the company. The test report should be distributed to two groups of people: administrators and technical or security employees. An executive summary describing the penetration test approach in market terms and categorising analysis results based on risk level. It will be used by the business team to assess what has to be fixed and which issues provide an acceptable amount of risk.
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