Every day, hundreds of new threats pop up that have never been seen before. Your antivirus can only do so much. This is where penetration testing comes in. By learning about penetration testing, you can help protect your network.
And so, we’ve compiled this article for you to get started with penetration testing. We’ll discuss what it is, different ways to perform it, the legality of it, and how it can help improve your network security.
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What is penetration testing?
When you do penetration testing, you have but one goal: to find the flaws in your network. You will do this by carrying out attacks on your network and seeing how far you can get. There are different ways to categorize penetration testing:
- Automated penetration testing: This is where you use tools, software, or scripts to carry out the attacks on you. This can be helpful as it speeds up the process, but it’s also less accurate.
- Manual penetration testing: This is where you carry out the attacks yourself. This is more accurate, but it takes longer and requires more experience.
- Internal penetration testing: This is where you test your network from the inside, possibly connected to the network, or having direct access to it.
- External penetration testing: This is where you test your network from the outside and is a good way of finding out if an external malicious actor good gets through your network firewall.
The five stages of penetration testing are:
What is network penetration testing?
Network penetration testing is the process of finding flaws in your network security using the same techniques as a hacker would. It can be used to find out how well your security measures are working and to fix any vulnerabilities that are found.
Is it legal to pentest your own network?
Yes, it is. However, you should always check with your local laws to make sure you’re not breaking any regulations.
How can penetration testing improve network security?
Online penetration testing can help improve network security in many ways:
- It can help you find vulnerabilities in your network that could be exploited by hackers.
- It can help you fix these vulnerabilities and improve your security measures.
- It can help you test how effective the current security measures are.
- It can help you prepare for a potential attack.
A checklist for penetration testing your own network:
- Try to crack the passwords of your administrator accounts.
- Try to crack the passwords of other user accounts.
- Try to crack the passwords of sensitive files and folders.
You can use password-cracking tools for this such as John the Ripper, Hashcat, etc.
- Scan your network for vulnerable devices and services.
- Attack your network using common exploits.
- Attempt to get access to critical data and systems.
You can use tools such as Nmap, Metasploit, and Wireshark for this.
- Test the security of popular applications by attacking them with various methods.
- Try to access sensitive data and systems through the applications.
You can use tools such as Astra Pentest, Burp Suite, and OWASP ZAP for this.
- Try to access sensitive data and systems by breaking into physical locations.
- Attempt to clone or steal sensitive data.
- Try to tamper with equipment or systems.
You can use tools such as Lockpick and Shmoocon for this.
- Check for known vulnerabilities in popular operating systems.
- Use common exploits to gain access to systems and data.
- Try to install malware or ransomware on systems.
You can use tools like Metasploit for this.
- Attempt to bypass your firewall using common methods.
- Try to exploit known vulnerabilities in your firewall.
- Test how well your firewall rules work.
- Try to remotely access systems and data using common methods.
- Use security tests to validate the security of remote access protocols and techniques.
- Try to exploit known vulnerabilities in remote access software.
You can use tools such as Metasploit, Nessus, and PowerShell for this.
These are just a few examples of the things you can do when pen-testing your own network. However, if you lack the knowledge or experience to do this yourself, you can hire a professional penetration tester to do it for you. Astra Security is one of the top penetration testing companies out there that provides 24/7 support and can work remotely.
Overall, penetration testing can be a very valuable strategy for improving the security of your network. You may make it far more difficult for hackers to gain access to your systems and data by finding and repairing vulnerabilities.
Pen testing your own network can also help you prepare for a potential attack, and it can help you test the effectiveness of your security measures. If you’re not currently performing penetration testing, I highly recommend giving it a try. It can be a great way to improve your security posture and protect your network from potential threats.