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| Compliance, Penetration Testing, Technical,

What are the Different Types of Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing, which can also be known as pen testing, is a process that is used to probe and identify vulnerabilities. There are many reasons why your organisation may need a pen test including for audits, supply chain commitments or due to compliance requirements.

To understand penetration testing it is important to be aware of the different types that can be carried out and the benefits these offer to your organisation.

 

The benefits of penetration testing

Pen tests involve an attempt to break into the system, which is carried out by a benevolent party, agreed with by an organisation. This can be done in one of several ways and is often carried out at least once a year. Although, particular industries such as those offering financial and banking services or those dealing with large quantities of data partake in testing more often.

Penetration testing is an opportunity to gain external validation from cyber security experts, while safely exploring the susceptibility of your organisation’s defences against ‘real world’ tactics used by malicious actors. Plus, an opportunity to validate other security measures in place such as vulnerability management and your patching process.

 

Types of vulnerabilities in cyber security

The types of vulnerabilities most often picked up by a penetration test, include software bugs, configuration errors, design flaws and the insecure set up of networks, hosts and devices. Any gaps of such kind within your IT environment could result in a successful cyber attack.

 

The different types of penetration testing

There’s an array of different methods a pen tester will use to assess your organisation’s cyber security. At Data Connect we offer end to end cyber security services, this means we have a wide range of security services to test all areas of your environment. This includes the perimeter through to endpoints, end users, and applications. Here are a few different penetration testing methods:

 

  • Perimeter Pen Testing – where we evaluate the strength of your most exposed assets. All internet-facing infrastructure and applications, including your firewalls, are considered the most vulnerable and can be exploited by threat actors due to misconfiguration, vulnerabilities or assets reaching end of life.
  • Web App Pen Testing – this type of testing will focus on finding vulnerabilities that are a result of insecure development within the stages of design, coding, and publishing of software or a site.
  • Desktop App Testing – simply, this is the testing of desktop applications, using simulated attacks to expose security risks.
  • Internal assets Testing – this type concentrates on the infrastructure and devices inside of your network perimeter. We will be assessing how easily an attacker can move around your environment and the potential risks as a result of these actions. In the real world, this could either be by a malicious employee (insider threat) or threat actor who has already breached your network.
  • Mobile App Testing – where a mobile application is concerned, mobile app testing can be completed to ensure good security practices are in place (such as data storage and privacy) and no flaws exist in the architecture or design of the application.
  • Social Engineering Testing – Find out how risky your employees are and the effectiveness of your security awareness training. Our managed service, vSOC Aware, offers businesses security awareness training, phishing simulations and other testing methods. Due to this, we have an experienced team available to help plan this type of testing, allowing you to bolster the human aspect to your security defences.
  • Physical Testing – Often an overlooked aspect to security, physical pen testing involves methods such as tailgating, shoulder surfing, testing network jacks and lock picking. Put simple, this type of testing assesses an organisation’s physical security controls.

 

At Data Connect, we believe it’s important to challenge pen testers by removing the low hanging fruit first, meaning pen testers must probe deeper to find more complex security gaps. This gives you results that are more valuable and allows you to maximise your investment.

We’ve had a lot of success with vSOC AIM, our managed service, in conjunction with traditional penetration testing to help customers gain further value out of testing and to feel confident in their overall cyber security health. vSOC AIM (Assess, Improve and Maintain) is a service where we work closely with you to evaluate and improve your cyber security posture over time. Benefit from a strategic roadmap explaining all security gaps which are prioritised by risk and the remediation tasks necessary to eliminate the issue. Included with this service is ongoing support from a dedicated security team, full visibility and project management through the vSOC Connect Console.

 

For more information on penetration testing or our vSOC AIM service, get in touch today.

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