Being aware of the existing online security threats should be a must. It’s also very important to stay updated with the risks that are out there. This is because the effectiveness of your whole security system, including firewalls, anti-malware and etc, is never really known until an attack occurs. However, through penetration testing, you can find out just how effective it is in a real-world situation.
The fact is that the continual development of social engineering techniques means that threats are always evolving. So, what might be adequate protection 12 months ago, could now be riddled with holes that need to be filled in.
One of the most important services that NSI provides is the in-depth penetration testing (ethical hacking) service for corporations and government departments. This is designed to locate the cracks and weaknesses in an existing online security system that leaves companies vulnerable.
Understanding Penetration Testing
There are several ways to test the security level of a company. It’s important not to get confused between them and penetration testing. Cyber Penetration testing involves alternative techniques that include vulnerability scans and security assessments. These simply find out and confirm that required security aspects are in place and are working.
As you might expect, this technique is specifically used to push the existing level of security to its limit. It penetrates the company’s system and extracts data just as a hacker would. This is to prove the effectiveness (or not) of the system.
The unforgiving nature of the test is its greatest attraction. It offers the most accurate demonstration of vulnerabilities in a real-world context. This is ensured by the quality of the testers, not the testing tools. The testers are experienced and tenacious, so their attack is as realistic as possible.
Physical Penetration testing involves the testing of the physical security measures that are in place. A location with a gatehouse, guards and CCTV surveillance systems may have an area that is not alarmed where employees go for breaks. An organisation containing sensitive intellectual property and information on systems may not have any controls or policies on visible identification which may allow a person to either tailgate or casually walk in and take the information. Poor physical security is a high risk for corporations and government departments. A Physical Penetration test provides a real-world scenario of exactly how those physical security measures are safeguarding your premises. A test may involve tailgating employees, social engineering, all the way to a persistent attack on your premises whereby offices are entered by evading alarms, disabling CCTV surveillance systems and so on, so as to act as a motivated intruder.
Test Aims and Techniques
In many cases, the purpose of penetration testing is more focused. It simply finds out if security is sufficient. There can also be several more specific purposes, these include:
- To test a particular set of attack vectors
- To discover how lower-risk vulnerabilities and their sequence might be exploited to lead a high-risk vulnerability
- To identify vulnerabilities difficult to detect via general scanning software
- To assess the potential severity to business and operations an attack might have
- To test how well network defenders can detect and respond to attacks
- To assess the worth of increased security technology investment
In carrying out the test, a team of experts will use the same tools and programmes that genuine hackers would use. They make sure that they always use the latest version to ensure the most up-to-date results. In-house created tools are also utilised to ensure that the most detailed outcome can be achieved.
The practice of penetration testing is a serious business. Not every company is capable of carrying it out to the required standards. The establishment of the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) Australia has helped to enhance standards through professional accountability and certified training courses.
NSI Penetration Testing Service
The importance of regular penetration testing has grown steadily as the sophistication of the threat posed by social engineers has increased. At NSI, we have been helping companies identify their security weak spots for years. We do this by carefully analysing each company’s existing system. This is to determine the most probable threats and which technologies, as well as processes, may need to be replaced.
Our team uses a variety of testing tools similar to those used by real attackers. These tools are used to analyse IT network systems and their security protocols and physical security measures that are in place. We use a wide range of techniques which include:
- Social engineering
- External and internal penetration testing
- Remote access penetration tests
- Red-team exercises
- Cyber threat and risk assessments
With a team of consultants that is vastly experienced in the field, our clients benefit from the fullest possible experience, enhancing their online protection greatly. For more information on NSI Penetration Testing services, check out our website and contact us via email or phone.