The concept of computing security includes Cybersecurity as well as physical security. Cybersecurity is the combination of technologies, processes and practices design for the purpose of protection of network, computers, data and programs from the attack.
Cybersecurity deals with security of the application, information, and systems. It also includes operational security, disaster recovery and education of the end user. Constantly changing nature of security risk have made Cybersecurity challenging. In the current environment, the threat is advancing quickly, and the emergence of technology have made the cyber security approaches insufficient. The global cyber security market is growing on a continuous basis mentioned in Forbes. In 2015 it reached $75 billion, and it is expected to hit $170 billion in 2020. Advisory organizations are continuously promoting more proactive and adaptive approaches in order to meet the challenging need of current technologically equipped environment.
For the computer security, multiple devices procedures and techniques have been introduced as countermeasures. These countermeasures are successfully reducing and elimination the threats, vulnerabilities, and attacks by discovering and reporting the harm on time. Let’s have a look at Penetration Test-A procedure devised for vulnerability management in Cybersecurity.
What is Penetration Testing? A penetration test is one those procedures and techniques devised for vulnerability management. Many organizations are making the use of penetration test on a regular basis in order to identify weaknesses.
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Penetration testing is known as pen testing or security testing. It is the process of testing an application for vulnerabilities. In real world pen testing is an approach which is used to identify how and to what extent a hacker can harm your application. In order to conduct an effective penetration test organizations are required to have a skilled hacker or a team of hackers. For penetration testing do not give a source code to the hacker just ask them to gain access to your system. Very little information is required for penetration testing such as IP addresses range, individual application or name of the company. All penetration tests result in some findings which can help the organizations to take additional steps to improve security measures.
Why is Penetration Testing Important? Organizations are using penetration testing to identify the weakness in system and application in order to determine how resource allocation can improve the security of the application as well as the organization. Penetration testing is like a fire drill and allows the organization to test whether the existing security policies are effective or not. A penetration test is important as it uncovers different aspects of security policy. For example, the policy of the organization is focusing on prevention and detection of a particular attack, but it is missing the process of evicting an attacker. Penetration test provides information in the form of feedback which defines most at risk routes in your application or organization. Penetration test results are also useful for training and development of developers and influence them to make few mistakes. Through penetration test the developer would be more motivated to improve their security education and avoid making similar errors in future.
Current Practices Currently, organizations are making the use of software applications for conducting penetration test automatically. They can also perform pen test manually. In both ways, the process includes information gathering, identification of possible entry steps, attempt to break in and reporting of key findings. Pen test strategies currently used by the organizations include targeted testing, external testing, internal testing, blind testing and double blind testing. Nmap, Nessus, and Nikto are three most significant penetration testing tools that can be used by security operators to conduct pen test on their networks and applications.
Future of Penetration Testing The attack surface is expanding exponentially. Therefore, security professionals are required to broaden their focus beyond just stopping the security attacks. According to Gartner’s report on 2015 tech trends, it is impossible for the digital organization to maintain 100% secured environment and they are required to opt for risk assessment and mitigation tools. Old approaches to securing access in digital business are inadequate. Security teams are adopting pen testing to perform mock attacks on the computer in order to find vulnerabilities. This practice is effective, but it is dated coming from 1970’s.In immediate future pen testing will not undergo totally radical changes but it is evolving along with the advancement of threats.
Pen testing is considered as a complicated process of cyber security it requires real security professionals with in-depth knowledge of the operating system, networking, script language and much more.It is more than just utilization of cool hacking tools and producing vulnerability reports. Due to all these factors, it is also expected that pen testing will be replaced by an automated cloud-based service in near future.
By James Azar on 3/14/18
Article first reported at CyberHub Summit