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Network Penetration Testing

Quarterly Security Testing Expert Series - Vol 3/4 2022

Role of Network Penetration Testing in Improving Security

Every service-based organization now places a high priority on cybersecurity, as any security loophole can be used as an easy target for malicious attacks. Therefore, concentrating on thorough security testing procedures is the best strategy to secure sensitive data. The major reason network penetration tests are important for an organization's security is that they teach staff how to deal with any form of malicious entity break-in. To find risk factors connected to crucial cybersecurity implementation projects, network penetration testing is necessary. Even though doing penetration tests on a regular basis is important, many people outside of the cybersecurity industry are unaware of its importance.

What Is Network Penetration Testing?

What Is Network Penetration Testing

Network penetration testing is an attempt to breach an organization’s network, with the objective of identifying security weaknesses in the network. Modern networks are extremely complex, with a combination of WAN/LAN, servers, workstations, IoT devices, and security technologies like firewalls. The weak link among these will allow attackers to penetrate the network.

Types of Network Penetration Testing

Each kind of penetration test has a different set of skills, procedures, and resources that must be used, and it should be in line with a particular business objective. The types of network penetration testing services that must be performed while evaluating software products are:

Types of Network Penetration Testing
  • 1

    Internal Network Penetration Testing: Internal network penetration testing is performed to detect what an attacker could achieve with initial access to a network. It can mirror insider threats, such as employees intentionally or unintentionally performing malicious actions.

  • 2

    External Network Penetration Testing: An external network penetration testing is designed to test the effectiveness of perimeter security controls to prevent and detect attacks, identifying weaknesses in internet-facing assets like web, mail, and FTP servers.

Vulnerability Trends

Based on a survey, the most common cyber attacks experienced by US companies are of the following kinds:

Phishing

 

38%

Network Intrusion

 

32%

Inadvertent disclosure

 

12%

Stolen/lost device or records

 

8%

System misconfiguration

 

5%

Source: BakerHosteler,2020

As per the study, it comes as no surprise that people and organizations are worried about potential hacking situations and information breaches. Other than revenue losses, such varieties of cyber attacks will result in a bad reputation and will subject businesses to strict government rules and expensive settlements.

Network Vulnerabilities

A network vulnerability is a flaw or weakness in organizational procedures, hardware, or software that, if exploited by a threat, could lead to a security breach. The image below shows some network vulnerabilities:

Network Vulnerabilities

Types of "Network Security Threats"

If your business is aware of the threat described below, you can develop more thorough policies and procedures to protect your organization’s data security.

Types of Network Security Threats
 

Phishing

Phishing is a trick in which attackers pretend to be someone that they are not in an attempt to steal information. This is often communicated through an email or message.

Phishing

Malware

Malware is malicious software that is created to steal sensitive data, and files, or compromise and damage working systems.

 

Source: www.av-test.org

DDoS attack

Multiple infected computers attacking one target to prevent service from being provided to the system's legitimate users is known as a DDoS attack, and it can target any network resources.

DDoS Attack

DNS Attack

A DNS attack is an exploit that could allow an attacker to penetrate through domain name system (DNS) vulnerabilities, meaning it would route the communication to a website based on the hacker's exploit.

DNS Attack

Advanced Persistent Threats

An APT is a certain type of cyber attack that allows an intruder to gain access to a network and remain undetected for a long period of time.

Advanced Persistent Threats

Importance of Network Penetration Testing

Be it startups, mid-market, or enterprises, it is critical for organizations of any size to do penetration testing on their systems and infrastructure to make sure that there are no security breaches that might cause harm to reputation or revenue loss. Listed below are some of the most important factors why penetration testing matters:

 

  • Real-time Experience

    Penetration tests should be done in order to learn if the security controls you have in place actually work. Pentest gives you real-time experience in dealing with an attack.

  • Risk Prioritization

    Network security penetration testing helps in detecting what vulnerabilities lie in your network. Without prioritization, we can not check which of these vulnerabilities to patch first.

  • Uncover Vulnerabilities

    Pentest is done to uncover loopholes in your network. Penetration testing does whatever possible to breach your network in a similar manner as a hacker.

  • Determine Attack Vector Feasibility

    Penetration testing vendors enable security staff to effectively identify and respond to various forms of cyber attacks

Network Security Testing Tools

The best network security testing tools give you a complete picture of your network's security state. Below are the most popular tools to test for session security.

Network Security Testing Tools
  • Wireshark

    • Wireshark is an open-source tool that is used to capture and interpret network packets. The tool is available for various systems, including Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, and Linux.
  • Aircrack

    • Aircrack is an open-source tool that is used for cracking flaws within wireless connections by analyzing data packets for an effective protocol for exporting text files for analysis.

Best Practices for Network Security

As a variety of useful network penetration testing tools are available, system scanning services can be completed quickly and with older, more convenient services. Let us take a look at how you can secure your network from a security breach:

Conclusion

Conclusion

A network vulnerability is a weakness or flaw in the software, hardware, or organizational processes, which when compromised by a threat, can result in a security breach. Network security is an extremely critical aspect of any application, which needs to be implemented and tested carefully. At QASource, we provide network penetration testing services and we have expertise in the security testing domain in order to make sure our client's businesses remain thriving & secure. Request a free quote to implement cutting-edge network penetration testing services for software products.

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