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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.