How do you know what will happen if you become the target of a hacking attack? How will you respond, and how will your network hold up to the assault? These are questions that you need answers to, and perhaps the best way to get them is through what is called a penetration test, or pen test. What are these tests, and what can you expect from them?
What is a Penetration Test?
A penetration test is exactly what it sounds like; you test your infrastructure to see who can crack it. In most cases, this will be done by trained IT professionals, or “ethical hackers,” who will use methods in line with what hackers might normally use to infiltrate the system and test its security. Basically, you can think of a penetration test as a simulated attack against your business’ infrastructure.
Penetration tests are usually performed with specific goals in mind. For example, do you know which systems you have that are vulnerable to hackers? You might discover during the test that a system you thought was impervious is not-so-safe after all. Penetration tests are important because it is much easier to prevent data breaches than it is to respond to them—as is the case with technology problems in general. It’s better to keep them from becoming problems in the first place by taking preventative action now.
What Kinds of Tests Are Available?
The big difference between penetration testing and a vulnerability assessment is that the latter is mostly a list of security issues and how they can be addressed, whereas a penetration test is a full-fledged hack of your network to see how it responds under pressure. There are three types of penetration testing available to businesses, all of which offer different experiences.
- Black box testing – The tester goes in blind; in other words, they know nothing about the network or what to target. This type of testing might be used if there are no specific problems that need to be addressed.
- White box testing – The tester goes in with full understanding of the network, often looking for specific problems that need to be addressed.
- Gray box testing – The tester has partial knowledge of the network. In other words, they don’t have the whole picture, but they have some of it.
Depending on the results of the test, a report can be generated detailing just how far along the simulated data breach got, what was stolen, and so on. It is then up to the business to course-correct, taking all of the appropriate measures to ensure that the attack cannot happen for real.
Get Us On Your Side!
SRS Networks knows that cybersecurity can be a challenge for small businesses, especially those with limited resources at their disposal. This is why we offer comprehensive IT solutions, chief among them cybersecurity, to aid you in your mission. We want to make it as easy as possible for your business to operate in an efficient and safe manner. To this end, we can help you with cybersecurity solutions, including penetration testing, to help guide your security practices moving forward.
To learn more about what SRS Networks can do for your business, reach out to us at (831) 758-3636.