October 28, 2022

An Introduction to Penetration Testing: Part I

The growth in the I.T. Industry is one that cannot be denied, as we have explored before in previous blog posts cyber security in particular has been and continues to be a booming industry. But did you know that there are many different avenues within cyber security? 

If you’re set on a cyber security career we are sure you’ve seen positions for a Penetration Tester or an Ethical Hacker, but you may not be aware of exactly what they are, what you’re required to do or even the skills needed.

In this two part blog series, Newto are here to explain one of the most in-demand and exciting areas of cyber security: Penetration Testing!

An Overview

Penetration testing, also known as a pen test or ethical hacking, is a simulated cyber attack carried out by a company on its own computer system in order to assess its vulnerability to outside threats. White hat testers, so named for their ethical hacking practices as opposed to the illegal activities of black hat hackers, attempt to penetrate a system through a variety of methods, including Social Engineering (e.g., phishing emails), SQL injection (manipulating database code), and network sniffing (monitoring network traffic). The goal of penetration testing is not to damage or destroy data, but rather to identify potential security weaknesses so that they can be fixed before an actual attack occurs. In today’s increasingly connected world, penetration testing is an essential part of keeping computer systems secure.

The speed of information sharing increased dramatically with the invention of computers and the internet. This created new opportunities for criminals to access sensitive information, and the challenge of keeping data secure became more pressing. In recent years, the frequency and severity of cyber attacks has increased, as hackers have become more sophisticated. Today, an estimated 640 terabytes of data is transferred around the world every minute, presenting a rich target for thieves. To protect this vast store of information, businesses and individuals must remain vigilant, investing in strong security measures and continuously updating their defences. Only by staying one step ahead of the hackers can we hope to keep our data safe.

The key to resisting their efforts is to conduct thorough penetration tests throughout the year. By using this method to perform security testing on a network system you will be able to identify any potential vulnerabilities.

What is Penetration Testing?

Without doubt this is one of the first things you want to know. Penetration Testing is testing a computer system, network, or web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could misuse.

Vulnerabilities could occur due to a variety of reasons:

  • Defects in the design of the hardware and software
  • An unsecured network usage
  • Complications within the computer systems architecture
  • Probable human errors

Why Penetration Testing:

Penetration testing normally estimates a system’s ability to protect its networks from external or internal threats. So, it really is essential in every sector for reasons such as:

  • Financial sectors want and need their data to be secured, so penetration testing is required to ensure security
  • Active Penetration Testing is the best safeguard against hackers
  • It helps in avoiding black hat attacks to protect the original data
  • It can measure the magnitude of the attack
  • Penetration testing helps to find loopholes and vulnerabilities in the system where an intruder can attack to gain access to the data

Penetration Testing: Step by Step:

When carrying out the tasks of a Penetration Tester, the following steps need to be taken: 

Step 1 – Planning Phase

  • The strategy of the assignment is determined
  • Existing security policies are used for implementing new strategies. 

Step 2 – Discovery Phase

  • The phases are all about collecting the information about a system like data, username, passwords. This is called “Fingerprinting”
  • Scan and inquiry about the various ports
  • Check system vulnerabilities

Step 3 – Attack Phase

  • Finding all the vulnerabilities in the system and exploiting them with necessary security measures

Step 4 –  Reporting Phase

  • Detailed findings of vulnerabilities and other loopholes
  • Provide a risk rating to the business due to those vulnerabilities and any other loopholes
  • Putting together a list of recommendations and solutions for identified vulnerabilities and other loopholes

We hope that this blog gives you a good introductory understanding of just what penetration testing is. In Part Two of this blog series we will explore: the different types of penetration testing, the tools required for penetration testing, when you should perform it and its benefits as well as the career path and salaries.

If you want to find out more before that, please reach out to the team at Newto and we can discuss our Cyber Security training programme with you.

If Not Now? When?

Book your free career consultation call ….

You may also like

AI and Cybersecurity: How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionising Defense Strategies

Over the last few years, the rate at which Artificial Intelligence (AI) has evolved has been incredible. Most of us use or interact with AI daily, whether that be through online shopping, advertising, or even with our cars. But with this rapid growth comes sophisticated and frequent threats. In this blog we’ll explore how AI […]

May 9, 2024

Why Obtain an International Computer Driving Licence

Throughout this blog we'll dive into what an International Driving Licence is, the importance of having one when working in IT and where you can go about obtaining one.  What is the ICDL? The International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) is a globally recognised...

Apr 26, 2024

Navigating the Dark Web

When we think about the dark web, we often imagine a mysterious underworld full of cybercrime and illegal activities, which can be worrying for both individuals and organisations. So, in this blog, we’ll explore its intricacies, the risks it poses, and essential...

Apr 3, 2024

The Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing.

Cloud computing has become a must in many business operations, offering a range of benefits that shorten previously long processes and instead enhance productivity. In this blog, we'll break down the basics of cloud computing and explore how businesses of all sizes...

Mar 13, 2024

Empowering Women to join the Tech industry

At a time when technology is a true driving force in our society, ensuring that industries are as diverse and inclusive as possible is imperative. So, we looked at the Women in Tech Survey carried out in 2023 to gather some insight into the current state of gender...

Feb 12, 2024


In this age of digital advancements, cybersecurity is more important than ever.  As organisations continue to expand their digital presence, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals is on the rise. So, if you’ve been contemplating a career switch but are...

Jan 10, 2024

4 Jobs You Can Get With A CompTIA A+ Qualification

The CompTIA A+ qualification is the perfect starting point for anyone who is looking to start their I.T. career. Before we go into just a selected few roles which you can apply for it’s essential to quickly recap exactly what you’ll learn with the qualification and...

Oct 23, 2023

What is the CompTIA A+ Qualification?

The technology industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Every year, new technologies are developed and released, and the demand for qualified IT professionals grows along with it. If you're considering a career in IT, now is the time to make...

Oct 14, 2023