Security services lie in the heart and soul of all internet businesses because when a breach occurs, the outcome can be very costly. The recovery cost for ‘mega breaches’ can go up to 350 million dollars. Cyberattacks to web servers are conventional in blockchain-based companies and business-critical technologies. To protect the investor and the client’s interest, it is essential to investigate the code because even minimalistic breaches can land the company into a lawsuit and damage the brand. This is where pentesting comes in!
Businesses must know when there is a possibility of attack, and pentesting is the best method to discover that. The bigger the reward, the more attackers will be attracted. Pentesting works on this logic as it identifies vulnerabilities and test security infrastructures beforehand. Tabletop exercises can also boost security posture. Taking up pentesting can be daunting, and everyone must have questions like what to look for and how to begin. Let’s examine what Certified Pentesting Experts have to say!
Learning of the Blog
- What is pentesting?
- Types of pentests and its methods
- Advantages and importance
- In Closing
In this guide, we look at the meaning and benefits of pentesting in-depth, which can also be found as a part of the penetration testing course for beginners.
What is Pentesting?
Pentesting, penetration test, or ethical hacking, sometimes known as ‘white hat hacking,’ is a process to conduct probes, scans, and attacks on a network to identify the vulnerabilities which can be exploited. This is done by qualified, ethical hackers hired by the company who works similarly to a third- party hacker but rather assesses the network instead of exploiting it. A pentest can be referred to as a simulated cyber attack.
Pentesting also tests security policies, detection and response to security incidents, employee compliance with policies, and so on. According to a report by Positive Technologies, the weak security of web resources was exploited by three-fourth of successful penetration vectors. No defense mechanism is indeed free of loopholes; penetration testing finds application flaws, which can be used to fine-tune the product plugging up the vulnerabilities.
Types of Pentests and its Methods
Penetration testers require to conduct several tests for accuracy, and some of the common ones are:
- Consensus Algorithm: It checks if blockchain is vulnerable to the 51% attack or not, and it is the most crucial part.
- Wallets and Keys: The security of user’s wallets depend on the use of passwords and private keys. To ensure a safe portfolio, the password strength should be checked, and it should be high. Private key storage is highly essential, and cold wallets such as hardware wallets are preferred.
- Synchronization test: This is important because of the presence of peer-to-peer nodes. For fast and efficient processing, synchronization between nodes is essential.
- Timejacking: To keep track of time and sync a node that has joined the network with other peer nodes, an internal clock system is required.
- Redundancy test: This reveals the effect of multi-node failure at the same time and issues with data redundancy.
- Blockchain API test: As API allows users to interact with the blockchain, its endpoints must be free from vulnerabilities.
- DDoS: Distributed denial of service attack is riskiest as it includes sending a large number of un-differentiable requests that clogs up the network. The test ensures that the application is free of these.
As we know about the types of pentests, let’s look at different methods:
- External: It targets the company’s assets that are visible on the net like website, email, and more.
- Internal: The tester has access to applications behind the firewall, and the attack is carried out like a third party.
- Blind: The only information available is the name of the enterprise. This gives a real-time look.
- Double-Blind: This is set up similar to real-world conditions as the application doesn’t know the time of attack beforehand.
- Targeted: Both Certified Pentesting Expert and company work together to track every moment providing real-time feedback.
More than a billion Yahoo accounts were compromised because the organization was one of the 47% that didn’t patch vulnerabilities even on knowing. Many vulnerabilities fall into a range of categories. Here is a list of most commonly found issues categorized as follows:
1. Infrastructural Vulnerabilities
- Weak and default passwords with a single factor only authentication
- An operating system such as OS workstation security attacks
- Application-level attacks because of defenseless software
- Insufficient security configurations issues.
2. Application-Based Vulnerabilities
- Exploiting injection flaws such as NoSQL, SQL, etc.
- Cross-Site Scripting targets executed scripts on the client-side
- Authentication and session management issues
- Misconfiguration issues
- Using vulnerable libraries and frameworks
Advantages and importance
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 percent of businesses have to shut down within six months of an attack as they go out of business. Attackers are always looking for exploitable flaws, and a cybersecurity professional can discover those before the former. Another reason for pentesting is that the sooner a breach is uncovered, the more dollars are saved. Additional risks are caused by outdated OS, new IoT devices, and missing security patches.
Having mentioned the importance of penetration testing, let’s look at the advantages:
- It exposes weaknesses and gives an idea of where to spend.
- Gives a third-party perspective and acts as a second opinion to IT professionals
- Discovers vulnerable points and malicious kind of attack vectors
- Acts as a measure of security available
- Identifies the actual influence of successful attacks
An internal security review is essential before engaging a professional to conduct pentesting. This would let you determine what vendor, scope, time frame, and attack frame your organization needs. Before going for a pentest, understand the business requirements and critical issues. Pentesting isn’t a one-and-done activity, and results improve with time. You should go for pen testing certification or pentest training if you are thinking of shifting to cyber-security. Good luck!