What Needs to be done before Penetration Testing?

Introduction: 

Pen testing is a kind of security testing where the tester endeavors to discover and exploit weaknesses in a computer system. The reason for penetration testing is to distinguish and test all conceivable security vulnerabilities (is the danger that an attacker can pick up approved access to the system) that are available in the software/desktop application. Penetration testing can save your corporation several hours and a large number of dollars over the long run.  

This resembles a bank employing somebody to dress as a thief and attempt to break into their structure and access the vault. If the 'robber' succeeds and gets into the bank or the safe, the bank will pick up significant data on how they need to fix their safety efforts. 

Pen Testing phases: 

These six phases are crucial to the victorious planning and execution of a penetration test. You can study each of the phases of penetration testing deeply in the points below: 

Information Gathering/ Planning: 

One over-looked step to penetration testing is information gathering or planning. During this stage, the testing team will outline the logistics of the test, expectations, legal implications, destinations, and objectives the client might want to accomplish.  

During the Pre-Engagement stage, the penetration testers would work with the organization to completely recognize each danger, the company's administrative culture, and the best pen testing strategy for the organization. The test team might need to play out a white box, black box, or gray-box penetration test. It's at this stage when the planning happens alongside adjusting your objectives to explicit pen testing results. 

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Reconnaissance: 

Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) gathering is a significant phase in penetration testing. A pen tester works on collecting as much knowledge from the organization and the possible targets for exploitation as possible. 

Depending upon which sort of pen-test is approved, the penetration tester may have shifting levels of data about the organization or may have to recognize basic data all alone to reveal weaknesses and entry points in your environment.  

Common intelligence-gathering methods include:  

  • Search engine queries 
  • Domain name searches 
  • Social Engineering 
  • Tax Records 
  • Internet Foot printing – email addresses, usernames, social networks 
  • Internal Foot printing – Ping sweeps, port scanning, reverse DNS, packet sniffing 
  • Dumpster Diving 
  • Tailgating 

A pen tester utilizes a comprehensive checklist for discovering open entry points and weaknesses inside the organization. The OSINT Framework provides plenty of details to open information sources. The information gathered is utilized to perform revelation exercises to decide things like ports and services, ready for targeted hosts or subdomains, accessible for web applications. 

Vulnerability Assessment 

The data collected during the Reconnaissance stage is utilized to illustrate the technique regarding attack during the penetration test.  

The most generally recognized areas a pen-tester will plan and discover include: 

  • Business resources – recognize and arrange high-value resources 
  • Employee information 
  • Customer information 
  • Technical information 
  • Threats – recognize and arrange internal and external threats 
  • Internal risks – Management, workers, sellers, and so forth 
  • External risks – Ports, Network Protocols, Web Applications, Network Traffic, and so forth 

A pen-tester will frequently utilize a vulnerability scanner to complete discovery and stock on the security risks presented by identified weaknesses. At that point, the pen-tester will confirm if the weakness is exploitable. The list of vulnerabilities is shared at the end of the pen-test exercise during the reporting phase. 

Exploitation 

With a guide of every potential vulnerability and entry points, the pen-tester starts to test the exploits found inside your network, applications, and data. The objective is for the ethical hacker to see precisely how far they can get into your current environment, distinguish high-esteem targets, and keep away from any detection.  

 If you set a scope initially, at that point, the pen-tester will go through the mentioned dictations you may describe in your initial scope. For instance, Cloud services are not recommended to pen-test by you.  

 A couple of the standard exploit strategies include:  

  • Web Application Attacks  
  • Network Attacks  
  • Memory-based assaults  
  • Wi-Fi assaults  
  • Zero-Day Angle  
  • Physical Attacks  
  • Social designing  

The ethical hacker will likewise audit and document how vulnerabilities are misused to clarify the strategies and tactics used to acquire access to high-esteem targets. Ultimately, the ethical hacker needs to illuminate the outcomes from the exploit on high-esteem targets. 

Final Analysis and Review 

After the exploitation stage, the goal is to report the techniques used to access the company's confidential data. The penetration tester should have the option to decide the estimation of the compromised systems and any cost related to the sensitive information.  

Some pen-testers can't measure the effect of getting the data or can't give suggestions on the best way to remediate the vulnerabilities inside the environment. An organization expects to receive a sanitized penetration testing report that clearly shows instructions for fixing security holes and vulnerabilities.  

When the penetration testing recommendations are concluded, the tester should clean up the environment, reconfigure any access he/she got to enter the system, and prevent future unauthorized access into the system through whatever means important. 

Common cleanup exercises include:  

  • Removetheexecutables, scripts, and temporary files from compromised systems.  
  • Reconfigure thesettings back to thefirst parameters before the pen-test. 
  • Eliminatetherootkits installed in the environment. 
  • Removetheuser accounts created to connect to the compromised system. 

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Utilize the Testing Results 

Reporting is usually considered the most critical phase of a pen test. It's the stage where you will get composed suggestions from the penetration tester and have an opportunity to examine the findings from the report with the ethical hacker(s). 

The observations and thorough descriptions from the report will grant you bits of knowledge and opportunities to improve your security posture. The report will show you precisely how entry points were identified from the OSINT and Threat Modeling stage, just as how you can remediate the security issues discovered during the Exploitation stage. 

 Conclusion: 

Testers should act as a real hacker and test the application/system needs to check whether a code is securely composed. In the wake of finishing a pen test, the testers will share their conclusions with the target company’s security team. This valuable data would then  be utilized to implement security upgrades to stop up any vulnerabilities detected during the test. 

This blog covers the Pen test phases and fundamentals to start security testing; we will cover more pen test topics in the next blogs. Feel free to reach out to us with your questions and queries! You can also connect with our BOLDEnthusiasts via the contact us page! 

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