Benefits of Manual Penetration Testing
While automated pen testing has perks, manual pen testing is still beneficial. Manual pen testers can rely on hard-earned experience, prevent false positives, and more.
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Cybersecurity is vital to maintaining a network and developing secure software, and penetration testing is one of the top ways to ensure your cybersecurity measures are up to par. Using this form of testing, you will understand where potential weaknesses lie and how hackers could exploit them if not corrected.
What Is Penetration Testing?
Penetration (pen) testing consists of authorized individuals attempting to penetrate your network to find any weaknesses. This practice is a crucial way to help ensure your systems are not vulnerable to hackers with devious intentions.
Manual Vs. Automated Pen Testing
There are two types of pen testing — manual and automated. Manual testing is when a member of an IT team purposefully invades your network to determine areas of improvement.
Automated testing uses software to mimic that experience under the supervision of a team member. This type of testing is attractive and has its advantages — like faster results and less human work — but manual testing is still extremely valuable. At the end of it, you get a customized report with suggestions to make your network as strong as possible.
Here are five reasons not to drop manual penetration testing from your cybersecurity practices.
1. Testers Can Choose Their Tools
Automated testing involves utilizing a program that runs set tests to expose vulnerabilities. However, manual testing allows people to implement as many tools as they want to get a more complete scope of your network’s security.
Tools many professional pen testers use include:
- Kali Linux
- John the Ripper
With the ability to choose their tools, a pen tester can customize their process for your network.
2. It Tests Each Security Layer
There is a chance an automated program won’t be able to look through each layer of security you set up. As a result, it could give back a report that doesn’t reflect all potential vulnerabilities.
A manual pen tester checks every form and page to prevent jacking. When a person does the testing, they can ensure no layer gets missed and your network is at maximum security.
3. Testers Can Rely On Experience
A person can rely on all their experience throughout the pen testing process. Programs have a set body of information and testing routines. However, each interface is unique, and programs can rely on their prior knowledge of other networks to determine the best course of action for yours. In addition, this experience allows them to troubleshoot potential problems that automated testing might not cover.
4. It Prevents False Positives
All automated pen testing programs have the potential to produce false positives. They believe a finding indicates potential penetration when it actually doesn’t. This can provide an unnecessary scare and waste your team’s time trying to figure out a problem that isn’t there.
With manual testing, these scenarios are much less likely. Instead, skilledInstead, skilled professionals look through every aspect of your network to identify actual problems from unique programming.
5. Humans Stay Behind the Keyboard
Hackers are humans, not programs. While they can use programs, they also rely on previous experience and creativity to exploit any weaknesses in your program. Ethical hackers have similar skill sets and can test your network better than a program can.
Humans are at the center of technology. It’s their minds that enable intelligent programs to do their job. When cybercriminals want to infiltrate your network, they often have unique strategies for getting the desired information. A manual pen tester thinks the same way.
Largest Network Security Risks
Hackers are getting smart, which puts delicate networks at risk of severe infiltration. In addition, aIn addition, a major security breach could cause significant mistrust between your organization and the public.
- Structured Query Language (SQL) Injection: Hackers use SQL injections to insert malicious code into a SQL server. The injection forces the server to release information and can be as easy as entering it into a website’s internal search engine.
- Man in the Middle (MTM) Attack: This type of cyberattack happens when a hacker sneaks into the center of a transaction. Once inside, they can steal data. This often happens with unprotected wireless networks.
- Malware: The term “malware” refers to various malicious software such as viruses, worms, and ransomware. They can block you from parts of your network, add more harmful software, covertly transport data from hard drives, disturb an individual network component, and use it to shut the entire system down.
- Denial of Service (DoS): A DoS prevents you from accessing your network by flooding it with information from another network. During the disruption, hackers can launch malicious software and leave it behind when giving you network control once again.
These risks make it necessary to do thorough penetration testing to avoid these and other network safety risks effectively.
Using Manual Penetration Testing to Protect Your Network
Manual penetration is the most in-depth way to put your network and software security to the test. With the right professional, you can avoid hacker interference, keeping your data secure.
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