Penetration testing is a form of security testing that aims to detect potential vulnerabilities in a system. There are various types of penetration testing that will not only report any weaknesses but also try to exploit them, referred to as ethical hacking. Any attacker can interrupt or gain unauthorized access to a system if it is not secured. A security risk may arise due to unintentional errors that arise during the implementation and development phases of a project.
Before we get to the types of penetration testing, let us understand the methodology behind them. Even before the testing is done, a vulnerability risk assessment is conducted. Whatever the type of penetration testing, its aim should be to locate the sensitive data, all network connections, and the relevant access points. After these vulnerability scans are done, the issues found should be rectified at the earliest possible time.
Below are some of the types of penetration testing
Web application penetration testing
It is more targeted and detailed in comparison to other types of pen tests. The main objective is to detect the weaknesses and cyber security risks in websites along with their components, back-end source network, or source code. Web application penetration testing has increased in relevance ever since a great deal of crime has been reported in COVID 19. The popular security weaknesses to look for in a penetration test of a web application are weak passwords, SQL injection attacks, code injection, etc.
Client-side penetration testing
This falls into the types of penetration testing that check local threats. These are the threats that can emerge from any programmes or apps that are running on the workstations of the employees. Apart from third-party apps, frameworks and internal programmes can lead to security threats. So, make it a point that they are part of your tests.
Network penetration testing
For pen testing, this is one of the most commonly requested types of penetration testing. Their goal is to detect the vulnerabilities at the network stage. A network has an internal and an external access point, which makes it vulnerable to attack by cybercriminals. There are a couple of subcategories of networking penetration testing: external networking testing and internal networking testing.
Social engineering testing
This is different from the other forms of testing in that it does not focus on the technical aspects of the applications or systems. Rather, the focus shifts to the physiology of the users and the employees, who can unintentionally compromise security. There are a couple of ways in which you can perform social engineering penetration testing, either physically or remotely. The latter is done by interacting with people, and the former takes the digital route.
Physical penetration test
Physical penetration tests go beyond the digital aspects. To undertake this form of test, you have to determine how easy it is to gain access to a physical facility. This may be done by bypassing security controls, security cameras, or even trying to lockpick the doors. The utility of these types of penetration tests is immediate remediation.
Wireless penetration testing
Wireless network breaches would be a real threat to the company’s security. The tests are conducted on all the physical wireless devices, like laptops and smartphones, that are connected to the WI-FI network. Some of the things that are necessary for a wireless network, but they are not limited to, are encryption weaknesses along with unauthorised spots.
To conclude, penetration testing is of considerable importance as it comes with numerous benefits. A point to consider is that it is not easy to perform in comparison to other forms of testing. If you are looking to develop your skills, there are numerous apps available to guide you in the same direction.