Penetration testing, also known as pen testing or ethical hacking, is the practice of testing a computer system, network or web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.
Penetration tests can be used to test both the external and internal security of a system. External tests focus on the system’s perimeter, looking for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an attacker who is outside the organization, such as through the internet. Internal tests focus on the system’s internal network and systems, looking for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an attacker who already has access to the network, such as through a malicious insider or a compromised user account.
Penetration testing is an important part of any organization’s cybersecurity program. By regularly testing their systems for vulnerabilities, organizations can find and fix weaknesses before they are exploited by attackers.
There are a few different ways to conduct a penetration test. Some organizations choose to hire a professional penetration testing company to carry out tests on their behalf. Other organizations choose to do the tests themselves, using open-source tools and resources.
Whichever method is used, penetration testing should be an ongoing process to ensure that systems are kept secure against the latest threats.