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What are the Different Types of Penetration Testing?

If you’re considering a penetration test to identify and fix vulnerabilities within your business, you might not know which type of pen test is best for you. In this article, we explore the types of penetration testing available, and what they are best for.

What are the Different Types of Penetration Testing? Risk Crew offers many types of penetration testing to include IoT Security Testing, Network Security Testing, Web Application Testing, Security Vulnerability Testing, Cloud Security Testing, Social Engineering Testing, APT Attack Testing, Risk-Driven Application Security Testing, Mobile Application Testing, and Red Team Testing. 

Read on to find out more about the types of penetration tests available, and which might be the most effective for your business.  

What Types of Penetration Testing Are There?

Let’s take a look at the main types of penetration testing available for your organisation:

Network Security Penetration Testing

Network security pen tests will evaluate the effectiveness of your network security by simulating an attack from a threat actor. The network penetration test is conducted via the external network, with no insider knowledge of your business’s infrastructure. The test can also be conducted against the external network perimeter or against the internal infrastructure. 

Web Application Security Penetration Testing

This penetration testing type results in the verification of the security integrity of your website. The testing works to prevent data theft, unauthorised transactions and unauthorised usage on the website. Web application testing seeks to identify vulnerabilities that undermine the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the target application — to determine the security integrity of the web application. 

Security Vulnerability Assessment

Security vulnerability assessments are a cost-effective way to identify weaknesses that could be potential security threats within your business systems. Automated vulnerability scanners are used to identify common configuration and patch issues in interior and exterior facing networks, web applications, APIs, hosting platforms and mobile applications. 

Red Team Testing

Red Team testing is a holistic approach to security testing. Where penetration tests only assess the effectiveness of the controls in your technology, Red Team testing includes identifying and attempting to exploit the vulnerabilities in your people, as well as your business processes and technology. You may find that Red Team testing results in a bigger ROI, as it identifies attack surfaces that can result in access to an organisation’s infrastructure and or sensitive assets. To find out more about the red team testing methodology, read our recent blog post

Cloud Security Testing

Cloud security penetration testing evaluates the assesses the effectiveness of the security controls and configurations deployed on your virtual hosting platform. The cloud security testing methodology is based upon best practices, established by ISECOM’s Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM), and the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) guidelines. The testing will identify security vulnerabilities such as configuration flaws, excess builds, missing security patches and updates, or programming errors. 

Social Engineering Testing

Social engineering techniques like phishing or telephone pretexting can be an easy way for hackers to gather the information that could be used to access sensitive business information. Social engineering testing includes implementing attacks against staff to identify vulnerabilities within your staff’s security awareness and day-to-day compliance with policies & procedures. Read more about common social engineering techniques in our recent blog post.

APT Attack Testing

An Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) is an attack where a malicious actor tries to gain access to a business network through a series of synchronised social engineering and technical penetration attacks. APT attack penetration testing consists of customised attacks (to simulate an assumed breach) against your business staff, processes and technologies. The attacks are designed to measure the ability of existing security controls to identify and prevent an APT incursion.

Risk-Driven Application Security Testing

Risk-driven application penetration testing is designed for applications to go through ideally before launch. By conducting security testing, before an application has launched, you get the opportunity to identify gaps in security measures, and allows you to implement fixes before launch, where hackers may attempt to access information. The risk-driven security testing confirms that the application is ‘fit for purpose’ and significantly reduces the risk of a breach.

Mobile Application Security Testing

Mobile application security testing seeks to identify vulnerabilities that pose risk to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information processed by your mobile applications. Mobile penetration testing activities could include identifying hardcoded secrets, attempting to bypass SSL Pinning and attempting to abuse APIs associated with the application. Mobile apps should be tested for all vulnerabilities identified in the OWASP Top 10 Mobile Risks at a minimum. 

IoT Security Penetration Testing

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes physical objects with processing ability, software, and other technologies that exchange data with other devices over the Internet. This allows for a huge attack surface, which increases the chances of vulnerabilities. A penetration test for your IoT will assess whether an IoT device adds to the attack surface of the network. Testing involves of a series of coordinated attacks to evaluate the capability of existing security controls — to identify and prevent an IoT related breach.

Which Type of Penetration Testing is Most Effective?

The penetration test that will be most effective for your business will depend on your business type, industry and the type of assets that need to be kept secure. Each test type will identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities and will generate a report outlining specific steps to take to remediate risks and improve security. 

For advice on the best penetration testing type for your business, get in touch with the friendly Risk Crew team. 

Penetration Testing with Risk Crew

Stay ahead of evolving security threats with penetration testing. Risk Crew offers a wide range of penetration testing solutions for businesses and organisations of all sizes. From Red Team testing, to cloud security evaluations, and everything in between, there is a solution to fit your needs. Find out more about the services on offer in our Security Testing Brochure

All security testing services from the Risk Crew include a detailed report, courtesy workshop, retesting and on-call assistance – all backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

People Also Ask

What is a Penetration Test? 

A penetration test is a security assessment of target systems that seeks to identify vulnerabilities which pose a risk to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information processed by these systems. Security Testing Engineers often known as ‘Ethical Hackers’ are used to try and access the systems within your business. They then report and present the findings to relevant stakeholders

How can Penetration Testing Benefit a Business?

Penetration testing allows businesses to identify, assess and fix any vulnerabilities in their security systems. Aside from the obvious benefit of a strong security posture and reduced risk of attacks, the testing can also help businesses reduce long-term security costs, ensure business continuity and check for legal compliance (such as the ISO 27001 standard).

Do I Need Penetration Testing?

Yes, if your business deals with sensitive information, such as client data, or payroll information, you will need penetration testing. If you hold information that could be valuable to others, penetration testing can show you where there are vulnerabilities in your business’s security posture and where hackers could get through defences. You can use the penetration test findings to implement improvements and improve security practices.



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