Penetration Testing FAQs
Penetration testing is way of demonstrating reasonable efforts made to test the integrity of your business infrastructure and applications. It shows your company has put effort into protecting confidential and sensitive business data to regulators such as ASIC or AUSTRAC. With new legislation passing in Australia, businesses are required to demonstrate they’ve regularly checked their systems are compliant with the industry standards and that checks have been made to ensure there are no vulnerabilities which can be easily utilised by attackers.
A penetration test (or pen test) is a series of intentional attempts to gain unauthorised access through the use of specialised tools available to attackers and professionals. It is like a stress test for your business systems and applications. It assess the integrity of your business ensuring confidential data is secure, access permissions are appropriate, and that applications are compliant with the latest patches and free from vulnerability of exploits.
Penetration tests should be conducted by an external service provider to ensure there is no bias in the testing, that it is run independently from the business by technical experts who are familiar with the latest developments in exploits and both international and industry standards.
Gridware regularly conducts external penetrations tests, from the perspective of an attacker, internal penetration testing, from the perspective of a rogue employee after restricted information and network and firewall tests to ensure the integrity of your infrastructure. We also recommend running regular penetration testing on Wireless (wifi) networks as well as testing remote social engineering in electronic attacks such as phishing or directed human effort at compromising your systems.
Regular scans will only check and ‘compare’ to data that is often outdated or no longer applicable with the latest developments in the security industry. You need to ‘do as they do’ and perform tests from the perspective of an attacker with the tools attackers utilise to bypass your defences.
All business applications, even when used in the cloud, are subject to vulnerabilities and exploits. It’s only a matter a time before commonly used applications are compromised and then subsequently patched. We need to check that the patch management process is keeping up with the latest developments, and that they are being patched against exploits. The cloud will only act as a host and cannot guarantee the integrity of any application it hosts.
The cost of penetration testing will depend on the systems, infrastructure and complexity of your business applications. In our experience, most companies looking to undertake both external and internal penetration testing, can require between 7-14 days of testing and consulting to complete. There are other factors to consider that affect the price, including any regulatory or legal requirements affecting your industry which reflects into the price.
In our experience, Penetration testing can take anywhere between 5-15 business days to complete. When less testing is required, or if testing is focused on a single application, systems or process, testing can be completed in 2-3 business days.
Gridware primarily looks for security vulnerabilities at the network and host level configurations. This is a fundamental step in ensuring your systems are not publicly accessible to unauthorised users. We also focus server/cloud configuration, email servers, and all major operation system and browser exploits that are commonly seen.