A penetration test, sometimes known as a “pentest,” is a certified cybersecurity examination meant to examine the security of your infrastructure by exploiting vulnerabilities securely. Manually performed penetration testing identifies your infrastructure’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to address vulnerabilities while also providing an overview of your organization’s security concerns.
Manually Performed Penetration Testing (MPPT)
Artifice Security approaches pentesting using manually performed penetration testing techniques. Each team member has a thorough understanding of business networks and applications and the ability to manage these systems manually. We employ automated tools such as port scanners (e.g., Nmap) and vulnerability scanners such as Nessus. However, we utilize these tools only for enumeration and perform the penetration test manually.
Automated methods cannot detect apparent misconfigurations, such as open file shares containing vital data or staff using weak passwords. Furthermore, automated tools are incapable of chaining together assaults or exploiting complicated vulnerabilities.
Manually performed penetration testing involves the consultant personally reviewing each system and exploiting vulnerabilities depending on their expertise, experience, and circumstances. This manual technique produces more meaningful findings, and you can be sure there will be no false positives because a proof-of-concept will accompany each exploitation.
Manually Performed Penetration Testing vs. Vulnerability Scanning
Vulnerability scanners, such as Nexpose and Nessus scan your systems for known vulnerabilities and notify your organization of potential dangers. Penetration tests identify faults in the design of your IT network and evaluate the possibility of a hostile actor getting unauthorized access to vital assets. A vulnerability scanner cannot exploit complicated flaws, but a penetration test can.
Furthermore, vulnerability scans will produce several false positives, but penetration tests should not because the penetration tester will physically exploit the weakness and demonstrate proof of concepts.
Finally, a penetration test can detect vulnerabilities that automated scanners overlook. A vulnerability scanner, for example, will not alert against a file share that houses vital information and has read/write access for the “everyone” group. For web applications, many findings, such as Cross-Site Request Forgery vulnerabilities, will need to be verified manually. Additionally, any logic testing, such as uploading files and process timing attacks along with circumvention of workflows, needs to be done manually by a human as no automated tool could understand the logic.
Manually Performed Penetration Testing (MPPT) is Safer
Because a penetration test includes attacking systems and applications and causing them to behave in unexpected ways, there is no such thing as a risk-free penetration test. For example, if a machine already has a hardware problem or a software defect, then a basic port check might cause it to crash.
When manually performed penetration testing is used, the consultant has direct control over what is being done instead of trying every type of attack against a system using an automated tool. The consultant also controls how many requests and threads are sent to the system. For some internal networks, overloading firewalls separating various subnets can cause significant outages and downtime. When using MPPT techniques, the consultant uses specific requests and threads aimed at specific systems that blend into regular traffic.
Artifice Security’s skilled security consultants have expertise in system administration, network engineering, and web development. They comprehend the systems and networks better than others since they have extensive knowledge and awareness of business networks and professional credentials. The Artifice Security team approaches each encounter deliberately and with tremendous caution as if the systems they examine were their own.
What Should I Look for When Hiring a Penetration Testing Company?
Experience in IT and Security – Knowing who you pick when choosing a penetration testing business is vital. Each consultant should have extensive expertise and general training in penetration testing and information technology. Many firms will hire penetration testers with little or no IT background. Because the pentester lacks an understanding of how devices, networks, and apps are meant to function correctly, the pentester may ignore misconfigurations that render you susceptible.
Before becoming a penetration tester, our penetration testers have several years of IT expertise, which is crucial for understanding business networks and systems. Our crew also possesses various relevant credentials, including the OSCP, OSCE, OSWE, Cloud, and Microsoft certifications.
Integrity – Ensuring that the organization is truthful regarding its accomplishments, staff, and certifications. The team members working on your network, systems, and applications should be trusted and prompt when responding to your security concerns. Request a penetration test sample report, for example, to determine whether the report is an actual penetration test or a vulnerability scan disguised as a penetration test.
Safety – Confirm that the organization has procedures to assess its personnel’s trustworthiness and that they do background checks on their staff. Artifice Security employees undergo a criminal background check and a rigorous screening process to ensure only trusted members work with us. Many of our consultants and management team were former military and government agency employees who held top-secret clearances, with some still having clearances.
Data Security – It is necessary to question data management regardless of the promises obtained during the contract negotiation process. How, for example, is data transported? How long is client information kept on file? Does the corporation use an NDA to secure your information?
Liability Insurance – Companies must have liability insurance to cover any losses incurred due to their testing and infiltration activities. Ascertain that the pentesting firm is adequately insured to cover any potential damages if any data is disclosed or compromised.
Certifications – An IT certification is a recognized benchmark based on standardized testing translated to a specific skill set. At Artifice Security, our consultants have a vast array of credentials that make them well-rounded. Below are the collective certifications held by team members at Artifice Security:
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
- Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with Specialization in Security (MCSE+S)
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
- EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)
- Offensive Security Web Expert (OSWE)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect
- AWS Certified Security
- National Security Agency INFOSEC Assessment Methodology (NSA IAM)
- National Security Agency INFOSEC Evaluation Methodology (NSA IEM)