With an upward surge in cyber-attacks in Australia, cyber security has become a key priority and penetration testing techniques can help prevent attacks.
Let’s discuss different types of penetration testing techniques that can safeguard and protect your management systems from intelligence threats and data breaches.
Penetration testing is a method of hacking into your company’s management systems. An approved team of experts examines your company’s management systems from a hacker’s perspective. This process guides the identification of vulnerabilities that can be exploited by unwanted intruders.
Understanding your security posture is the first step in securing your business.
Since penetration tests mimic real-world attacks, they are an effective defence mechanism. They enable you to identify the weak points in your cybersecurity perimeters, such as backdoors in the operating system, unintentional design flaws in the code, or incorrect software configurations.
Penetration testing helps in performing vulnerability assessment.
Your organisation will be able to boost the security of your applications, networks, and physical environments by prioritising reports detailing your company’s vulnerabilities.
Penetration Testing Techniques
There are three main types of penetration testing techniques used in Australia:
Black Box Penetration Testing
The primary aim of this penetration testing technique is to simulate a cyber-attack in which the hacker is unaware of the target company’s IT structure. They launch a high-intensity all-out attack on the system hoping to find a weak link. This is a ‘trial and error’ approach.
The tester is not given any prior information about the network architecture or security features of the target system. Therefore, they must depend on their own technical skills to automate processes, scan tools, and manually penetrate with testing methodologies. They need to be skilled individuals that can map the target network based on their observations. Their ultimate goal is to find the system’s vulnerabilities. As a result, black box penetration testing can take time for the process to be completed
A penetration tester will begin by scanning the network to identify a firewall. After identifying the firewall, they will attempt to bypass it by sending packets to elicit a response. The route taken by these packets will help to determine the devices and routers that are hosted on the company network.
A black box test might to six weeks to complete thoroughly, however, this can vary depending on the time, resources and budget allocated to the project. The scope and the testing rigor are also factors that determine the delivery of the outcome.
White Box Penetration Testing
In this format of penetration testing, the tester is provided with comprehensive documents detailing the software architecture and source code of the web applications.
This is also known as clear box testing or internal testing. It provides the tester with immediate access to the networks and company systems. The purpose of supplying the tester with all the information is to resemble an attack by a hacker who has already gained access to the system.
They begin with the same privileges as an authorised user, and then attempt to exploit system-level security and configuration flaws. The purpose is to conduct an in-depth audit of the different systems and provide answers to two key questions:
1. How far can an attacker go using privilege escalation?
2. How much damage can an attack do?
White box penetration testing uses testing methods that require the application of more advanced testing tools, including debuggers and software code analysers.
Grey Box Penetration Testing
This form of penetration testing falls in between white and black box testing.
In grey box testing, the penetration tester has a limited understanding of the system. They commence the test by focusing on the familiar areas of the web application. The grey box test can use both automated and manual processes, thus increasing the likelihood of discovering more obscure ‘weak spots.’
Features that differentiate a grey box test from a black box test include:
• The tester has access to user/administrator accounts.
• The tester is familiar with the application’s data flow and architecture.
• The tester has access to portions of the source code.
Common Types of Penetration Testing Techniques
There are five common types of penetration testing techniques which are described below:
Network Penetration Test
A network penetration test is used to identify exploitable flaws in the:
- Networking equipment
Web Application Penetration Testing (WAPT)
Web application penetration testing aims to collect information about the target to identify and exploit vulnerabilities.
The following methods are used to compromise the system:
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
- SQL injections
- DNS Spoofing
- SSRF (server-side request forgery)
- Password attacks (brute force, dictionary, decryption)
Wireless Penetration Testing
Wireless penetration testing seeks to identify and assess the connections between all devices connected to your company network. These include devices such as:
- Mobile phones
Social Engineering Penetration Test
Social engineering is the art of exploiting human psychology, rather than technical hacking techniques. This method is used to gain access to buildings, systems or data. Instead of trying to find a network or software vulnerability, a social engineer will attempt to trick an employee into divulging company data. This is often done on a phone call or over email by a threat actor who poses as an employee/IT Support person.
Social engineering penetration attacks include the following:
- Quid pro quo
Directing cyber awareness initiatives and training about social engineering attacks is the best way to prevent an attack from being successful.
Physical Penetration Testing
A physical penetration test simulates the traditional method of breaching security.
The tester breaches physical security barriers to access your company buildings, or systems. It puts to the test the various physical controls you have in place, such as:
- Security personnel
Although this is often viewed as an afterthought, an intruder can physically bypass your security personnel; and evade alarms to access the server room. The server room will provide them with access to your network which would otherwise have been incredibly difficult to obtain. Your physical security posture must be rigorously maintained to keep your confidential data safe.
Benefits of Penetration Testing
1. By integrating cyber security into your organisation’s risk management policy, you can solidify your systems and minimise your company’s risk exposure.
2. Prevents the disruption in your business, legal ramifications, rising costs, and reputational harm caused by preventable cyber-attacks/data breaches.
3. Verifies your company’s security posture and procedures independently against the best practices from the industry. This will provide your business with a competitive edge in the market.
4. Offers feedback on discovered vulnerabilities to development teams to encourage improvements in secure coding practices.
5. Accomplish and enforce compliance with various leading cyber security standards like ISO 27001 PCI-DSS, NIST, and others.
6. Protects IP (intellectual property) and sensitive company data.
How can Anitech’s Consultants help?
You must be able to think like a cybercriminal to understand how they can access your critical systems, and our trained consultants are well-versed in it.
Anitech’s consultants are experienced in constantly updating their skills and keeping up with technological advancements. They have worked on numerous penetration testing projects.
We can assess your organisation’s network to find weak points before they are exploited and check them for vulnerability.
Anitech takes a proactive approach to identifying the most critical vulnerabilities in your organisation’s assets.
Our services include:
- Web Application Penetration Testing
- Network Security Penetration Testing
- Mobile Application Penetration Testing
- Web Services / API Penetration Testing
- Cloud-Based Penetration Testing
- Internal Penetration Testing
- Wireless Penetration testing
Do you want to enhance your cyber resilience actively?
Do you want to minimise your company’s risk exposure?
Do you want to integrate with cutting-edge cyber security standards?
We will be happy to help you!