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What is Penetration Testing and Its Types in Australia

What is Penetration Testing

A penetration test, or ethical hacking, is a simulated cyberattack on your IT defences that examines the strength of your business’ security. It identifies vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers, and provides insight into how these vulnerabilities can be fixed before they are used by real hackers.

A hacker may have gotten into your computer system, stolen your data and held it hostage until you pay them a ransom. They have likely benefited from a weak point in your security system that you didn’t know about or couldn’t fix before they were successful. penetration testing australia, also known as pen testing, lets you find those weaknesses and repair them before the bad guys do.

When done correctly, a penetration test provides valuable insights into the most vulnerable aspects of your organisation’s IT systems and infrastructure. It is an important part of the risk management and mitigation process and helps you to comply with various industry regulations, such as PCI DSS.

What is Penetration Testing and Its Types in Australia

The different types of penetration testing vary in scope and target, but all penetration tests attempt to identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors. The three main categories are: Vulnerability scanning and analysis: this aims to identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited and recommends mitigation techniques to address them. Network vulnerability testing: a comprehensive network penetration test looks at internal and externally facing servers and devices, including firewalls, switches, routers and wireless access points. This includes assessing whether they are configured securely and identifying any unauthorised or unnecessary services running on them.

Web application penetration testing: a web application penetration test looks at open source, commercial or custom-built software and identifies vulnerabilities in the architecture, security configuration and data protection mechanisms. It can also assess API and web service vulnerabilities to demonstrate how they can be compromised by a cyberattack.

Physical penetration testing: physical penetration tests focus on the physical security measures in place in a building or data centre, such as locks and sensors. They aim to determine how easily these can be bypassed by malicious actors, such as picking a lock or using cheap wireless motion detectors that are easy to fool with a little ingenuity. Other testing techniques include tailgating (tracking employees to see if they enter secure areas), pretexting (impersonating an employee and attempting to trick them into divulging privileged information) and baiting (leaving USB keys infected with malware for employees to find).

The most effective penetration testers use a range of tools to simulate the attacks of an attacker. These include a number of widely-used open source and commercial tools, such as Nmap, Wireshark, Acunetix, Burp Suite, Mobsf, Drozer, OWASP ZAP and Metasploit. While these tools are essential, a penetration tester should not rely solely on automated scanners or any single tool, as there will be blind spots and assumptions made that can skew the results. It is also important to hire a neutral party that can find issues your IT department might not be aware of, or even understand, and then offer advice on how to fix them.

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