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How a Penetration Test Works

A cybersecurity penetration test, also known as a penetration test or “pentest”, is a process used to assess the security of a computer system, network or web application by simulating a hacker attack. The purpose of this test is to uncover security weaknesses and provide recommendations for fixing them.

Through this article we will see why penetration testing is a must for your organization, but also the different types of penetration testing and how they work!

1. Why do a penetration test

Penetration testers often use a combination of manual and automated techniques to discover vulnerabilities. They may use port scanning tools, concrete enumeration tools, brute force testing tools, and password cracking tools, among others. In short, they attempt an intrusion, as a hacker would.

Once vulnerabilities have been identified, penetration testers write a report detailing their findings and providing recommendations for correcting security issues. The report should include an assessment of the severity of the vulnerabilities, as well as detailed instructions on how to fix them.

2. What are the different types of penetration testing  

There are 2 types of intrusion tests, which vary according to the level of access to the system.

  • External penetration test

The external penetration test simulates a hacker attack that tries to access the computer system, network or web application from the Internet. The purpose of this test is to determine if a hacker would be able to break into and infiltrate the system using common hacking techniques.

External penetration testing focuses on vulnerabilities that are accessible from the Internet, such as open ports on a server, security holes in web applications, or weak passwords. The penetration tester uses different techniques to try to find and exploit these vulnerabilities.

  • Internal Penetration Test 

The internal penetration test simulates a hacker attack that has already gained access to the organization’s internal network. The purpose of this test is to determine if a hacker who has already gained access to the internal network would be able to move around and infiltrate other parts of the computer system.

Internal penetration testing focuses on vulnerabilities that are accessible from inside the network, such as security flaws in internal applications, weak passwords or unauthorized access to data servers. The penetration tester uses different techniques to try to find and exploit these vulnerabilities.

In short 

An intrusion test, whether external, internal or collaborative, is a method of prevention against cyberattacks. Indeed, as we have seen, a penetration test will allow you to know where your vulnerabilities are located and to take adequate measures to remedy them.

In other words, be proactive and don’t wait for a hacker to try to break into your computer system to find where your weak spots are.

If you want to learn more about penetration testing, contact our experts to discuss your needs and concerns.

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