How to Perform Penetration Testing: Step By Step Guide

In today’s world of digital exposure, the internet is perhaps the most useful yet vulnerable place in terms of application security and every other risk associated with it. Cybercrime is a known term to us, especially when it comes to internet surfing, application usage, and the likes. Do you know more than 75% websites consists of unpatched vulnerabilities? Now, the reason behind such shortcomings is nothing but the various security issues and threats that keep coming up from time to time. This is where an effective and well-conducted penetration testing comes into play.

Penetration Testing: A Brief Overview

To begin with, it is to be stated that the very process of penetration testing is nothing but a procedure which is used in order to test the security status of an application. It would, in the long run, determine whether the application tested is free from security threats. An insecure or vulnerable system is often the primary target of the hackers looking for enabling unauthorized access to various systems, applications and software assignment website.

Thus, performing penetration testing will help users to ensure utmost system security, and shall also measure the system’s capability to protect its network, endpoints and applications from all sorts of internal and external security threats. Now that you know how a penetration testing works, it’s time to talk about all the necessary steps that are to be taken in order to perform the testing in ways that can serve the purpose of detecting and eliminating all security risks associated with the application, once and for all.

Step by Step Guide to Successful Penetration Testing

Here is an essential guide to performing effective and efficient penetration testing that can save your application and systems from being vulnerable to security threats. Take note of the following strategies and secure all applications before it’s too late.

Step #1:  Plan and prepare your testing methodology

Before everything else, it is important for you to plan and prepare an objective that shall determine all goals behind performing the penetration testing. However, the most common reasons behind performing a penetration testing are IT security concerns, the vulnerability of technical systems, and the need for improving and increasing all security concerns associated with an organization. So, the idea is to evaluate and prepare the objective behind running the test for a clearer understanding of the issue and a better experience of a perfect solution in the long run.

Step #2:  Close observation and analysis based on the primary information

The second step deals with a close observation and analysis of all primary information received regarding the system or the application concerned. In case the tester lacks enough information requisite for performing the test, it might ask for additional information from the client, including network plans, system descriptions, and the likes.

Step #3:  Scanning and identifying all vulnerabilities associated with the system

Network discovery, host discovery and service interrogation determine all security threats and vulnerabilities associated with the application. From identifying additional systems, devices and servers, to determining and interrogating ports, this is one crucial step to be followed for a successful penetration testing and security analysis.

Step #4: Risk evaluation and information assessment

This is an essential step in which the tester evaluates and asses all accumulated information based on a few components of major concerns. The primary purpose of this particular step is to figure out whether the system has any potential risk. The tester would eventually test and fix issues that are potentially vulnerable and exposed to the threats of external and internal attacks.

Step #5: Launching an attack on the system

This is perhaps the most critical step to be followed when it comes to penetration testing. Experienced testers use their skills, industry knowledge and every other proficiency in order to exploit and attack the system to evaluate its actual vulnerability. 

Step #6: Preparation of the final report based on analysis

Before wrapping up, remind yourself that it is crucial for the tester to prepare an in-depth report based on the penetration analysis and risk identification. The detailed analysis and report would eventually help the testers to come up with corrective strategies and methods to fix all security issues with perfection.

While we cannot remove the risk and vulnerabilities of cyber threats and security issues associated with applications and systems completely, we can always consider following useful penetration testing methodologies and smart steps to safeguards database and websites from the clutches of hackers and third-party interventions.

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