Penetration Testing: zero in on security

Penetration Testing: zero in on security
April 30 11:00 2018 Print This Article

Penetration testing or pentesting evaluates security system of a ready software. Its main goal is to detect potential vulnerabilities by simulating malicious attacks. Pentesting helps to improve software security basing on test results.

To minimize risks of data corruption, penetration tests are executed in a copy of production environment as close to real life conditions as possible. Copies of real databases and servers with identical configurations are used to imitate the work of real software.

Who needs penetration testing?

If you take care about your corporate data and personal information of your users and customers, then pentesting is a must. Beside that, it is impossible to deliver banking software and solutions for e-commerce industry without penetration testing executed. Every activity connected with data processing should undergo precise security testing.

Why to apply for pentesting?

The main purpose of penetration testing is to detect security vulnerabilities. It ensures protected process of data transferring between different systems and over various networks. You can improve the company’s security strategy basing on the results of penetration tests. Besides, secure user data increases company’s reliability. And pentesting helps to evaluate the impact on business in case of a successful malicious attack. For more information, you can watch our webinar dedicated to pentesting.

Penetration testing is required because of a large number of potential security vulnerabilities. According to Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), top issues are:

  • injection
  • broken authentication
  • cross-site scripting
  • broken access control
  • security misconfiguration, etc.

Using web servers, DNS (Domain Name System) servers, systems for remote control, networks, website and client software, hackers can get unauthorized access to your corporate data. Software and hardware flaws, configuration loopholes, human factor, system complexity, weak passwords, insecure user inputs, poor risk management – all these can be used to steel or corrupt your data.

When to apply for pentesting?

It is obligatory to execute pentesting before the final release of software. There were examples when access to core infrastructure components wasn’t blocked before product release, or outdated version of software with security vulnerabilities was used.

Also, one-time pentesting won’t guarantee a full protection of your data. New types of security vulnerabilities are detected every day, and hackers’ attacks become more and more sophisticated. That’s why data protection should become a continuous process. It is recommended to perform penetration testing at least once a year. It is better to accompany it with vulnerability management, e.g., the process of periodic scanning for vulnerabilities and network security.

Nevertheless, penetration testing doesn’t guarantee that your system is 100% protected. There are zero-day vulnerabilities – unresolved vulnerabilities, as well as malicious programs against which protective mechanisms have not been developed yet. In the majority of cases, hackers sell exploits for zero-day vulnerabilities.

So, why do you need penetration testing if it doesn’t ensure a full protection of software security? Testing helps to minimize the risks of security vulnerabilities, as well as consequences of malicious attacks. Besides, its “defence in depth” approach assists in arranging proper security strategies and establishing processing in case of break-in attempts.

If you don’t have a team of security testers, you can apply to independent providers of such services. There are companies that are specialized particularly in penetration testing. Using their services, you will get objective evaluation of software security. QATestLab provides services of pentesting. You can find information about the specifics of our services of penetration testing here.

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About Article Author

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Mikhail Grechukha
Mikhail Grechukha

has 3-year experience in QA, manages 20+ projects, leads 2 teams of more than 26 members, has experience in management game and mobile testing projects, experience in such industries as Business Solutions, Healthcare, Media and Entertainment, Training and Education, Travel and Accommodation

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