When we imagine a hacker, we have movie scenes in our minds, in which specialists sit in a dark room surrounded by dozens of monitors and type symbols incomprehensible to the average person on the keyboard at the speed of light. Looks impressive! Further, these hackers penetrate the systems of large companies in order to steal money or find classified information necessary for their business. And the viewer always wonders why the cybersecurity of these corporations is so weak?! Is it really impossible to identify all the gaps and shortcomings in it in advance in order to correct them? Really! After all, you can take a qualified IT specialist to personally attack the system of an enterprise, find gaps in it and fix them. This is exactly what companies that care about their security are doing today. And this process is called the “Penetration test”.
And now let’s figure out whether any such test helps to get the highest level of security and what to do to achieve success in this matter?
The main goals of conducting a penetration test
The IT infrastructure includes many different elements, each of which, for example, DBMS, network devices or OS, contains a bunch of different options and settings. They are indicators of the level of protection and security of the system as a whole. If the settings are set correctly, you can reduce the risk of errors to zero. But it is not always possible to find out if everything is configured correctly until a special procedure is carried out to detect such problems. To do this, companies turn to the pen testing company and call specialists with all the necessary skills and knowledge to perform this work. There are two key reasons for this:
- The direct reason is to identify existing system vulnerabilities and eliminate errors.
- The hidden reason is to check how attentive and vigilant the employees of the firm are.
To conduct a full scan of a company’s software, it is necessary to approach it comprehensively, combining automatic and manual testing methods. Most importantly, adhere to the scheme and rules for performing a penetration test. Experienced professionals take into account the basic rules to perform the work quickly and efficiently. Let’s see what those rules are.
Five Key Tips for a Successful Penetration Test
If you ask the experts how to succeed in the procedure for identifying software vulnerabilities, they are sure to point out the five most important rules that will lead to success. This TOP 5 includes the following tips:
- Define the goals. To pass the test and identify all the problems in the program, you need to take on the role of an attacker. To do this, you even need to think like a hacker. After all, he is trying to steal company data, and for this, he uses special methods. It is they who become the main means to achieve their goal. That is, it is important for them not to break the program, but to take exactly what they came for. The same is true with penetration testing: you need not only to do a cool job using all the existing tricks and methods but to identify those areas where the risks for the business are the greatest.
- Follow the data. Large corporations typically have hundreds or thousands of devices in their IT infrastructure, making checking all of them simply impossible due to limited budget or capacity. And yet, it will be possible to increase the level of protection if you answer one single question: “What is important for me to protect?”
- Make useful connections. It is important to communicate and collaborate with business people in order to learn from them what exactly they protect.
- Checking risks. The type of testing will directly depend on the value of certain data. For example, periodic vulnerability scanning is appropriate for low-risk software. If the level is high, then it is better to entrust the work to a specialist and conduct a comprehensive penetration test.
- Recognize the enemy in person. In order to perform the actions of an attacker to infiltrate other people’s systems, it is necessary to understand the mindset of this very attacker. To do this, you can talk with business owners about what types of hackers they have come across and what goals they pursued. By adding up a table of types of cyber hunters, you will be able to better understand them and do your job better.
To get the desired result and increase the security of the company’s system, it is best to order enterprise software development services, which will already have a high level of protection. If the software is already in use, then it is worth calling an IT specialist for testing.