5 Tips for a Successful Penetration Testing Program

Penetration Testing Program


With the advent of enterprise data breaches and ransomware cyberattacks, Penetration Testing Program audits are a must for any firm that handles consumer data. Compliance bills in the US and around the world have increased the pressure on firms to strengthen security measures and harden systems handling confidential data.

These advances, while costly in the short term, should be welcomed since early preparedness can save your organization from hefty fines, disgrace, and general anguish.

A thorough security assessment includes a thorough penetration examination of vital assets. We spoke with ethical hackers and network security professionals to learn more. Tips for a successful pen testing program.

1. Recognize high-risk assets and workflows

Understanding your organization’s high-risk assets and how they fit into the overall business logic is more important than a basic security assessment checklist. It helps to have a clearer view of your organization’s shortcomings when picking high-risk assets and network segments to pen-test.

For example, John Jackson, founder of ethical hacking group Sakura Samurai, advises testers to build a specific model for their organization or the organization they are testing against. “For example, penetration testers may know to look for out-of-date versioning on a server that could lead to remote code execution. “The functions most people know to test are low-hanging fruit.”

“What about business logic defects or procedures that can harm business continuity or cause unintentional losses of money or assets?” asks Jackson. “What about privacy flaws that can harm an organization’s reputation, harming stakeholder trust and overall service reliability? The bad guys are cunning and don’t care about scope or planned versus unintended usefulness.

 Penetration Testing Program

2. Expand their group of pent esters

“Even if you find the top pent esters in the world, their approach, talents, and tools are not universal. Diverse viewpoints reveal disparate issues. Consider a new provider’s value proposition, or re-evaluate an old favorite, advises BlueCat Networks software security director David Maxwell.

“A tester may be proficient in web application hacking, while another may be skilled in software engineering or IoT hacking,” Jackson explains. “Penetration testing models should emphasize the necessity of integrating these talents for greatest impact. For example, due to network filtering policies, a penetration tester may be able to execute remote code on a web application but not gain a reverse shell on the server.

3. Understand the IT and cyber infrastructure

Before engaging an external penetration tester in Antwerp, you must understand your cyber infrastructure and which devices belong on the production network. Are you defending against tunneling/exfiltration/typo squatting domains or using threat intelligence to apply policy to DNS? It’s the same with your firewalls and storage,” Maxwell explains.

The ongoing Clop ransomware attacks against firms utilizing susceptible Actelion FTA devices reaffirm this argument. Multiple companies that employed Actelion’s file-transfer application, FTA, have been targeted for extortion.

Qualys is the newest victim of the Actelion attacks. Qualys discontinued the FTA gadget on February 18, 2021, according to Shodan.

 Penetration Testing Program

4. Identify the pertest scope

The next stage is to define the scope of the pertest and write up the rules of engagement. a white-box or black-box pentest Will it only cover employee workstations or production servers as well? Should domain takeover concerns be included in the scope?

This is similar to organizations crowdsourcing security via bug bounty program, where companies specify which systems are acceptable to examine and which are not.

5. Be aware of changing dangers and regulations.

Threat actors’ tactics, targets, and attack vectors have evolved over the last decade. Even the rewards have shifted. Unlike most sophisticated threat actors behind ransomware attacks.

As a result of these widespread supply chain attacks, regulators have increased their scrutiny of software vendors globally. The Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS) now requires all financial institutions to assess their software vendors.

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