Conventional cyber security metrics such as antivirus, firewall, and intrusion detection systems, when deployed alone, often provide insufficient protection against today’s sophisticated threats. Their efficacy is limited by the lack of their ability to detect emerging threats and because attackers constantly modify malware to avoid detection. That has created a demand for penetration testing services in the form of “white-box” or authorized vulnerability assessments, which can help organizations and governments determine whether their IT infrastructure remains secure despite known vulnerabilities being exploited successfully by intruders. This guide explores the primary services provided by professional penetration testing companies.
1) Penetration Test
A penetration test is usually pre-arranged with a scope of work that defines what will be checked, how it will be tested, and who will have access to sensitive information while doing so. For instance, a reputable penetration testing company in Singapore has years of experience, knows common misconfigurations and mistakes which can lead to vulnerabilities, and knows how an attacker would try to break in. They also know where you should focus your efforts when it comes time for remediation. It’s important to remember that these tests find vulnerabilities, but not all are security risks or pose immediate threats like vulnerabilities found on websites.
2) Vulnerability Scan
It is the process of scanning a given IP range for vulnerabilities. If you’re an IT professional, this might be something you are already familiar with. Common software tools are used for these types of tasks. A vulnerability can be anything from an internet-facing port left open on a server to misconfigured S3 buckets exposing sensitive company data. This information is vital to protect your assets and fix vulnerabilities before attackers exploit them.
3) Digital Forensics Investigation
A penetration tester will find exploits, create a proof of concepts, and provide remediation advice during the testing, but sometimes there’s more work to do after the test has been completed. Penetration testers also often have digital forensics capabilities. If an attacker could break into your company, they would leave behind evidence of their activities. This evidence can be vital in prosecuting the attacker and preventing further damage. Forensics investigators extract this information and create a timeline of events that happened. They can also identify the malware used in an attack and help remediate any damage done.
4) Security Training
Regardless of how good your security team is, they can always use a little training. A professional penetration testing company can provide your team with the latest information on how attackers are trying to break in and best practices for defending against them. This training goes beyond just teaching people how to use tools. It teaches people how to think like an attacker, which is vital in information security.
5) Incident Response
If a security attack happens, it’s important to have a plan in place for responding to it. Professional penetration testing companies can help you develop this plan and will likely be called in to help with the response once activated. They will work with your team to investigate the attack, identify the source, and stop it from happening again. They can also assist you to recover from the attack and protect your company against future attacks.