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9/19/2018
09:40 AM

8 Keys to a Successful Penetration Test

Pen tests are expensive, but there are key factors that can make them worth the investment.
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Know Why You're Testing
What's the point of performing a pen test? Is it to fulfill the requirements of an audit? Do you need to know how a new application will fare in the real world? Have you recently changed a major component of your security infrastructure and need to know whether it's effective? Or is a pen test something that is on your schedule to perform on a periodic basis as a health check for your defenses?
When you're clear about the reason for a test you can be clear about what you want from the test - and that makes planning the test much more productive. Among other, critical, aspects, knowing the reason for test will allow you to properly establish the scope of the test (more on that later) and determine just what the results of the test will tell you.
Perhaps the most important piece of this step is that it sets up the team to draw the right conclusions from the test results. If the test is intended to look at a single aspect of the IT infrastructure (a new Web application, for example) then it will say very little about the overall security of the organization. An understanding of why the test is being run sets you up to ask the right questions and get results that can be properly understood.
(Image: Yunus Malik VIA SHUTTERSTOCK)

Know Why You're Testing

What's the point of performing a pen test? Is it to fulfill the requirements of an audit? Do you need to know how a new application will fare in the real world? Have you recently changed a major component of your security infrastructure and need to know whether it's effective? Or is a pen test something that is on your schedule to perform on a periodic basis as a health check for your defenses?

When you're clear about the reason for a test you can be clear about what you want from the test - and that makes planning the test much more productive. Among other, critical, aspects, knowing the reason for test will allow you to properly establish the scope of the test (more on that later) and determine just what the results of the test will tell you.

Perhaps the most important piece of this step is that it sets up the team to draw the right conclusions from the test results. If the test is intended to look at a single aspect of the IT infrastructure (a new Web application, for example) then it will say very little about the overall security of the organization. An understanding of why the test is being run sets you up to ask the right questions and get results that can be properly understood.

(Image: Yunus Malik VIA SHUTTERSTOCK)

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