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Pentesting Explainer: What and Why


What is Pentesting?

Pentesting involves the simulation of attacks on an organisation's network, systems, applications, and users to uncover weaknesses before they are found by cyber criminals. Unlike vulnerability or dark web scanning, which can be narrow in focus, pentesting assess the entirety of an organisation's security protocol, identifying areas of weakness across the entire IT environment.

The Process:

The pentesting process normally involves the following:

  1. Planning. Defining the objectives, scope, and rules of engagement for the test.
  2. Reconnaisance. The pentesters (in this case Mason Infotech) will gather information about the target environment and look for potential attack vectors.
  3. Enumeration. Pentesters will identify active hosts, services, and their vulnerabilities within the target environment.
  4. Exploitation. Once vulnerabilities have been identifies, pentesters will attempt to gain access to your business systems.
  5. Post-Exploitation. This is where criminals would do their damage. In the case of a pentest, Mason Infotech will assess the potential impact of our success had we been a bad actor.
  6. Reporting. We report on vulnerabilities we identified, which techniques we used to gain access, and make recommendations on how to build resilience in your business systems.

Why Businesses Should Pentest

Identifying vulnerabilities before attackers do has some self-explanatory advantages. Pentesting helps organisations to proactively identify and fix any weaknesses in their security protocol before criminals can. By simulating real-world attacks, pentesting can help businesses to see insights into the effectiveness of their existing security controls, and learn where they can improve.

Business who trade in specifically regulated markets will have industry standards for regular pentesting. For the most part, regulators recommend pentesting once a year. By conducting regular pentests, organisations can demonstrate due diligence in safeguarding sensitive data and complying with legal and regulatory standards.

Pentesting also helps businesses to prove that their previous investments in security infrastructure are worthwhile. Security controls like firewalls, EDR, or SOC products can be tested in a secure environment to prove that they are functioning as intended and to their fullest capabilities. Conducting regular pentests demonstrates a commitment to cybersecurity and instills confidence among stakeholders, including customers, partners, and investors. By proactively identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities, organisations signal their dedication to protecting sensitive information and maintaining trust in their brand.

When selecting a pentesting provider, consider factors such as experience, expertise, methodology, and reputation in the industry. Look for providers like Mason Infotech that offer pentest as a service and integrate pentesting into broader managed cybersecurity services to ensure comprehensive security coverage.

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