The 11 Biggest Penetration Testing Questions Melbourne Businesses Are Asking

You’re searching the Internet because either you want to ensure your company’s security or you’re required to do penetration testing for compliance reasons. Either way, you’ve got questions about penetration testing, what it is, how to do it, and what your Melbourne business needs to know.

Fortunately for you, we have right questions – and the answers – right here!

Let’s get started.

  1. How Often Should Penetration Testing Be Done?

Because businesses and their security requirements vary, the answer to this question will vary according to your particular business and risk tolerance. The industry minimum is once a year. However, some protocols call for quarterly or bi-annually. In addition to regular penetration testing, you should have an IT support company do a penetration test if you have had major work done on your IT systems or hardware additions have been made to your network.

  1. How To Penetration Test A Network

Here’s the deal with a “how to” or do-it-yourself question like this one. It’s simple enough to buy a pen testing tool off of the internet and apply it to your network to see what happens. But you get what you pay for. Amateur tool-based penetration tests or “compliance tests” are low value and low effort.

Can you do your own penetration test?

Yes.

Will it give you the peace of mind you want for your business?

It’s doubtful.

So, what’s the right way to penetration test a Melbourne company’s network?

IT cybersecurity professionals – like those of Invotec Solutions – employ sophisticated penetration testing tools and add their expertise and dozens of years of experience to the equation. The resulting penetration report is one that does more than simply tick the “penetration test” box on a protocol list. Instead, a professionally conducted penetration test offers a superior level of comfort and confidence in your IT environment. That kind of peace of mind cannot come from a do-it-yourself pen test.

  1. How Much Does Penetration Testing Cost?

Asking how much does penetration testing cost is kind of like asking a random guy on the street to give you a quote on mowing your lawn at home. He hasn’t seen the lawn. He doesn’t know enough about the situation to give you a price.

Penetration testing is much the same. Until a cybersecurity professional comes to survey your IT systems, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to provide an accurate price. If a company is willing to give you a price sight-unseen, they are likely aiming very high and hoping that your network is simple.

  1. How Penetration Testing Works.

Penetration testing – also referred to in some circles as “ethical hacking” – happens when an individual or company is hired to use an array of specialised tools to attempt to gain unauthorised access to that company’s network. Depending on the parameters set ahead of time, penetration testing can include tools, ethical hacking, physical entry into the facility, insider knowledge of the system, or a blind approach to the network and its configuration. Once vulnerabilities have been discovered, a report is produced so IT security professionals can help that Melbourne business patch the holes in their security.

  1. Why Is Penetration Testing Required?

Often, the reason for regular penetration testing comes from outside the organisation. Compliance mandates for security standards like ISO27001 and PCI DSS push Melbourne companies to do periodic testing to stay compliant. In addition, depending on the industry there are both industry and regulatory compliance requirements that demand penetration testing.

  1. What Are Penetration Testing Tools?

Penetration tools run the gamut from utter scams and useless free tools available on the web, to half-decent tools available to the average person and professional tools available only to IT support/security professionals.

What tool is used – and who operates the tool and interprets the findings – can mean the difference between a result that can be relied upon, and a result that has no relevance to the actual security posture of the business in question.

To have a penetration test result that is certain, it’s essential that you have a professional IT services team administer the test and outline the outcome of the test for your business leadership.

Sure, as mentioned before, you can grab a pen test off of the internet and have a guy in the office run it in order to tick a box for compliance, but you’ll never be able to have confidence in the results of such a test.

It’s kind of like having your buddy from work do an X-ray to determine if you broke a rib or not. He may know how to turn on the machine. He may even get an image that looks like the inside of your chest, but can he accurately read the X-ray? It’s doubtful. You need a radiologist for that.

  1. Is Penetration Testing Hacking?

Although penetration testing and ethical hacking are sometimes used synonymously, they aren’t specifically the same. Let’s look at  the terms.

  • Hacking – What the bad guys do to gain unauthorised access to your company’s network.
  • Penetration Testing – A narrowly defined segment of ethical hacking in which an authorised individual uses tools and other means to try to gain access to and evaluate your system’s vulnerabilities.
  • Ethical Hacking – A discipline in which a cybersecurity professional attempts to think like a criminal to discover a way into your IT systems. Once in your network, that IT security professional moves around to see what can be accessed by a criminal using the same methodology. Ethical hacking goes much further than a penetration test does and can utilise more methods than a pen test.
  1. Is Penetration Testing Allowed For Customers In Aws?

Yes. AWS does allow penetration tests. But according to their website, you must get permission from AWS before conducting a pen test.

  1. Who Can Do Penetration Testing In Melbourne?

There are a number of companies in the Melbourne area offering penetration testing on their websites and in their promotional materials. So the question isn’t really, “Who can do it?” The question should be, “Who should do it?” As we’ve mentioned, the basic penetration tools are readily available on the internet. So, do you want the guy that’s using free-ware and little experience to check over your security or do you want a professional that has the background and the credibility to give you unfiltered and unbiased pen test results that you can count on?

  1. What Is Penetration Testing Framework?

A penetration testing framework is a kind of roadmap or instruction manual for the penetration test itself. It shows the tools employed and how the network is to be approached in an authorised simulated cyber-attack.

  1. What Is A Penetration Test Report?

A penetration test report is simply the results of the test conducted. A penetration test report should include at a minimum these four elements.

  • An executive summary – to help with decision making
  • Technical Risk Evaluation – to show what needs to be remediated
  • Vulnerability Impact Assessment – to display what damage a real hack could have done
  • Remediation Options – to determine the best course of action in the remediation process

Looking for more helpful articles by IT security professionals? We’ve got them for you HERE.