Performing a pentesting test on a regular basis is a useful way to identify serious vulnerabilities in an IT environment. This work will be performed by a trusted ethical hacker using a methodical and thorough approach.
To complete it, there are 6 critical phases that we are going to develop to understand it:
PHASE 1. Pre-engagement interactions.
In this phase you would explain the logistics of the test, the expectations, the legal implications, the testing objectives that the company as a customer would like to achieve. They would explain to them the risk associated with the test they will be performing, their organizational culture and existing pentesting strategy (in case they have one). They would then enter into a contract with the company and develop an appropriate plan with their collaboration.
PHASE 2. Open Source Intelligence or Reconnaissance gathering (OSINT)
Now, yes, it would begin to execute….
A pentester would start working to discover “potential targets” to carry out attacks.
For example, it may perform search engine queries, DNS / WHIS lookups, social engineering, tax records, Internet footprints (email address, usernames, passwords, social networks, etc), internal footprints (ping sweeps, port scanning, reverse DNS), etc.
PHASE 3. Threat Modeling and Vulnerability Identification
Once the pentester has identified legitimate targets, he will map out a detailed attack strategy. For example, he will identify critical business assets (employee data, customer data, other technical data) and plan to steal or access them.
It will also identify other threats. These threats can emanate from within the organization (management, employees, vendor partners, suppliers, etc.). You will also identify external threats, e.g. ports, network protocols, web applications, network traffic, etc.
It will discover all vulnerabilities and make an inventory of those vulnerabilities. It will then validate all vulnerabilities and see if it is exploitable or not.
PHASE 4. Exploitation
With a map of all possible vulnerabilities and entry points in hand, the pentester will begin testing exploits found within the enterprise network, applications and data. He will see how far he can reach into the environment and identify high-value targets, undetected.
But the pentester will not go beyond the scope that would have been decided in stage one.
He will generally try to exploit web application attacks, network attacks, memory-based attacks, Wi-Fi attacks, zero-day attacks, physical attacks, social engineering attacks, etc.
PHASE 5. Post-exploitation, risk analysis and recommendations
In this stage, the pentester will document all the methods he used in the last stage. He will also try to determine the value of the data captured.
A good pentester will try to show you recommendations for fixing security holes and vulnerabilities.
After he has shared his recommendations, he will proceed to clean up and any access he has gained to penetrate the environment and remove all artifacts (e.g. executables-files, scripts, temporary files, user accounts created, etc). It will also reconfigure the setting of computers or devices back to the original parameters that were there before the pentest.
It will also prevent future unauthorized access to the system, whichever is necessary.
PHASE 6. Report
This is perhaps the most critical aspect. It is where, you get the comprehensive report on all the vulnerabilities found and how they were found, attack methods decided and carried out, what was the value of the data accessed or stolen.
The penetration report can also give you an overall security risk score and be an eye-opening exercise to improve your overall security posture.
Undoubtedly software testing is difficult and fun at the same time. We would like to take this opportunity to recommend an event on Testing that will take place next week on October 20, 21, 22 in online format. It is the 20th International Conference on Testing and Software Quality in Embedded Systems with speakers from around the world will talk about the latest topics such as security management, security testing, IOT testing or AI testing, but also more traditional disciplines such as test automation, validation and verification strategies or testing techniques. Redborder will also have its stand as NGIPS cybersecurity solution, we could not miss it!