While pen testing is commonly acknowledged as a must, it must be properly designed and enforced. Pen testing that fails to discover vulnerabilities and leaves firms exposed might be caused by a lack of skill or experience.
There are several potential attack vectors for criminal targeting organizations, ranging from network infrastructure to apps to devices to personnel. A competent pen-testing partner will approach the challenge with an open mind and try to think like a hostile hacker, exploring for weaknesses and attempting to enter the network using various strategies and tools.
In today’s high-risk business environment, penetration testing is more crucial than ever. Therefore, firms must prepare ahead of time and put it into action. Here are some frequent penetration testing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Testing only for compliance
If a penetration test is conducted only for the purpose of completing requirements and ensuring compliance, it’s possible that the test will miss certain significant security vulnerabilities. While compliance is crucial, penetration testing should not be the sole rationale for doing them. Attacks are not carried out by cybercriminals based on compliance checklists. Instead, they aim to attack weaknesses that are not likely covered by the compliance rules. This is why it’s critical to conduct penetration testing with the goal of identifying security vulnerabilities rather than simply checking the box for compliance.
Pure black-box technique
Penetration testing is a technique for simulating real-world cyber threats to a company. This frequently implies that penetration testers enter the engagement with no prior knowledge of or access to the target environment (a “black-box” approach). This is intended to replicate a totally external danger while also removing any biases that may arise from insider knowledge of the target environment.
A pure black-box method of penetration testing, on the other hand, has a number of drawbacks. The first is that advanced cyber threat actors rarely launch attacks without first learning about their targets. Hackers frequently conduct in-depth reconnaissance on their targets, which takes a lot more time and capital than is available during the preparation for a typical penetration testing engagement. Giving penetration testers certain information and access can help them better emulate sophisticated cyber threats.
Another problem with a comprehensive black-box penetration testing technique is that it ignores business risk and existing security testing. Penetration testers who use a black box analyze the security of what they may access throughout the test, which might result in duplication of work or the omission of key assets. If penetration testing is more targeted, they are more effective and beneficial to the customer.
Testing without authorization
The pen tester’s goal is to find gaps in the system. They are paid to breach the regulations, but only with pre-authorization and pre-determined parameters of engagement.
Testers may become excessively excited about showcasing their abilities, causing them to lose sight of their fundamental goals. This can be very detrimental if some or the entire test is done in a live production setting.
All parties participating must be informed of the rules of engagement, and any areas that are unclear must be discussed ahead of time. Scope, systems included, systems excluded, testing timeframes, types of tests, and emergency escalation processes would all be included in the regulations.