If you’re a business that has a network, chances are good that you’ve heard the term” Penetration Test” at least once. Perhaps even several times. But what is this test and why is it important? Let’s take a look at exactly what this involves and what to expect from it.

Penetration testing is used by companies to test the safety and functionality of their networks. The industry standard is usually once per year. But some Penetration tests may require quarterly or even bi-annually depending upon your networking environment.

You may also be subject to a Penetration test in the form of a Cloud Penetration test, which is when a Cloud Service provider performs a vulnerability assessment on your infrastructure. Often times, companies will perform these tests before implementing new software or upgrades to their existing software. This helps them ensure that their future applications and platforms are as secure and functional as possible. As well, most Penetration tests performed in the Cloud are performed using specialized tools available to the client company.

How To Penetration Test?

While many companies employ a Penetration Testing team, they’re not all created equally. Some companies simply don’t have the expertise to perform these tests correctly, and this can cause all sorts of problems. Most commonly, a test team will deploy an automated tool called a vulnerability scanner. Once the scan reveals a potential problem, the operator of the tool then has to determine whether or not the data is appropriate to be shared with the rest of the company or not. In order to determine this, the scanning tool may have to analyze the data and determine if it’s suitable to share. If it isn’t, then the vendor will need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a solution for what to do next.

The other way how to perform a penetration test is to use an AWS instance in conjunction with a SQL database. You’ll need an aws account to perform the tests, and an SQL server to maintain the test data. You can either deploy the two on the same server or you can use an app on AWS. Either way works very well and it’s best to have one set up front and the other back up on an on-site secondary server. As for how to install manually, once you’ve got one of these running, you just log into it with a user name and password. Once you’ve logged in, the management interface should be opened up, from where you can find the relevant section for deploying the application.

When you run a penetration test from AWS, you’ll be able to look at the logs from both the aws console and the SQL database. From the console, you can locate your servers, view the resources being used and you can even drill down into the instances to find the vulnerable software. Forcing open of the server shows you the configuration information. Similarly, logging into the AWS console will reveal the names of the EC2 servers along with their private IP addresses. Hacking techniques used can be easily detected by an experienced hacker.

Tags: how to penetration test, offensive security, vulnerabilities, pen testers, fuzzing