Ethical Hacking And Penetration Test Services: How They Contribute To Corporate Security And Compliance
That ethical hacking services must permanently become part of a company’s defensive strategies is not a theoretical idea but a fact. And, to understand it, think of the most recent computer reports: attacks on the Lazio Region, the SIAE, and the Maggioli Group.
Services and business continuity were blocked, with consequent losses of millions of euros and considerable damage to the image of each company. And whatever the type of attack, the constant is that it almost always starts from a vulnerability.
It starts with a vulnerability.
Whether the vulnerability is human or technological, cybercriminals will use it to break into the company’s systems. For this reason, even before thinking about how to secure corporate computer systems, it is necessary to understand how an attacker will behave once he is faced with it. And the most effective and useful way to do this is to use companies that know how to play that attacker’s role through ethical hacking services.
Sometimes by exploiting social engineering techniques – for example, phishing – others by analyzing the attack surface and identifying vulnerabilities in the software, applications, and systems that support the infrastructure.
Ethical hacking, why rely on expertise
This is exactly what ethical hacking services are for exploiting real hacking techniques, the same ones used by cybercriminals, but in an ethical key, i.e., to detect which of these methods are effective. And, in cases where the ethical attack is successful, report to the company the critical issues that have allowed it and the solutions to mitigate them.
It is a complex, delicate process that requires high-level skills since, on the one hand, it is necessary to think and operate like a cybercriminal, while on the other, it is necessary to report the results in a form that is understandable and usable by all stakeholders.
Netmind is a system integrator with a long experience in ethical hacking services, thanks to the collaboration with the investee company Pandigital. The offer is based not only on a series of individual services but develops as an organic path with well-defined stages, achieved through the best skills and technological innovations.
More than services, in this case, we are talking about a real security project, which begins with a Vulnerability Assessment for advanced analysis of the internal perimeter of the company infrastructure and arrives at the Penetration Test, in which real attack strategies are applied in an attempt to penetrate the system.
For this reason, all the procedures implemented are performed by professionals and not by automatic tools to embrace every option and take care of every detail.
Netmind, for its ethical hacking services, adopts the PTES and OSSTMM frameworks and guidelines for the infrastructural part of the tests and OWASP for web applications and web services. For this reason, these are very complex and specialized analyses that require competent operators and a well-regulated and organized workflow.
Very important, then, is the chain of activities that leads to the final outcome. And we are not just talking about a final report with a set of data that is difficult to read: the work of professionals such as those used is to prioritize the critical issues that have emerged and propose solutions to solve or mitigate them, thus raising the level of security of the infrastructure.
The phases of the Penetration Test
In the case of penetration testing, in fact, the most complex and symbolic activity, it always starts with a kick-off meeting, in which the needs, scope of action, objectives, attack vectors, and threats to be represented are defined with the customer, as well as the deadlines to be respected.
Following the signing of the contract, there is the drafting of the indemnity, which clarifies the responsibilities of the tests, to move on to scheduling the activities. A kick-off call with the company’s IT department anticipates the actual training, followed by a report and a closing discussion. Where “closure” should be understood broadly: this meeting is followed by a follow-up to evaluate whether the solutions adopted to mitigate the vulnerabilities found are efficient and to plan any new tests to test the infrastructure again.
In fact, if the world of digital innovation travels at x10 speed, that of cyber security travels at x20. This is why it is necessary to foresee, even in the phases following the implementation of the solutions, new analyzes and PTs such as WPT in black box mode (for Wi-Fi networks), WAPT (for Web Applications), and MAPT (for Mobile Applications).
A lever to allocate budget
Ethical hacking services allow not only to verify of the real vulnerabilities of the technological infrastructure but also to invest more carefully in protection, taking into account the valuable results of the tests. This, combined with the prospect of less vulnerability to attacks capable of knocking out any type of company, and the achievement of compliance with laws and regulations, such as the GDPR, is the best leverage to highlight the importance of ethical hacking and convince managers to allocate a budget for safety.
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