Penetration Testing Can Help You to Improve the Security of Your IT System

0803IXR47425It is easy to clear any doubts you may have about the security of your organization by resorting to penetration testing. This testing helps to identify any weak points in networks and security systems and makes you aware of the risks and the impact they could have on the working of your organization. Companies like Firmus perform these tests regularly.

A penetration test can set up the security features of any project and helps to identify those features that require modification or improvement. Your existing security solution and its effectiveness for present operations and the future can be assessed. Security levels of the IT system you have in place can be boosted, as the test identifies potential risks and the need to improve security that can deter hackers from invading the system. A test can also help in ensuring that all laws and legislations in force for your industry are being followed. Your partners and other agencies that collaborate with you are assured of higher security levels.

Penetration testing can be conducted in three ways, white box testing, gray box testing or black box testing. White box testing is conducted by people who are within the system and are provided with all the codes, usernames, and IP addresses that allow access into the system. In gray box testing, this information is partial and the hacker or tester has to discover other details for himself so that the system can be penetrated. Black box testing is conducted by hackers who have no information whatsoever but are expected to find their own way to break into the IT system of the company.

Penetration testing can be conducted internally where the company’s computers are used to test the security that is in place. External penetration testing is conducted by testers who use an internet connection from outside to make their way into a system. It is always advisable to have third parties conducting penetration testing and any internal testing is used for reference and authentication.   

Penetration testing has to start with discovery in which information about the system to be tested is gathered covertly, by accessing all the information available on websites and other media.  The network and hosts are then scanned to enumerate individual networks and hosts. Once this phase is completed, the testing moves to the attack stage, where testers try to gain access, increase their priveleges, browse the system, and finally see if they can influence IT activities.

All these activities are then put into a report with complete documentation of each stage and phase of the testing. This report forms the basis for any corrective action which may require the closing of ports that are not needed or adding patches and service packs to enhance security. Penetration testing can go a long way to help an organization to control information on a need to know basis, and requires constant and changes. It always makes sense to conduct such reviews periodically, and especially when there are any changes in key personnel. It can help to remove vulnerabilities and strengthen an organization. For effective testing procedures, go visit the Firmus page right here.

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