Penetration Testing to Identify & Fix Vulnerabilities

Penetration testing, also known as pen testing, aims to identify an organization’s security vulnerabilities through a systematic testing process. A penetration test may focus on your networks, applications, physical facilities, human assets and more.

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In life, it’s sometimes hard for people to see problems they have because they are too close to a situation, and it takes an objective third party opinion to help. Information security isn’t much different. When you work within a system and have specific processes, it’s often hard to pinpoint security vulnerabilities when everything else works seamlessly. Sometimes it takes an outsider to see what you’re missing. If you don’t take action, this outsider could turn out to be an individual with nefarious intentions.

Or, you can be proactive and partner with an ethical hacker to pinpoint your security issues. Ethical hackers perform what’s known as penetration testing, or pen testing, to dive deep into your processes to demonstrate what could happen in a real-time attack. Identifying your weaknesses and discovering ways hackers with ill intent could exploit them in a cybersecurity attack goes a long way towards strengthening your entire organization and protecting the assets you value most.

Since 2008, RedTeam Security has been applying our testing methodology and expertise to help organizations identify their vulnerabilities and show them how to strengthen their security posture to prevent a cybersecurity attack. To learn more about our broad range of information security services, contact RedTeam Security today at 612-234-7848. 

Why Does My Business Need Penetration Testing?

Cyber-attacks continue to plague organizations and can cost a pretty penny. According to a recent report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute, a data breach cost an average of $3.86 million in 2020. Aside from the actual cost, you need to consider compliance issues and penalties that often accompany system compromises, along with damages that don’t have a dollar amount attached but are costly nonetheless. Benefits you’ll derive from comprehensive security testing include:

  • Identifying your vulnerabilities before cyber criminals do and plugging any security holes before a person with unlawful intentions finds them.
  • Reducing your network downtime and avoiding the high costs of being offline for extended periods of time if a cyberattack were to occur.
  • Contributing to your overall security strategy by building stronger protective measures to circumvent any exploitation of technology assets, including invaluable and irreplaceable data.
  • Ensuring your organization meets government and industry compliance rules; not adhering to requirements, or failing to have an acceptable incident response can lead to severe financial consequences.
  • Maintaining the public’s trust by building your organization’s reputation by positioning yourself as a security-conscious company.

Being exploited by individuals with unauthorized access is expensive. Even one security event can do extensive damage to your business. Consider the aftermath of just one phishing incident, one PCI compliance failure, or an employee inadvertently sharing information with a person fraudulently presenting themselves as someone they’re not. Any of these events highlights deficiencies in your security controls. Best to beat them to it! 

How is Penetration Testing Done?

Penetration testing is essentially using ethical hacking techniques to flesh out any security control weaknesses before someone with malicious intentions discovers them. RedTeam Security has extensive experience conducting security testing and vulnerability assessments. As a part of our penetration testing process, our knowledgeable security experts perform attack simulations and, in the process, uncover ways outsiders can try to gain access. Our goal is to find problems so you can put a stop to a security event before it starts.

What are the Types of Penetration Testing?

When you build your security strategy, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The same goes for penetration testing. You may have strong knowledge of your weaknesses and have addressed them in some areas, but need help in others. A penetration test may focus on your networks, web and mobile applications, IoT devices, physical facilities, human assets, or other facets of your organization. An experienced security professional can help detect any holes in your security controls.

Network Penetration Testing Services

Possessing strong network security is critical, and performing network penetration testing on your infrastructure will uncover any network and system-level flaws. This includes, but is not limited to, misconfigurations, wireless network vulnerabilities, rogue services, product-specific vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and protocols. You’ll see exactly what would happen if a bad actor were to breach your existing network security.

Web Application Pen Testing Services

These days, web application security is necessary, but it’s often hard to get it right when you’re juggling many other aspects of development. Our application security testers are experienced software developers and understand applications from both the development and security perspectives.

Focused web application penetration testing will help you uncover application layer flaws such as cross-site request forgery, injection flaws, weak session management, cross-site scripting, insecure direct object references, and more. Our pen testers will dig out exploitable vulnerabilities in your apps before cybercriminals do.

Mobile Application Penetration Testing Services

Mobile has grown to become an essential component of any business strategy. It’s no longer a novelty but a necessity. Bad actors know this and will relentlessly pursue ways to infiltrate both iOS and Android systems to uncover weaknesses. Our penetration testers will take an in-depth look into what operating systems your organization uses and the apps associated with them. Then they’ll simulate real-world attacks to uncover any susceptibilities associated with your organization’s mobile use.

IoT and Internet-Aware Device Testing

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a game-changer in many ways because it offers businesses and consumers a high level of convenience. Unfortunately, convenience often comes with tradeoffs because it usually entails new security risks. Pentesting for IoT and internet-aware devices help to uncover those vulnerabilities so you can put stronger protective measures in place. Testers will look at hardware and software flaws, including, but not limited to, weak passwords, insecure protocols, insecure APIs, insecure communication channels, misconfigurations, and product-specific vulnerabilities.

Physical Pen Testing Services

You might install top-notch physical security controls such as locks, sensors, smartcards, cameras, and mantraps, but criminals will always try to stay one step ahead of you. That’s where physical pen testing comes in. Physical Penetration testers will look at all aspects of your physical facility, inside and out, to make certain your processes and physical protections would circumvent criminals trying to gain access to exploit your building or the people working within it.

Social Engineering Pen Testing Services

Social engineering is a classic tactic a criminal will use to exploit people, processes, and procedures. Manipulation is the name of their game, and these fraudsters can be very convincing, even fooling the most conscientious employees, vendors, or other stakeholders into divulging sensitive information. Social engineering penetration testing includes email phishing, telephone vishing, SMS phishing, and onsite in-person social engineering. You’d be surprised at the types of ruses criminals will devise to steal sensitive data. Testers will uncover any human susceptibilities so they can be addressed.

Understanding the true strengths and weaknesses is one of the goals of performing different vulnerability assessments. With each form of security testing, our ethical hackers will replicate how malicious attackers would target you by setting up tests to simulate an actual attack surface. You’ll see first-hand what would happen if a cybercriminal were to breach any component of your organization and, if vulnerabilities are found, we’ll provide remediation advice.

Penetration Testing Stages

Knowing what to expect when you go through penetration testing is helpful. RedTeam’s testing methodology and processes can be broken down into six distinct stages, each designed to accomplish an objective.

Information Gathering

Testers perform reconnaissance on our target and gather as much information as possible to help us understand what we’re up against. Our strategy may include both active and passive gathering of our target (e.g., the tester may or may not have direct contact with the target). Both techniques involve the collection of information undetected by the target.

Threat Modeling

Threat modeling involves identifying and categorizing assets, threats, and threat communities as they are relevant to the organization being tested. We determine primary and secondary assets, most prominent threats or threat communities, and how these threat communities map to the various assets.

Vulnerability Analysis

At this point, our testers use the information gathered to analyze. Using a combination of commercially available and internally developed tools, we eliminate non-vulnerable assets and identify exploitable vulnerabilities through testing, validation, and research.

Exploitation

Often viewed as the most “exciting” phase of penetration testing, in the exploitation phase, we use the groundwork previously established up to this point. With this information, we successfully abuse, misuse, and exploit vulnerable systems, networks, devices, physical controls and humans, carefully documenting the vulnerabilities we uncover along the way.

Post-Exploitation

Once vulnerabilities are uncovered, the work isn’t done. In this stage of testing, we determine the value of the compromise, considering data or network sensitivity.

Reporting

Upon completing the previous five stages, we convey what we’ve learned in educational, actionable terms. We thoroughly outline and present our findings to you with suggestions for prioritizing fixes, walking through the results with you hand-in-hand.

Types of Penetration Testing

Pentesting can be performed from different levels of access. Referred to as “black box,” “grey box,” and “white box” testing, these penetration testing types are categorized based on the level of knowledge and access shared with the tester by the client.

Black Box Penetration Testing Service

In black box testing, the tester receives minimal knowledge of the target system. Essentially, they have the same level of information the average hacker does with no internal knowledge.

Gray Box Penetration Testing Service

In a gray box testing scenario, the tester has the knowledge and access of a user, with some elevated privileges on the organization’s system. With this “insider” knowledge, pen testers can use it to focus on assessing a system’s greatest risks right from the beginning without having to uncover them.

White Box Pen Testing Service

White box testing essentially provides the tester with a high level of internal knowledge, along with wide access to technology, including source code and architecture documentation. Testers use this information to identify potential vulnerabilities.

Each type of vulnerability scanning approach has its pros and cons, and each of these three testing approaches can yield specific objectives, but there are tradeoffs with each. For instance, with black box testing, theoretically, this would be ideal since the tester puts themselves in a hacker’s position with the same level of knowledge, which is essentially nothing. However, allowing more access can be a significant time-saver since pen testers can quickly get to the root of any problems since they have internal knowledge.

Speed, efficiency, and coverage also are considerations. Black box is fastest, but without internal knowledge, vulnerabilities can be overlooked in a risk assessment that a cybercriminal might find. White box testing takes the longest, but it is a fully comprehensive form of penetration testing that allows the ability to truly vet out an organization’s internal network and its security system, enabling pentesting to eliminate false positives.

How Your Business Will Benefit From RedTeam’s Security Penetration Testing Services

Are you ready to receive an honest security assessment? RedTeam Security has been helping our clients eliminate cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats since 2008.  Whether you’re simply looking to implement stronger security measures or you want to beef up your current security program, our various testing methods can help you to achieve your objective. Our team holds many professional certifications, including CISSP, OSWP, CPT, CASS, CSSA, and OSCP. 

Our penetration testers will thoroughly examine your technology and physical environments and pinpoint any human weaknesses in your operational protocols. About 80% of our penetration testing is manual testing, with 20% being automated. Our vigorous testing processes and attack simulations will uncover any vulnerabilities to ensure you can plug any security holes.

Ready to see how well your organization’s security strategy performs? Learn what makes us stand out amongst penetration testing service providers. Schedule your free virtual meeting with a RedTeam Security expert today at 612-234-7848.

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