Pentesting: What It Is, Why You Need It, and How to Get Started

Software Penetration testing

In today's digital world, companies are increasingly dependent on technology. They are also targets of cyber-attacks, which may have a serious detrimental influence on their finances.

It's critical to safeguard your company's website and other online assets if you're in the business sector. This is where pentesting (or penetration testing) comes into play. Hacking a computer system or network for security flaws is referred to as pen-testing (or penetration testing). It can be done on websites, networks, cloud systems, and web services.

In this blog post, we will define pentesting, explain why it is important, and discuss how you can get started. We will also take a look at some of the companies that offer pentesting services, and discuss the features of their offerings.

What Are Exploitable Vulnerabilities?

As we now know, pentesting is the process of testing for vulnerabilities in a system. But what exactly are these vulnerabilities? And how can they be exploited?

A vulnerability is a flaw in a system that might be used by an attacker to exploit it. These weaknesses can be found in both the hardware and software of a system. Common vulnerabilities include unpatched software, weak passwords, and open ports.

When an exploit is found, the attacker will attempt to utilize it. This is where the real damage can be done, as the attacker will gain access to the target system and be able to exfiltrate sensitive data.

To prevent these attacks, businesses must regularly conduct pentests on their systems. This way, any vulnerabilities can be found and fixed before they can be exploited.

Why Must Pentesting Be Done?

Pentesting is important because it helps you find and fix vulnerabilities in your systems before hackers can exploit them. There are several pentests, each suited to the type of system being tested.
  • Website pentests focus on testing web applications for vulnerabilities.
  • Network pentests focus on testing network infrastructures, such as routers and servers.
  • The goal of cloud pentesting is to exploit vulnerabilities in cloud-based systems, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.
  • And finally, web services pentest focus on testing web API for vulnerabilities.

The Steps For Website, Network, Cloud, and Web Services Pentests Explained

Depending on the system being tested, the steps involved in a pentest vary. Reconnaissance, scanning, exploitation, and post-exploitation are the four phases of all pentests.

The first stage in a pentest is reconnaissance. The pentester gathers information about the host system during this phase. This can be accomplished through public sources such as Google or LinkedIn, as well as more covert tactics like social engineering and OSINT (Open Source Intelligence).

Once the pentester has gathered enough information, they will move on to the next stage: scanning. During this period, the pentester will employ a range of pentesting tools to scan the target system for flaws. These tools can range from simple port scanners to more sophisticated vulnerability scanners.

If any vulnerabilities are found during the scanning phase, the pentester will attempt to exploit them. This is where the real damage can be done, as the pentester will gain access to the target system and be able to exfiltrate sensitive data.

Finally, the pentester will complete a report after completing the pen test. This document will be utilized by the customer to address any vulnerabilities that were discovered during the test.

These Providers Have The Following Services

There are several companies that offer pentesting services. Some of these companies are listed below:
  • RapidSpike: Offers website and web services pentesting. Features include vulnerability assessments, source code reviews, and a web application firewall (WAF) bypass.
  • Astra's Pentest Suite: Offers website pentesting with a comprehensive vulnerability scanner capable of running behind the login scans and finding business logic errors. Features include automated scans, manual testing, and reporting.
  • Netsparker: Offers website pentesting. Features include automatic scanning, false-positive reduction, and exploit verification.
  • Burp Suite: Offers website pentesting. Features include an intercepting proxy, a web application scanner, and a suite of tools for manipulating web requests and responses.
There are many businesses that provide pentesting services, as you can see, so exercise caution while choosing.

Conclusion

Pentesting is an important part of keeping your business secure in the digital age. Finding and addressing security flaws can help you avoid data breaches, financial losses, and damage to your reputation. There are many firms that provide pentesting services; therefore, do your homework before selecting one.

Thanks for reading! I hope this post has helped you to better understand pentesting and how it can benefit your business.

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