Do you want to make sure your website is safe from attacks?

There are about 1.11 billion websites online, and hundreds get hacked each year. You want to make sure your business’s website isn’t one of them.

That’s where security is being set. Hackers launch attacks against websites every day. If you want to know more about external penetration testing, keep on reading!

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a type of security testing that involves determining and exploiting vulnerabilities to assess the security of a system. It is designed to identify any potential weaknesses of a system. It could be exploited by an attacker to gain unauthorized access to confidential data.

It should also be typically performed periodically to ensure the security of the system is maintained and to identify and fix any potential security issues. It is also a controlled simulation of real-world hacking scenarios that are often used to:

  • Detect
  • Prevent
  • Remediate security threats

A penetration test involves ‘red teaming,’ where a team of security engineers or ethical hackers perform tests on a target system to identify any potential vulnerabilities.

Benefits of External Penetration Testing

External penetration testing is a vital element of an organization’s security strategy. It allows organizations to identify and address any potential weaknesses in their system or network before a malicious attacker can exploit them.

Benefits of external penetration testing include:

  • Reducing security risks
  • Helping to prioritize corrective measures
  • Accurate acceptance test

It helps an organization be aware of any changes that may have been introduced by new software or hardware updates and can also reveal any security holes or vulnerabilities that exist.

It helps to ensure compliance with industry security regulations and can also serve as an additional layer of defense against malicious attacks.

Types of External Penetration Testing

There are a few different types of External Penetration Testing that can be utilized, each focusing on different aspects of the system and its defenses. Common types include:

Network Vulnerability Scanning

It is effectively used to identify vulnerabilities and misconfigurations on a computer or network. This method of testing provides an overview of the external layout of a network and the potential threats to it.

During Network Vulnerability Scanning, the tester will evaluate publicly exposed services and examine network devices such as”

  • Firewalls and devices
  • Analyze system configurations

Web Application Scanning

It helps organizations identify issues with web applications at an early stage and resolve them to prevent malicious attacks. Additionally, this testing also covers the following:

  • any areas authentication bypass
  • malicious code
  • and others

By identifying these weaknesses, fixes can be typically applied to prevent hackers from exploiting the identified vulnerability.

Password Crackers

Password crackers are a type of external penetration testing tool used to determine the strength of passwords and look for vulnerabilities. Popular password crackers include

  • Brute Force
  • Dictionary
  • Hybrid
  • Rainbow

Password crackers should not be typically used maliciously, as they can be used to expose users to security risks. As such, it is important to use a strong password, such as one generated by it. This allows users to generate passwords that are not easily guessed or cracked.

Port Scanning

Port scanning is often accomplished using programs or scanners, and these programs will scan a range of ports to identify any potential vulnerabilities or weak points.

It is also often used in determining what services are running on a system or network, as well as what security measures, if any, are in place. It can also be generally used to test the depth of a firewall in order to understand what type of traffic is allowed for various services.

Social Engineering

Social Engineering consists of manipulating people in order to gain access to areas of an organization that would otherwise be inaccessible. These techniques usually fall into categories such as:

  • Technical
  • Sociological
  • Psychological

Organizations should take the necessary steps to educate all staff on the dangers of social engineering and implement security controls to prevent it from occurring.

Wireless Security Assessment

Wireless Security Assessment (WSA) is used to detect any vulnerabilities that could allow an intruder to attack a system or network remotely. During a WSA, the security assessment team will use tools such as:

  • Wireless scanners
  • Packet capture technologies
  • Protocol analysis

It is to identify any potential risks. With this process, the security assessment team can identify any weak points in a wireless network and recommend steps on how to improve the security of the network and systems.

Malware Analysis

Malware Analysis is a process used to detect any malicious software present on a given system as well as to identify its source and intent. This process uses various testing tools, which may include:

  • Automated scans
  • Manual vulnerability assessments
  • Malware analysis

It is important to note that different types of malware analysis exist, such as static, dynamic, and hybrid. Each approach has unique advantages in leveraging the detection of malicious code and understanding its purpose.

Analytics-Driven Approach

This method puts the focus on data. By leveraging analytics, experts can identify patterns and anomalies in data traffic from the external environment. This approach takes into account not only quantitative data, such as:

  • Volume and frequency
  • Qualitative elements

Such as the content of the data and the users who are sending it. Additionally, this method looks for indicators of compromise that provide insight into potential malicious activity.

Each approach is tailored to the specific infrastructure of the client, as each external environment has its own unique risks and security measures.

Knowing the Cost

The Penetration testing price can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the test. Smaller, one-time tests can cost a few hundred dollars, while more comprehensive, large-scale tests can cost in the tens of thousands.

Penetration testing is an important part of any security strategy, and the cost may be typically outweighed by the value of security it brings. Additionally, if an organization is regulated by a government entity, penetration testing may be necessary in order to remain compliant.

Lastly, external penetration testing can help organizations identify and address areas of weakness before they become more damaging issues.

Choose the Best External Penetration Testing Company Today

Choose the right, most up-to-date external penetration testing team for your company today – they should have the skills and expertise to keep your digital assets secure and safe.

Do the research, read testimonials, and always follow best practices for selecting the right penetration testing provider. Don’t wait to protect yourself, your business depends on it.

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