What is Network Penetration Testing (Internal/External)? | Austin, Dallas, Houston Pen Testers

Vanessa Torres

Network penetration testing by ethical, white hat penetration testers, is an attempt by an ethical hacker to breach an organization’s network without doing any harm. Texas Pen Testers is a leading provider of penetration testing services and solutions for businesses located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX.

The main objective is to identify security weaknesses in the network and its security controls, report on them, and allow the organization to remediate issues found. Therefore, by utilizing the methods that a real hacker would use, network penetration testing provides one of the highest levels of security assurance an organization can have. When performed correctly, it’s an incredibly valuable test when performed by expert pen testers.

Network penetration testing, also known as network security testing or ethical hacking, is a methodical and systematic assessment of a computer network’s security posture. The primary goal of network penetration testing is to identify vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and potential entry points that could be exploited by malicious actors to gain unauthorized access to the network or compromise its security.

Here are the key aspects of network penetration testing:

Scoping and Reconnaissance

  • Define the scope of the penetration test, specifying the target network or networks to be assessed.
  • Gather information about the network infrastructure, including IP ranges, network topology, devices, services, and protocols used.
  • Perform reconnaissance to identify potential entry points and network assets.

Vulnerability Assessment

  • Conduct network scanning and enumeration to identify active hosts, open ports, and services running on the network.
  • Utilize automated tools to identify common vulnerabilities, such as misconfigurations, weak passwords, outdated software versions, or default settings.
  • Verify and validate identified vulnerabilities manually to eliminate false positives and gain a deeper understanding of the network’s security posture.

Exploitation and Access

  • Attempt to exploit identified vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to the network or compromised devices.
  • Exploit known weaknesses in network protocols, services, or applications to gain control over network assets or escalate privileges.
  • Utilize techniques such as brute-forcing, password cracking, or social engineering to bypass security controls and gain access to sensitive network resources.

Lateral Movement and Persistence

  • Once access is achieved, explore the network to move laterally and identify additional targets or valuable resources.
  • Assess the effectiveness of network segmentation and access controls by attempting to access restricted areas of the network.
  • Attempt to maintain persistence on the network by establishing backdoors or creating alternative access points.

Data Exfiltration and Post-Exploitation

  • Test the network’s ability to detect and prevent unauthorized data exfiltration by attempting to exfiltrate sensitive information.
  • Assess logging and monitoring mechanisms to determine if malicious activities can be detected and logged appropriately.
  • Document the potential impact of successful network compromises and the level of access gained.

Reporting and Recommendations

  • Document all findings, including detailed descriptions of vulnerabilities, their potential impact, and steps to reproduce them.
  • Provide clear and actionable recommendations for remediation, including best practices for securing the network.
  • Prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity and potential impact on the network’s security.
  • Collaborate with network administrators and IT teams to ensure vulnerabilities are addressed and remediated.

Ongoing Monitoring and Retesting

  • Implement measures to continuously monitor the network’s security posture, including regular vulnerability scanning and periodic penetration testing.
  • Stay updated on emerging threats and vulnerabilities relevant to the network infrastructure and adapt security measures accordingly.

Network penetration testing helps organizations identify and address vulnerabilities, strengthen their network security, and mitigate the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches. It should be conducted by skilled professionals with expertise in network security to ensure a thorough assessment and accurate identification of vulnerabilities. Texas Pen Testers is a leading provider of penetration testing services and solutions for businesses located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX.

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  • Years of expertise in all industries.
  • A well-recognized and highly respected name in Texas.
  • Flat fees for all our penetration testing services.
  • Texas based, with pen testers in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

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