The best way to know if your cybersecurity measures are as effective as you need them to be is to put them to the test on your own terms, before a cybercriminal decides to test them for you. But how exactly are you supposed to do that?
You perform a Penetration Test. Simply put, a Penetration Test is an authorised, simulated, cyberattack on your business. It is performed by a third party to identify both weaknesses (referred to as vulnerabilities), as well as strengths, enabling a full risk assessment to be completed.
Why Bother With Penetration Testing?
Asking an Ethical Hacker to take a run at your organisation will show you where the vulnerabilities are without placing your data or other assets at risk. There are several different ways to carry out penetration testing, with each method offering you valuable insight into the potential flaws and vulnerabilities in your security. The most common methods are:
- White Box – In which you provide the tester with information about your company ahead of time.
- Black Box – In which the tester ‘goes in blind’ armed with nothing but your company name.
- Covert – In which next to no-one, especially your IT and security personnel, know about the test ahead of time. When using this method, it’s vital to provide the tester with an outline of what is being asked of them prior to the test to avoid potential legal issues.
- External – In which the tester targets your external-facing technology, such as your website, and generally must complete the test without entering your building.
- Internal – In which the tester runs the test from inside your building, often mimicking the kinds of behaviours a disgruntled employee might display.
Each of these tests aim to uncover vulnerabilities in your cyber defence and address different concerns you may have regarding your Cyber Security.
How Does Penetration Testing Work, Where Do I Begin?
The first step is to engage an industry trusted and certified, cybersecurity specialist to discuss your cybersecurity concerns. You will then be guided through choosing which type of penetration testing you would like carried out. After making the necessary arrangements, your work is done. Your hired specialist will take care of things from there, making this one of the easiest cybersecurity tests to complete – all of the heavy lifting is left to the experts.
Once the testing begins your specialist will employ various tactics and methodology to get a hold of the information they’ll need to complete their task. This can mean anything from attempting to learn passwords through social engineering and phishing, assessing your network defences for an access point, to sneaking into your offices disguised as a visitor or delivery person.
Once they’ve completed their reconnaissance, your specialist will decide on a plan of attack. This can be anything from a brute force attack to making use of specially designed ‘tools of the trade’ like small, inconspicuous devices that can be plugged into a workstation to provide remote access.
What Happens When Test Is Over?
Once the test has been completed, the specialist will prepare a report and meet with you to walk you through their findings. The information they share with you can then be used to help you decide on what changes, upgrades, or additions need to be made to your cybersecurity to keep a malicious hacker from getting that same access.
Your IT provider or internal IT personnel will be left with valuable information that they might never have had at their disposal otherwise and be better equipped to manage security risks going forward.
Interested in learning more about Melbourne Penetration Testing, or making arrangement for your cybersecurity to be put to the test? Contact us at 1300 468 683 to speak with our IT security professionals.