November 2, 2022

An Introduction to Penetration Testing: Part II

Different types of penetration testing, tools for penetration testing, when to perform it, benefits, skills needed and go over career path and salaries again

In the first part of our Penetration Testing blog series, we provided an overview of exactly what penetration testing is, why it’s used and how to carry it out. In the second part we will take you one step further and explore: the different types of penetration testing, the tools required to carry out penetration testing and when to perform it.

Before we start though, let’s just recap exactly what Penetration testing is:

“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.”

Now that we have our definition, let’s dive back into part two.

What are the different types of Penetration Testing?

This can be split into two sections.

1. Penetration testing based on knowledge of the target:

Black Box

  • When the attacker does not know the target, then it is called black-box testing. Here the Pentester uses automated tools to find the vulnerabilities and loopholes of the systems which can often take quite a lot of time

White Box

  • This is where a  Penetration Tester has full knowledge about the target. Here white box testing takes less time when compared to black-box testing

Grey Box

  • When the tester has a bit of information about the target, it is referred to as grey box penetration testing 

2. Penetration testing types based on the position of tester:

  • External penetration testing – Testing conducted outside the network
  • Internal penetration testing – Testing conducted inside the network
  • Targeted testing – Performed by the organisation’s IT team and the Pen testing team
  • A blind penetration test –  Tester with no prior information except the organisation name
  • Double-blind test – Only one or two people within the organisation might be aware of a test

What are the Tools Used by a Penetration Tester?

The important tools used are:

  • NMap – This tool is used to trace the route, vulnerability scanning, port scanning, etc…
  • Nessus – Traditional network-based vulnerabilities tool.
  • Pass-The-Hash – This tool is used for password cracking.
  • Nessus – This tool is used for network and web application vulnerability scanners.
  • Wireshark – This tool is used for profiling network traffic and for analyzing network packets.

When to Perform Penetration Testing?

This is a process that needs to be performed regularly for securing the system. It is advised to also perform the task: 

  • When the security system identifies new threats by attackers
  • When you add a new network infrastructure
  • When you set up a new program/ policy
  • When you update your system or install any software

What are the benefits of Penetration Testing?

  • Enhancement of the Management System − this will provide detailed information about the security threats and it will also measures the vulnerabilities levels and suggest to you, which one is the main priority and which one is less so. This feature helps the Pentester to accurately manage the security system
  • Avoid Penalties: Fine − will help in keeping major activities updated in an organisation whilst also protecting you from giving fines
  • Avoid Financial Damage − can protect your organisation from a simple breach of a security system that may cause millions of pounds of damage
  • Customer Protection − can protect your organisation and ensure that you keep your customer’s data intact and this will in turn help in avoiding financial and reputation damage

Thus ends our two part series on Penetration Testing, we hope this has given you a detailed understanding of exactly what penetration testing is, why it is necessary and just how it is carried out and it’s importance.

If you would like to find out more about a career as a Penetration Tester – please contact our team of dedicated Course and Career Advisors and we can provide you with a step by step guide of just how to achieve this goal. Contact us today.


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