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IT & Security Penetration Testing.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing (or ethical hacking) simulates hacking attempts on networks, websites and applications, in order to discover any security loop-holes that a real hacker could exploit.

Organisations are increasingly reliant upon information technology for their critical business functions and day-to-day operations. The confidentiality, availability and integrity of these systems is therefore vital to the continued success of businesses in today’s competitive marketplace.

Penetration testing provides a detailed analysis of an organisation’s security posture and can highlight areas where improvements need be made. This can help to defend against an ever-increasing level of threat from disgruntled employees, remote hackers, foreign intelligence agencies, organised crime and industrial espionage.

What are the benefits?
  • Intelligently manage vulnerabilities – Penetration testing provides detailed information on actual, exploitable security threats. By performing a penetration test, you can identify which vulnerabilities are critical, which are insignificant, and which are false positives. This allows you to intelligently apply patches and allocate security resources when and where they are needed most.
  • Avoid the cost of network downtime – Recovering from a security breach can cost millions due to IT remediation efforts, lost employee productivity and lost revenue. Penetration testing allows you to prevent this financial drain by identifying and addressing risks before security breaches occur.
  • Meet regulatory requirements and avoid fines – Penetration testing helps to satisfy auditing/compliance aspects of regulations and standards such as the Data Protection Act, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS),ISO 27001 and the Cabinet Office Security Policy Framework (SPF).
  • Protect Corporate Reputation – Unauthorised disclosure of data could result in significant fines from the Information Commissioner, put lives at risk and result in severe embarrassment for the organisation concerned. Penetration testing helps to identify data protection risks and allows organisations to mitigate them before they are realised.
  • Justify security investments – Penetration testing can both evaluate the effectiveness of existing security products and build the case for proposed investments. Satisfy prerequisites for cybersecurity insurance – Penetration testing is fast becoming a requirement for obtaining cybersecurity insurance coverage.
What can we do?

A penetration testing expert will study your network and applications and search for vulnerabilities. This is achieved through the use of semi-automated tools, script execution and is heavily dependent on manual testing and verification techniques. By analysing the results, our consultant will expose potential vulnerabilities and customise subsequent tests, based on the initial findings.

The penetration test can include the further exploitation of vulnerabilities that are discovered (chained exploits), if explicitly requested by the client.

Options for network penetration tests include:

  • External Penetration Test Conducted remotely on external or public facing networks or applications to identify vulnerabilities that are visible to attackers over the Internet.
  • Internal Penetration Test Conducted on the internal network to identify vulnerabilities that are visible to insiders, contractors and partners with potential malicious intent.

Any vulnerability discovered will be analysed and categorised alongside a detailed recommendation that will enable the client to take remedial action and mitigate the issue. Upon completion of a penetration test, the client is provided with a test report which summarises the identified vulnerabilities and advises on solutions that will improve security.

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