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A penetration test (ethical hacking) can be defined as an authorized cyberattack launched as part of a security audit to look at the system from a hacker’s perspective. Pentest reports are used to remediate discovered vulnerabilities to secure the system controls.
Also called “trial and error”, this type of pen testing takes longer as the tester will make attempts to make an all-out attack on the system without knowing anything about the source code and design. Even though it won’t cover all aspects, a black box pen test report is more likely to include quite a few detected vulnerabilities.
Equipped with in-depth details about the code, a tester who chooses this method focuses on certain security areas and therefore can perform the test faster, counting on more accurate results. Still, the preparation stage of this method might take a while. To generate a white box pen test report, a variety of cutting-edge tools are usually used, including debuggers, source analyzers, and sniffers.
As the name suggests, it’s a combination of the black box and white box testing methods that involves the use of both automated and manual pen testing. More affordable in comparison with the techniques described above, this type of testing is based on some data about the existing vulnerabilities detected by the customers. The grey box pen test report can include hard-to-find issues that might breach the company’s defences.
Reconnaissance – the process of gathering data before launching any real attacks.
Enumeration – the process of determining the potential weaknesses that might give malicious actors unauthorised access to the target system.
Vulnerability Analysis – the process that describes, pinpoints, and classifies the security leaks.
Exploitation – the process of giving pentesters the freedom to compromise a system.
Reporting – the process of generating a pentest report that documents each detected vulnerability.
Rather than a one-time effort, pentest reports should be a regular thing in your company. As a rule, penetration testing is performed at least once a year to reveal any new vulnerabilities. Also, you are recommended to order a thorough pentest report every time:
Penetration testing shouldn’t be confused with a vulnerability assessment. The latter is much less intrusive and often brings not only false positives but also missed security weaknesses.
Regular pentest reports are crucial for your business as they allow you to:
1. Detect weaknesses of the system before malicious actors do.
2. Check whether your network defences are strong enough.
3. Estimate the cost of a successful cyber attack.
4. Quickly remediate identified vulnerabilities.
5. Minimize network downtime.
6. Assure the customers that their data is safe at all times.
7. Check compliance with industry standards.
After the end of penetration testing, a client gets the report describing the security assessment process including main attack vectors, methodology applied, limitations, and assumptions. A pentest report also specifies all issues detected by researchers and contains detailed recommendations for their elimination. When looking at a pentest report, a client can fully realize how secure is the product and what areas need to be improved.