How To Find A Penetration Testing Service in Toronto

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Penetration Testing
by John Svazic/ on 02 Sep 2022

How To Find A Penetration Testing Service in Toronto

If you’re looking for a penetration testing service in Toronto, you must make a sizable investment. Before you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a huge project, you should choose your testing service carefully. Customers in Toronto have a wealth of options, so we know it can be difficult to make a choice.

Our goal at EliteSec is to educate the public about cyber security while offering top-notch services in that field. Therefore, we wrote this article to outline the fundamentals of penetration testing so you know what to expect from a competent firm.

What Is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing, also known as pen testing, is a type of cyber security service that ensures your users will only use your IT infrastructure in the way that you intend, regardless of their actions. The infrastructure could encompass websites, networks, applications, and even entire hardware computer systems. By conducting pen testing, you’ll be insulated from the risks that come with your employees' and visitors' unexpected behaviour.

In a broad sense, penetration testing is akin to “hacking”. That said, this type of hacking is carried out for the right reasons, by a trustworthy cyber security team. You want them to hack your system ahead of time before the real cyber threats can get to it.

Why Do Firms In Toronto Need Penetration Testing?

In the case of a data breach, the damage to your reputation might prove far more expensive than that to your IT infrastructure. You don’t want to make the local news for a massive security breach when you’re at fault.

The risk of cyber threats is constantly increasing

Any business that stores data both for the customer and its own professional purposes will need penetration testing to protect itself from a cyber attack. Keeping customer data is a major responsibility. Not only do your technical teams need to comply with local data security regulations, but you also need to instill confidence in your customers.

Vulnerability Assessment vs. Penetration Test

If you’ve done a bit of research, you’ve probably also heard the term “vulnerability assessment” and wondered why you can’t simply replace penetration testing with that. A vulnerability assessment is a useful way to identify and test the weaknesses that you already know. However, pen tests go a step further by attempting to find unknown weaknesses. These tests might incorporate machine-driven processes to achieve this.

Choose A Firm That Follows The 5 Steps To Penetration Testing

Some penetration testing services will try to cut corners. Understand that penetration testing is a deliberate, analytical process. Planning and implementing these projects will usually take a bit of time. These are the 5 steps that any competent penetration testing service should follow:

Phase 1: Planning

Professional penetration testers will begin by defining the scope of your systems so that they can create a worthy test. At this stage, the testers will sit down with you to outline how they will attack the platform and what vulnerabilities they anticipate.

Phase 2: Scanning

In this phase, the tester physically scans the system to better understand where vulnerabilities might lie. There are two common types of scanning: static and dynamic. Static scanning analyzes the code of an application to detect vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, dynamic scanning requires you to actually run the code and watch the app in action to find security gaps.

Phase 3: Achieving Access

Once you’ve gathered enough data, the tester imitates a hacker and tries to take advantage of the weaknesses they found. Essentially, the tester tries to get into the system without permission.

we mimic the actions of cyber criminals to gain access

Phase 4: Sustaining Access

Now that the tester has access, they will try to see how far they can go with it. They’ll attempt to work their way up to an admin role if possible.

Phase 5: Analysis

After the testing phase is complete, it’s time for the tester to deliver their report. The main priority of this report is to create a plan of action to avoid cyber attacks in the future. This plan should highlight the consequences of the weaknesses they found Furthermore, they should mention some of the instances where your security structure did well to highlight the strengths of your IT team.

What Are The Different Types Of Penetration Testing Services?

We’ve identified 8 different types of penetration testing services that might be of interest. Each of these services could incorporate manual and automated approaches depending on the circumstances.

Web Application Penetration Testing

Web app penetration testing requires testers to study the functions of the web app and then come up with realistic vulnerabilities. For instance, if your web app allows users to upload photos, then you might want to check if they are also able to upload arbitrary corrupted files that could be used to gain access to your system.

sensitive information might lie in your web apps

Internal Network Penetration Testing

Many underestimate the risk of a cyber threat coming from within your network. An internal penetration test will enable testers to mirror inside threats that come from employees to understand the potential fallout if a hacker were to gain access to your network.

External Network Penetration Testing

In contrast to internal penetration testing, an external penetration test will measure the effectiveness of your exterior security posture in reacting to outside changes. Each of your assets that face the public on the internet is at risk of attack. For instance, your mail servers could be vulnerable to exploitation.

Mobile Application Penetration Testing

The security gaps that arise in a mobile environment are entirely different from those that exist on the web. Each app is used differently, one of the biggest risks pertains to data storage and transmission, which on mobile often occurs on public internet connections.

mobile security

Native Application Penetration Testing

Your native apps are integral to your business processes, testers must pay attention to these as well. Since it’s connected to your database server, many attackers could be interested in data from your native apps.

Cloud Infrastructure Penetration Testing

Given how much business is conducted via the cloud these days, it’s no surprise that this avenue is open to attacks too. Of course, it’s near impossible for a single penetration tester to secure the entire cloud. Hence, pen testers in this scenario will simply focus on the ways that your cloud implementations could be threatened.

Vulnerability Assessments

Vulnerability assessments are a good way to check for known vulnerabilities to get your penetration test started. As we mentioned earlier, they don’t go in quite as much depth as a penetration test.

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Investigations

OSINT is a critical component of the research process for any penetration test service. In this case, a tester will conduct in-depth research online to understand where cyber criminals might see vulnerabilities. This allows you to get a good baseline of known threats to conduct tests and devise defensive strategies.

Why You Should Hire EliteSec To Conduct Your Penetration Tests

At EliteSec, we draw from our years of expertise with cyber security services to deliver premium testing and reporting. Our customers prefer to work with us because of our professionalism and our dedication to our craft.

A Client Focus

For us, it’s not enough to convince our clients to work with us, we want to educate them to the point that they understand the reasoning behind the actions we take. Therefore, we will meet with you throughout the testing process to keep you up to date.

If we find any weaknesses in your system, we will of course report them to you along with the actions you can take to resolve them. Additionally, we will conduct 5 re-tests afterward that focus on each weakness to ensure that your system is well-protected.

Finally, we will meet with you at the end to ensure that you implement the appropriate strategies to defend your system in the future. We won’t just hand you a report and send you off.

We’re Certified

Our employees are trained and qualified to conduct penetration tests. Between our team, they possess several recognized cyber security certifications including the OCSP, OSWP, CISSP, and more. We’re well aware of industry standards and best practices for following local regulations.

Verification is a huge component of cyber security. Therefore, if you want to verify our credentials, we’re happy to send you some past report samples. Just send us a request and we’ll select one that’s relevant to you.

Thorough Assessments

We listed 8 types of penetration tests. Fortunately for you, we’re capable of conducting all of them. That’s because we employ a versatile team that is well-informed on penetration testing strategies.

When we perform penetration tests, we combine both automated and manual testing strategies. Some cyber security teams neglect to use one or the other, especially manual testing, and thus they obfuscate the full picture. Moreover, if you’re concerned about the veracity of security audits you received previously, we’re happy to provide you with a second opinion.

Penetration Testing FAQ

What does the term ‘penetration testing’ mean in the context of cybersecurity?

Penetration testing, also known as pen testing or ethical hacking, is a simulated cyber attack against your computer system to check for exploitable vulnerabilities. It can involve the attempted breaching of any number of application systems to uncover vulnerabilities, such as unsanitized inputs that are susceptible to code injection attacks.

Think of it like a friendly cyber attack. We simulate an attack on your computer system to find any weak spots that a real hacker could exploit.

If you’re in Toronto and want to improve your cybersecurity, our firm is ready to assist you with top-notch penetration testing services.

Why is penetration testing important?

Penetration testing is important because it helps identify potential vulnerabilities in a system before malicious hackers can discover and exploit them. It provides an understanding of the system’s weak points and allows organizations to better protect their data and systems from potential attacks.

In other words, penetration testing helps you find the weak spots in your system before the bad guys do. It’s all about protecting your data and systems from potential attacks.

If you are Toronto-based and want to ensure your systems are secure, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm.

What are the different types of pen testing?

There are several types of penetration testing, including network testing, application testing, physical testing, and social engineering. These tests can be performed from outside the network (external testing) or from inside the network (internal testing).

EliteSec can provide comprehensive testing for your systems, helping you improve your cybersecurity.

What is the difference between a vulnerability assessment and a penetration test?

A vulnerability assessment is the process of identifying and quantifying vulnerabilities in a system, whereas a penetration test attempts to exploit those vulnerabilities. The goal of a vulnerability assessment is to provide an organization with a list of vulnerabilities that need to be fixed, while the goal of a penetration test is to show what a hacker can do if they exploit those vulnerabilities.

Think of a vulnerability assessment as a doctor’s check-up, finding potential health issues. A pen test, on the other hand, is like a stress test, pushing the system to see if those issues could actually cause a problem.

If you’re Toronto-based and want to understand your system’s vulnerabilities and how they can be exploited, contact our firm.

What is the process of a pen test?

The process of a penetration test typically involves five stages: planning and reconnaissance, scanning, gaining access, maintaining access, and analysis/reporting. Each stage has its own specific tasks and goals.

If you’re interested in having a thorough pen test conducted in Toronto, our firm is here to help.

Who should perform a penetration test?

Penetration tests should be performed by certified professionals who have extensive knowledge and experience in the field of cybersecurity. These professionals should follow ethical guidelines and work to improve the security of the system they are testing.

Our firm has a team of certified professionals ready to serve you.

How often should penetration testing be done?

The frequency of pen testing can depend on various factors such as the size and nature of your business, the sensitivity of the data, and compliance requirements. However, as a general rule, it’s recommended to conduct a penetration test at least once a year.

If you are in Toronto and want to discuss the optimal frequency for your business, get in touch with us.

What is a ‘Red Team’ and a ‘Blue Team’?

In cybersecurity, a Red Team is a group that actively tries to find and exploit vulnerabilities to test the effectiveness of a system’s security measures. The Blue Team, on the other hand, is responsible for defending against the Red Team’s attacks. The goal of these exercises is to improve the overall security of an organization.

What is the ‘Purple Team’ in penetration testing?

A ‘Purple Team’ is a cybersecurity team that combines the roles of the Red Team (attackers) and the Blue Team (defenders). The goal of a Purple Team is to ensure that the Red and Blue Teams work together effectively to improve an organization’s security posture.

What is the difference between black box, white box, and gray box pen testing?

Black box, white box, and gray box refer to the amount of information given to the tester about the system being tested. In a black box test, the tester has no prior knowledge of the system. In a white box test, the tester has full knowledge and access to all source code and environment data. A gray box test is a mix of the two, where the tester has limited knowledge of the system.

If want to discuss which type of testing is best for your organization, please contact our cyber security professionals.

What should be included in a penetration testing report?

A penetration testing report should include a summary of the findings, a detailed explanation of the vulnerabilities found and their potential impact, evidence of the testing process, recommendations for mitigating the risks, and an action plan for remediation. The report should be clear and understandable to both technical and non-technical readers.

Get in touch for a comprehensive and understandable cyber security report.

What is the difference between manual and automated penetration testing?

Manual penetration testing involves a cybersecurity expert manually using techniques and tools to exploit vulnerabilities, while automated penetration testing uses software to scan and exploit vulnerabilities. Both methods have their strengths and weaknesses, and are often used together for a comprehensive penetration test.

Our cyber security professionals excel in both manual and automated pen testing and already helped many businesses in Toronto.

What is ‘zero-day’ in the context of penetration testing?

A ‘zero-day’ refers to a software vulnerability that’s unknown to those who should be interested in its mitigation (including the vendor of the target software). Until the vulnerability is mitigated, hackers can exploit it to adversely affect computer programs, data, additional computers or a network.

What is social engineering penetration testing?

Social engineering penetration testing is a method used to test an organization’s resistance to social engineering attacks, such as phishing, pretexting, baiting, or tailgating. It involves the tester trying to manipulate individuals into breaking normal security procedures, often through human interaction and trickery.

EliteSec specializes in social engineering pen testing and can help strengthen your defenses.

How does penetration testing fit into a broader cybersecurity strategy?

Penetration testing is a critical component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. It complements other security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and intrusion detection systems by providing a real-world test of the system’s overall security and the effectiveness of these measures.

If you want to integrate effective pen testing into your cybersecurity strategy, get in touch with us.

What is the role of AI and Machine Learning in penetration testing?

AI and Machine Learning can be used in penetration testing to automate tasks, analyze large amounts of data, and learn from the patterns and anomalies in that data. This can help identify vulnerabilities faster and more accurately, and can also help in predicting and preventing future attacks.

Our firm utilizes advanced technologies to provide superior pen testing services in Toronto.

What are some common tools used in pen testing?

There are many tools used in penetration testing, each with its own strengths and purposes. Some of the most common tools include Metasploit for developing and executing exploit code against a remote target machine, Wireshark for traffic analysis, Nessus and OpenVAS for vulnerability scanning, and Burp Suite for web application testing.

Interested in a penetration test that utilizes the most effective tools in the industry? EliteSec helped many businesses in Toronto, get in touch with our team.

Schedule A Consultation

By now, you probably have some burning questions about penetration testing as it applies to your business.

We’re happy to offer you a free 30-minute consultation where we’ll run through these pressing issues over video chat. Check out our availability to book an appointment.

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