What is Penetration Testing?
In 2017, IT security teams discovered that nearly 75% of the most recognized websites around the globe contained essential vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
Such mistakes were easy targets for Black Hat hackers that were eager to get their hands on confidential information from company employees and customers.
White Hats and Cyber Security
In the fight against cyber security threats, various companies are actively hiring professional hackers to exploit bugs and vulnerabilities that may be lying dormant within a company’s website, network or server infrastructure.
Ethical professional hackers, known as White Hats, are hired on to execute these attacks in the hope of discovering vulnerabilities.
It may sound absurd, but the technique is truly useful in discovering where weaknesses lie and how to fix them. This tactic is known as a Penetration Test (Pen Test).
The goal of a Pen Test is to test security measures and locks which are meant to protect a company’s software, hardware, and network infrastructure.
Using various tools, White Hat hackers can spend hours, days, and weeks attempting to break through security barriers in the hopes of finding loopholes. If successful, the hacker will grant themselves access to confidential company information. Additionally, White Hat hackers test website security, servers and network infrastructures, mobile applications, etc.
Lastly, White Hat hackers are on the lookout for anything unusual or inappropriate that may have been set in place, perhaps by another hacker, a disgruntled employee, or even left by mistake. When testing is complete, the company will receive a thorough report of findings and recommended solutions.
Why Should I Consider a Pen Test?
Let’s begin by stating that Pen Tests are not meant for everyone. A few things that you will want to consider are the following:
- Does the company have access to the customer’s personal or medical information?
- What type of data passes through the company’s servers? (Such as finances).
- Are the company’s services available on the web?
- What do I want protected?
- Which security aspects in the company take priority?
Answering these questions will help you understand what is important and what you hope to get out of your cyber security measures. Additionally, the answers to these questions will help your security expert gauge whether or not your company is fit for Pen Testing.
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