The key to effective infrastructure penetration testing lies in adopting a hacker’s mindset. What makes this approach truly exciting is its complete legality, coupled with the significant enhancement it brings to your organization’s cyber defenses.
Infrastructure Penetration Testing
A penetration test is an invaluable method for analyzing your company’s network’s robust cyber defensive capabilities. In today’s business environment, a large number of organizations incorporate penetration testing into their overall cybersecurity plans.
The primary goal of this penetration test is to discover and identify any flaws in that your network infrastructure. This proactive technique ensures your firm is constantly one step ahead of potential cyber-attacks.
Following that, we will go into the complicated technique that supports the penetration testing process.
Understanding the Importance of Infrastructure Penetration Testing
The major reason for performing a network penetration test is to assess the efficiency of your cybersecurity measures against a controlled, simulated onslaught. Even if your firm has top-tier security software and robust organizational policies, the true test of their effectiveness comes when they are put to the test in a simulated breach. If your protections hold up, it’s a tribute to the security of your network – a fact worth highlighting internally, while public boasting may attract fraudsters looking to test your defenses.
Furthermore, regular penetration testing is required to keep your organization’s security posture intact. The frequency and diversity of these tests are critical, especially after any major changes to your systems or networks.
Exploring the Dual Facets of Infrastructure Penetration Testing
- Infrastructure penetration testing is a key category of penetration testing, which is a critical component of cybersecurity.
- Aside from infrastructure penetration testing, various other types of pen-testing are routinely used, including:
- Penetration Testing for Cloud Environments
- Penetration Testing for Mobile Applications
- Penetration Testing for Web Platforms
Focusing on infrastructure penetration testing, this area further divides into two essential subcategories, each addressing different aspects of a network’s security. These are:
- Internal Network Testing
- External Network Testing
Assessment of Internal Network Integrity
An important component of infrastructure penetration testing is the analysis of a company’s internal network. This entails a thorough examination of the many components of a typical internal business network, which include:
- Tangible Resources such as:
- Desktop and laptop computers
- On-premises servers (excluding cloud-based systems)
- Physical documents and internal communication
- Portable storage devices like USBs and external hard drives
- Networking and System Infrastructure:
- Access control systems, including keycard scanners
- Integrated networks for printers and copiers
The breadth of this assessment can vary greatly depending on the size of the company. To evaluate whether an element is part of the internal network, consider whether the specific system, network, or physical asset is directly accessible or used by the end-user/customer or any external entity. It is often regarded a component of the internal corporate network if it remains entirely within the organization and does not communicate with external parties.
Internal penetration testing is critical for identifying and addressing any security flaws and threats within the internal network. This procedure is critical in protecting the integrity of the corporate network against internal threats.
Assessment of External Network Infrastructure
In contrast, the external network encompasses all assets that are exposed to the internet. In contrast, the external network includes all assets that are accessible over the internet. Because these systems and networks are accessible to anybody with an internet connection, they are subject to a broader range of dangers. Some key examples are:
- Firewalls: While it may seem that firewalls are not directly interacted with by users or customers, they are, in fact, entirely exposed to the internet.
- Web Servers: :These are crucial for hosting company websites and are fully accessible online.
- Email Servers An essential component for business communications, these servers are also internet-facing.
- Public IPs and Wi-Fi Networks: These represent the digital ‘face’ of your organization to the outside world and require stringent security measures.
Penetration testing on the external network is critical. This approach assesses the robustness and resilience of these exposed elements, detecting potential weaknesses that external adversaries could exploit. This type of testing ensures that your organization’s front-facing digital infrastructure is secure from cyber-attacks, protecting both company and customer data.
Methodology for Penetration Testing of Infrastructure
The approach and objectives for conducting an internal or external penetration test are generally identical. The first step is to understand the reasoning behind the test. If this feature is missed, the procedure may result in resource misallocation. Consider the expected outcomes and objectives of the test. For example, following substantial system changes, penetration testing is encouraged, with one potential purpose being to review your development team’s security standards.
These objectives also act as parameters, benchmarks, or key observables for the test.
With a clear explanation of your goals, desired outcomes, and testing criteria, you’re ready to create your plan, which will serve as your infrastructure penetration testing approach.
Most penetration testing teams follow a common procedure, which will be outlined in the following sections in the form of a step-by-step tutorial.
Reconnaissance is another term for intelligence gathering.
In this phase, the focus is on exploring and understanding the system or network under test, akin to identifying your ‘opponent’ before engaging. In military tactics, reconnaissance is conducted to identify evident vulnerabilities before an operation.
Penetration testing operates on a similar concept, with the exception that it is a collaborative process in which no harm is intended.
The pen-test team’s first stage is a low-key inspection and grasp of the organization’s internal and external network activities.
Their tasks include:
- Investigating data flow patterns within the company.
- Reviewing staff communication channels for potential social engineering vulnerabilities.
- Evaluating existing automated defense systems, such as antivirus and antimalware programs.
- Gathering information on login schedules for various accounts and access levels.
- Analyzing the organizational hierarchy to distinguish between high-value targets (‘whales’) and lower-level employees (‘fish’).
- Exploring physical locations for any access points to on-site servers or secured areas.
External Evaluation Procedures
This phase entails gathering information about a company’s numerous web, email, and publicly accessible IP addresses. We use sophisticated scanning techniques to determine the nature of any DDoS protections in place. Probing for potential SQL injection vulnerabilities on any of the company’s webpages is part of our overall investigation. We also perform extensive research on how information is maintained and disclosed on internet-accessible networks.
Furthermore, we rigorously assess the organization’s firewall configuration, paying close attention to any identified vulnerabilities. These are only a few of the countless intelligence-gathering activities carried out during the reconnaissance phase. This step is complex and multidimensional, yet it is an essential part of the penetration testing process.
Identification of Threats and Analysis of System Vulnerabilities
Using the data from the previous phase, our professional team performs comprehensive testing on potential vulnerabilities and detects relevant risks.
Typically, penetration testing teams are pre-informed about particular vulnerabilities in the networks and systems that your firm uses. The team conducts a preliminary assessment to evaluate the system’s robustness using a combination of brainstorming and sophisticated scanning technologies.
The outcome of these evaluations is critical because it identifies potential vulnerabilities that may be exploited during the latter phases of the testing process.
Consider an testing situation in which the team has methodically accumin ternal ulated data on the staff’s break schedules. They notice that certain workstations are temporarily unattended, giving an opportunity. This brief was used throughout the exam.
Final Thoughts and Future Steps
It is strongly advised to perform infrastructure penetration testing once a year. This should be an essential component of your organization’s overall risk management approach.
Your search for a trustworthy cybersecurity and penetration testing partner has come to an end. RSI Security is recognized as the nation’s foremost cybersecurity specialist. Our extensive expertise, combined with a diverse clientele and a thorough awareness of security issues, ensures that working with us is a sound decision.