One of the most effective ways to identify security vulnerabilities is to attack the company system through a third party. Penetration testing mistakes aims to find loopholes in corporate defenses and eliminate them before someone with malicious intent can exploit them. This method has evolved and there are now several types of penetration testing designed to target different areas of the enterprise.
From network infrastructure to applications, devices, and employees, there are many potentially exploitable attack vectors for criminals targeting enterprises. A good penetration testing partner approaches problems with an open mind, looks for vulnerabilities by impersonating malicious hackers, and attempts to break into networks using a variety of techniques and tools.
Although penetration testing is widely accepted as necessary, it is important to properly plan it and put it into practice professionally. Lack of expertise or experience can lead to substandard penetration testing, failing to identify vulnerabilities, which can leave you at risk. Here are 8 common Penetration Testing Mistakes and how to avoid them.
8 common penetration testing mistakes
Don’t give priority to risk
One of the first things you do when trying to strengthen your security posture is to establish a baseline for risk. Find out where the greatest risk is. This information should provide the necessary information to achieve penetration testing objectives. Penetration testing should be done with the target in mind: customer data, intellectual property, or corporate financial data. Prioritizing risk allows you to focus your security efforts and activities on the areas that will generate the most value.
Think of the worst-case scenario that could happen to your business, and then set up your penetration testing goals in that regard. Unimportant problems may be easy to spot, but on the contrary, it can get in the way of discovering really important problems.
Use inappropriate tools
There are a variety of penetration testing tools available on the market today. However, it takes considerable expertise to know which tools to use for each discipline and how to configure them correctly. Buying off-the-shelf penetration testing tools and tinkering with them running your internal IT team can be quite shocking. So, if you don’t have an experienced red team inside, you can end up using a third party with enough expertise.
However, the remuneration to be paid to a penetration testing expert can be very expensive, and there is a high probability that they will be hired only for a short period of time. Therefore, leveraging automation tools is also worth considering. An automated penetration testing platform helps you verify your defenses and provides ongoing protection. You should choose your platform carefully, and it’s a good idea to seek advice from a third-party penetration testing partner.
Reports are inappropriate or incomplete
If third-party penetration testing partners don’t provide accessible reports, it can be difficult to understand the vulnerabilities discovered and their potential impact. Therefore, it is very important to receive information that can be easily understood. You should have information detailing the problem itself and the consequences of not being able to solve the problem and how to solve it.
In addition, misreporting can make it difficult to isolate significant breaches that threaten strategic assets. Starting without a clear goal will have a negative impact on the reporting phase. On the other hand, a good report explains only the parts that are really important to the company while filtering out ‘noise’ and ‘positive error’. Avoid automated tools or third parties that simply describe hundreds or thousands of vulnerabilities without clear directions. You can’t boil the sea. It is necessary to establish and implement a plan with priorities while clearly defining and implementing the weaknesses to be addressed.
Just Mark the Checklist
When a penetration testing expert approaches penetration testing with a checklist attitude, you’re missing something. While compliance is important, it is not the only reason to do penetration testing. Focusing only on checking the checklist can lead to mis judgment about security. Cybercriminals don’t attack with checklists.
Take the business out of business
As you develop a proper plan for penetration testing, you should consider the possible impact on critical business systems. Competent hackers often launch exploits without disrupting services. Therefore, penetration testing partners should also test against production environments. Outages can be a greater risk in a black box scenario where the penetration testing partner does not have visibility into the organization’s infrastructure.
Use outdated techniques
Continue to evolve your plans for penetration testing. Otherwise, it will quickly become useless. There are always new techniques, new tools, and new vulnerabilities, so you need to stay up to date and constantly update your methods. A good penetration testing partner uses the latest hacking techniques and techniques for penetration testing.
Intermittent Penetration Testing Mistakes
Many companies do penetration testing about once a year, but this does not provide ‘peace of mind’. This is because intermittent testing only provides information about the defense system at the time of testing. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly check the defense system. They should also be retested to ensure that the vulnerabilities exposed are properly addressed. This is another reason an automated penetration testing platform is useful.
Someone should be assigned the responsibility to act in line with reports provided by a designated, penetration testing partner and automated tool. You should prioritize the issues you identify and plan to address them in a timely manner. Costly data theft is often the result of known vulnerabilities that companies haven’t addressed properly. Continuous penetration testing should be conducted to ensure that the vulnerabilities found are properly addressed.