Cyber-attacks have increased over the last couple of years across the globe. Organizations are working under the constant fear of being attacked and losing important data. Recently, social media giant Twitter was attacked, with high-profile Twitter accounts getting hijacked to spread a cryptocurrency scam. In light of large organizations and prominent individuals being attacked, organizations are scurrying to hire cybersecurity professionals in the know-how of security measures like penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities and recommend mitigation techniques.
What Is Penetration Testing?
Testing a computer system for vulnerabilities to avoid any breach of data is called penetration testing. It is an authorized simulation of a cyber attack on a computer system or network to evaluate a system’s security. It is performed by a trained pen tester, a person who is officially hired to validate security norms and identify vulnerabilities.
This job role is a combination of both knowledge and skill. Candidates who aim to be a pen tester must have the skill to look at things from different viewpoints to determine one of the various pen testing methodologies, tools, and techniques that can be used.
Candidates with Penetration Testing skills can earn an average salary of $89,373 in the United States, according to PayScale.
What Are the Types of Penetration Testing?
The types of pen testing depend on the scope and the wants of an organization. There are three different ways of conducting penetration tests:
Types of Penetration Testing
Black Box Penetration Testing
In this type of testing, the tester has no idea about the system they have to test. They are expected to verify the contradictions in the actual system and the specifications. The disadvantage of this type of testing is that the test cases required for this are difficult to design.
White box penetration testing
A white box penetration testing is a comprehensive method in which the tester has a whole range of information. This type of testing is considered as a simulation for an attack by an internal source. This testing is used for examining code coverage. It ensures that all independent paths of a module have been exercised.
Grey box penetration testing
In grey box penetration testing, the tester has limited or partial information about the system. It is considered a simulation of an attack by an external hacker who has gained information on its network infrastructure.
Benefits of Penetration Testing
It is important for organizations and corporations that depend on IT to have their system’s security tested and updated regularly. Here are some penetration testing benefits:
- Detect and reveal vulnerabilities.
- Meet monitoring necessities and evade penalties.
- Test your cyber-defense capability.
- Ensure business continuity.
- Protect customer loyalty and company image.
- Follow regulations and certifications.
Why Do We Need Penetration Testing?
The penetration testing process confirms whether a system can protect its applications and networks against any external threat. There is a need for penetration testing since:
- It helps verify the background that can be used by an attacker to breach the security of a system.
- It guards data and prevents any attack from a black hat hacker.
- It helps testers to get to know the application area that can be targeted during an attack.
- The findings of a penetration test helps in driving investment decisions for the improvement of the existing security standards.
Learn Penetration Testing In-Depth From EC-Council University
EC-Council University offers courses for candidates who wish to learn about penetration testing and related techniques and methods. Here are courses that talk about penetration testing:
Master of Science in Cyber Security
The Security Analyst specialization under the university’s MSCS degree offers a course that talks about penetration testing. The ECCU 503 Security Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment and ECCU 506 Conducting Penetration and Security Tests teach students all 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).