Penetration testing, also known as pen testing or pentesting, is a method of evaluating the security of a computer system or network by simulating an attack on it. The goal of pentesting is to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers and to assess the impact of a successful exploit.
Pentesting is typically performed by security professionals who use a variety of tools and techniques to test the security of a system. This may include manual testing, automated testing, or a combination of both. Pentesters may also use social engineering techniques to try to trick users into disclosing sensitive information or providing access to restricted areas.
Pentesting is an important part of security assessment and can be used to identify and prioritize vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. It is typically conducted on a regular basis to ensure that systems remain secure over time.
There are several types of pentesting, including:
Black box testing: In this type of pentest, the tester has no prior knowledge of the system being tested and must rely on external observations to identify vulnerabilities.
White box testing: In this type of pentest, the tester has full knowledge of the system being tested and may have access to the source code and other internal information.
Gray box testing: This type of pentest combines elements of both black box and white box testing, with the tester having some knowledge of the system being tested but not complete access to all internal information.