Penetration testing (or pen testing), is the simulation of real-world cyber-attack in order to test an organisation’s cybersecurity capabilities and expose vulnerabilities. While some might consider pen tests as just a vulnerability scan meant to check the box on a compliance requirement, the exercise should actually be much more.
The purpose of pen testing is not just to test your environment’s vulnerabilities, but to test your people and processes against likely threats to your organisation as well. Knowing which adversaries are more likely to target you allows a penetration tester to mimic the specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of those specific adversaries – giving an organisation a much more realistic idea of how a breach might occur.
When considering conducting a pen test, it’s important to remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all test. Environments, industry risks, and adversaries are different from one organisation to the next. Furthermore, there isn’t just one type of pen test that will serve all the needs of an organisation. There are several types of pen tests that are designed to meet the specific goals and threat profile of an organisation.
Below are some of the most common types of pen tests:
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