Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

5/14/2019
12:00 PM

Effective Pen Tests Follow These 7 Steps

Third-party pen tests are part of every comprehensive security plan. Here's how to get the most from this mandatory investment.
2 of 8

Decide What You Want

When an organization is getting ready to pay for an outside group to come in for a penetration test, executives might be tempted to answer the question, "What do we want them to test?" with a simple, "Everything, of course!" Giving in to that temptation, though, can be a grave mistake.

Penetration tests should be seen as targeted exercises. That target can, of course, be large: A pen test focusing on the network perimeter, for example, could cover a lot of cyber territory. But that territory wouldn't include the organization's application servers. In order to get the most from a third-party pen test, it's important to start with a clear idea of what you want the pen test to tell you.

Among the questions to ask yourself: Why are you performing the pen test? Is it to answer questions about your security? Is it to check a box for regulators, auditors, or insurance underwriters? Are you trying to find out what went wrong in the most recent breach of your security perimeter? Each of these will have its own set of parameters and processes. And each will return its own set of data and conclusions.

It's critical that you have a clear understanding of the pen test's purpose and that you express that purpose to the pen testers clearly. Make sure they understand what you've told them and that the scope of the test is agreed to by both sides. Once the understanding is reached, put it into writing.

(Image: stockpics VIA Adobe Stock)

2 of 8
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
theartof
50%
50%
theartof,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/5/2019 | 3:07:57 PM
Kudos to the aythor (Curtis Franklin Jr.)
Very usefull article - thank you!
When It Comes To Security Tools, More Isn't More
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  1/11/2021
US Capitol Attack a Wake-up Call for the Integration of Physical & IT Security
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  1/11/2021
IoT Vendor Ubiquiti Suffers Data Breach
Dark Reading Staff 1/11/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-3113
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-17
Netsia SEBA+ through 0.16.1 build 70-e669dcd7 allows remote attackers to discover session cookies via a direct /session/list/allActiveSession request. For example, the attacker can discover the admin's cookie if the admin account happens to be logged in when the allActiveSession request occurs, and ...
CVE-2020-25533
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
An issue was discovered in Malwarebytes before 4.0 on macOS. A malicious application was able to perform a privileged action within the Malwarebytes launch daemon. The privileged service improperly validated XPC connections by relying on the PID instead of the audit token. An attacker can construct ...
CVE-2021-3162
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
Docker Desktop Community before 2.5.0.0 on macOS mishandles certificate checking, leading to local privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-21242
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
OneDev is an all-in-one devops platform. In OneDev before version 4.0.3, there is a critical vulnerability which can lead to pre-auth remote code execution. AttachmentUploadServlet deserializes untrusted data from the `Attachment-Support` header. This Servlet does not enforce any authentication or a...
CVE-2021-21245
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
OneDev is an all-in-one devops platform. In OneDev before version 4.0.3, AttachmentUploadServlet also saves user controlled data (`request.getInputStream()`) to a user specified location (`request.getHeader("File-Name")`). This issue may lead to arbitrary file upload which can be used to u...