Computer Security: The Process of Penetration Testing

In the career field of computer security, one of the jobs incorporated into the field is being a penetration tester. A penetration tester is one who discovers vulnerabilities on a computer network or system that could be exploited by a hacker. Penetration testers (also known as ‘pen testers’) use a specific process that leads to a well established and efficient network that is profitable for the people in charge of the system.

One of the steps involved in pen testing is first getting together a team to go about the network from different directions. This way the team can go from attacking the network from both the inside and outside in order to detect vulnerabilities.

Another important step in the pen testing process is planning. If the pen tester is testing vulnerabilities using social engineering or a phishing scam, it is important to get together the proper team and plan out the different possible scenarios. With social engineering, planning is the key because anything can go wrong – which leads to the fact that much improvisation is needed to take advantage of the certain vulnerabilities.

After much planning and teamwork to detect vulnerabilities in the network and computer system, it is time to analyze the system and think of how to resolve the issues involved. The best way to improve a penetration test is to do it over and over again, especially after patching up the system after doing previous penetration tests.

Andrew McKenzie