Our organisms are ready to withstand an enormous number of attacks from all kinds of viruses, bacteria, and other threats that could potentially destroy us. We have the immunity to all those things and we are always (hopefully) ready for them.
To be prepared for the threats that we have not yet encountered, we use vaccination – a scientific method of injecting a little bit of virus into our systems to be prepared for the real one.
The same principles work when companies work on providing security for the corporate databases through simulating cyber-attacks to establish their flaws and risks; ultimately developing ways to solve them. This method is called penetration testing – the vaccination for your business’s systems.
Great managers know that is better to be prepared than to deal with the aftermath and the damage of the hack
Pen test (short for penetration testing) is also called ethical hacking and for a good reason. It is a practice of using the “dirty tricks” and tactics used by hackers and for the good purposes - to reveal any vulnerabilities and exploits in the corporate systems, analyze them, and develop solutions to solve them.
External attacks, internal rogue employee attacks, and other scenarios – all can be simulated and tested through pen testing. It can be performed blindly (the testing “attacker” doesn’t know who they are attacking, but the target knows about the attack), double-blind testing (both the attacker and the target don’t know the details of the attack), and targeted testing (both sides know about the attack and coordinate their efforts).
A penetration test is done in the following steps, that honestly look like chapters in a spy novel:
1. Recon – gathering information about the attack’s target.
2. Scanning – learning how the system reacts to different intrusion methods.
3. Gaining access – the attack itself. The testing team uses everything it can to obtain access to the system.
4. Maintaining access – one thing is getting inside, the other is staying inside.
5. Analysis and reporting – establishing the results of the attack, possible risks, vulnerabilities, and the ways to mitigate them.
This multitude of options allows experienced testing and security specialist teams, like the ones working in Tentacle Solutions, to provide a complex analysis of the possible threats, their targets, and to prepare both the database software and the employees using it for all sorts of situations.
Trustworthy hackers (aka pen testers)
Just like human vaccination and all things related to complicated medicine, it’s better to trust professionals to do their job. Same goes for penetration testing – a database software developer with an experienced testing and cybersecurity team is essential. It is better to be prepared than to deal with the aftermath and the damage of a cyber-attack.
A proper penetration test can lower the risks of hacks and leaks, preserve the data, and thus mitigate the financial and public image risk. Better safe than sorry.