Network Penetration testing became a crucial element in ensuring the security of networks and systems in today’s digitalized world. It became essential for businesses and organizations to keep cyber threats away from them by performing regular network penetration testing to identify and discover possible vulnerabilities in their system before they turn into an open gate to malicious actors that would help them exploit the vulnerabilities. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the importance of network penetration testing, a few of the benefits it provides, and types of network penetration tests and we will also discuss the best practices you can implement to conduct an effective test. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
WHAT IS NETWORK PENETRATION TESTING?
Network penetration testing is a method used to test the security of a computer system, network or web application. It involves simulating a real-world cyber-attack to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them in a controlled environment. The primary purpose of network penetration testing is to evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s security controls and identify areas where improvements can be made.
WHY CONDUCT NETWORK PENETRATION TESTS?
According to IBM 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, “83% of organizations have had more than one breach”. This signifies the importance of Network Penetration testing. Network Penetration testing is essential for organizations to strengthen their security posture by identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers. By conducting regular network penetration testing, organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches, avoid financial losses, maintain compliance with industry regulations, and protect their reputation.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NETWORK PENETRATION TESTING?
A lot of benefits are associated with network penetration testing. The most notable benefits are as follows:
1. Helps in identifying potential security threats
Network penetration testing helps organizations identify and address vulnerabilities by simulating real-world cyberattacks. One of the perks of conducting a network penetration test Is it will allow a security professional to identify the vulnerabilities, and weaknesses in their network infrastructure and their application before the attacker can exploit them. Identifying the vulnerabilities help organisations to implement a plan or take necessary steps to prevent future attacks.
2. Helps in Preventing Data Breaches and Losses
The average cost of a data breach is $ 4.35 million. The cost of recovery from data breaches is expensive. Network penetration test helps to prevent data breaches and the cost associated with them. The impact of a data breach on an organization is very daunting as it leads to financial losses, legal repercussions, and reputational damage. By conducting a test, organizations can prevent data breaches and protect sensitive data.
3. Helps in Compliance with Industry Standards and Regulations
Many industries and organizations are subject to standards and regulations that require regular network penetration testing to maintain compliance. Conducting these tests will let organizations ensure that they’re meeting regulatory requirements and avoid potential fines and legal repercussions.
LET’S UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT TYPES OF NETWORK PENETRATION TESTING
The types of Network penetration testing are White Box testing, Black Box Testing, and Grey Box Testing.
1. White Box Testing
White Box Testing is a method of testing where the tester has complete knowledge of the system being tested. This type of testing is typically used by internal security teams who have full access to the network infrastructure and applications being tested. White box testing allows testers to identify vulnerabilities that may not be visible to external attackers.
2. Black Box Testing
Black box testing is a method of testing where the tester has no prior knowledge of the system being tested. This type of testing is typically used by external security teams, such as third-party vendors, to test the security of a network or application. Black box testing simulates a real-world attack, where the attacker has no prior knowledge of the target system.
3. Grey Box Testing
Grey box testing is a method of testing that lies somewhere between white box testing and black box testing. In grey box testing, the tester has some knowledge of the system being tested but does not have complete access to it. This type of testing is often used to simulate an attack by a trusted insider who has limited access to the network or application.
HERE ARE THE BEST PRACTICES YOU CAN IMPLEMENT TO CONDUCT AN EFFICIENT NETWORK PENETRATION TEST
1. Define Objectives
The first step is to define the objectives of the network penetration testing. You should identify what you want to achieve from the testing process, such as identifying vulnerabilities or testing the effectiveness of your security controls.
2. Identify Scope
It’s crucial to identify the scope of the testing, including the systems and networks that will be tested, and any other relevant details. This helps to ensure that the testing process is focused, efficient and effective in achieving the objectives.
3. Develop a Budget Plan
Developing a budget plan is crucial to ensure the success of your cybersecurity efforts. The price of the test completely depends on what kind of test you’re conducting (White box, black box, and grey box testing), the value of your assets, and if you’re going for In-house testing or an external service provider.
4. Choose a right Network Penetration Testing Provider
Choosing the right penetration testing provider depends on what objectives you’ve set. For example, if you’re looking for a Network security assessment, then look no further. Choosing the right network penetration testing provider is a crucial decision for any organization to secure its digital assets and it can be a challenging task. Here are some of the criteria you can consider when evaluating potential providers:
- Evaluating Credentials and Experience.
- Assessing Methodologies and tools used.
- Review customer feedback and References.
5. Prioritize the outcome
It is very crucial to prioritize the outcome of your test. It would help you understand your network posture. Documenting results will help you in understanding the vulnerabilities and recommendations given for securing your systems and networks. It is also important to implement the recommendations made by the penetration testing team to ensure that your systems and networks are secure.
It takes 30 minutes to 10 days for a hacker to breach a network Perimeter. 63% of companies’ internal networks can be accessed in no more than two steps. The statics are terrifying and calls for a need to perform a network penetration test. Network penetration testing is done to strengthen the in-place network security. It helps organisations to understand their network better. By Conducting this test, the companies can establish strong security measures and reduce the risk of falling prey to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.