Over the last couple of years, cyberattacks have become more prominent. Organizations across the globe work under the constant fear of being attacked, and they dread losing essential and sensitive data. In a post-pandemic world, where the work mode has changed drastically, more organizations are experiencing vulnerability to cyber threats. Penetration testing then is the best hope for organizations taking preemptive action to detect weaknesses in their operating systems before being exploited by hackers.
What is Penetration Testing?
Penetration Testing is done to check computer systems for vulnerabilities, avoid any breach of data, and identify application flaws in the operating system. The test is an authorized simulation of a cyber attack, which evaluates a system’s security on a computer system or network. A trained pen tester carries out this test by validating security norms and identifies vulnerabilities.
Trained pen testers require hands-on skills and knowledge to utilize the various pentesting methodologies, tools, and techniques.
A candidate with Penetration Testing skills can look at a lucrative career, with an average salary of $113,672 per year, in the United States (according to Indeed.com)
What are the various Penetration Testing?
Penetration Testing or Pentesting is conducted in three different ways, depending on the scope of work and needs of the organization.
Black-box penetration testing.
The black-box penetration testing doesn’t require the tester to have specific expertise about the security of a computer system or network. In this type of testing, the tester does not have any information about the system. The tester tests and verifies the contradictions in the existing system against the specifications. However, this type of testing has certain disadvantages, like the test cases required for this testing are challenging to design.
White-box penetration testing
A white-box penetration testing is a simulation for an attack by an internal source. It is a comprehensive method where the tester has a whole range of information, ensuring that there are no typographical errors and does syntax checking as well. All the independent paths of a module and all logical decisions, along with their true and false values, are verified.
Grey-box penetration testing
The tester in grey-box penetration testing doesn’t provide complete information about the internal details of the program. This type of penetration testing is a simulation of an attack by an external hacker. However, it is a non-intrusive and unbiased assessment, and an organization doesn’t need to provide internal information about the program functions and other operations for grey-box penetration testing.
Is Penetration Testing important?
Organizations and corporations that depend on IT need to have their system’s security tested and updated regularly. Thus, penetration testing is crucial for organizations and corporations. It helps in uncovering any security flaws. Some benefits of penetration testing are:
- Detecting and revealing vulnerabilities
- Meeting monitoring necessities and evade penalties
- Testing your cyber-defense capability
- Ensuring business continuity
- Protecting customer loyalty and company image
- Following regulations and certifications.
Why do we need Penetration Testing?
There is a need for penetration testing because it helps confirm whether a system can protect its applications and networks against external threats and vulnerabilities.
- With the help of penetration testing, the background, which can breach the security of a system by an attacker, is verifiable.
- It helps in preventing attacks from a black hat hacker.
- It helps pen testers to identify the application areas that an attacker can target.
- The findings of a penetration test help in driving investment decisions.
Learn Penetration Testing, in-depth from EC-Council University
EC-Council University offers ideal cybersecurity degree programs for candidates who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in penetration testing and techniques and methods related to it. Here are some ECCU courses that talk about penetration testing:
ECCU’s MSCS degree’s Security Analyst specialization offers a course with penetration testing as part of its curriculum. The Security Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment (ECCU 503) and Conducting Penetration and Security Tests (ECCU 506) teach students all they need to know about penetration testing.
Candidates who pursue this degree can also earn industry-ready certifications towards the completion of all the courses. Certifications included in the MSCS specialization in Security Analyst are: Certified Network Defender (CND), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and Licensed Penetration Tester (Master).