ZinnoX Cybersecurity

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Posted on: May 6th 2022

Penetration Testing - Methodologies & Stages Involved

Pen testing, also known as white-hat hacking, refers to the process of penetrating one’s security system and testing the application’s strengths and errors. Manual or automated penetration testing can be used to compromise servers, endpoints, mobile devices, networks, apps, and other points of vulnerability. If you have a company, chances are you need to perform pen-testing now and then, preferably once a year. Penetration Testing assists you by showing the real-world attackers who can exploit and benefit from your system’s vulnerabilities. That means, if exploited, the hackers will be able to access your essential IT, human or even physical assets. It also allows you to identify and understand the problems you weren’t aware of earlier and protect the most critical data. Overall, this will strengthen your security system by fixing vulnerabilities and aligning the company with industry security standards. 

Five Stages of Pen Testing

Reconnaissance – This is the most crucial stage of testing. The testers and their clients must analyse the sort of tests necessary, the data available to the testers, the test’s goals, and other critical aspects that will ensure the test’s success. In this step, information regarding the target is acquired and mapped because the more information you have, the easier it becomes to fix.

Scanning – This is more of a tool-oriented procedure than a manual one. Such scanners are typically used by pen testers to get additional information about the target to detect and collect as many vulnerabilities as feasible. As a result, the target will be attacked far more complexly.

Gaining Access – In the third step, the pen tester attempts to connect to the target to acquire access and exploit the vulnerabilities discovered in the previous stage. It all comes down to retrieving information and sensitive data from servers utilising various methods.

Maintaining Access – Getting access to systems is difficult, especially on corporate networks; thus, it makes little sense to repeat the process after exploiting the vulnerability. This is when backdoors, keyloggers, and other programmes are installed to maintain system access, so you can try accessing it whenever you’d like.

Reporting – This is the final stage of pen testing. All the steps are summarised to better understand the company’s security architecture and protect itself the next time. Reporting also allows the client to understand the team’s efforts and activities during the whole procedure.

Five Methods of Pen Testing

External Testing – External pen tests typically target the assets that are available out on the internet such as the web applications, websites, emails or DNS servers.

Internal Testing – Internal testing entails simulating an attack by a tester with malicious insider access to a programme behind its firewall. One of the instances may be when an employee who misplaced his credentials as a result of a phishing attempt.

Blind Testing – When a blind test is performed, the tester is simply given the name of the organisation and is expected to work their way up from there to provide a real-time insight at how an actual application assault may occur.

Double-blind Testing – Security professionals have no prior knowledge of the simulated assault during double blind testing. They won’t have time to shore up their barriers before an attempted breach, much as in the real world.

Targeted Testing – During targeted testing, both the testers and the security staff collaborate while keeping each other informed of their whereabouts. It is a fantastic training exercise that provides the security team with real-time feedback from a hacker’s perspective.


Well, by now we understand the importance of pentesting as well as the time, effort and money involved in it, but it is a long-term investment for any company. We don’t want to burden or confuse you with excess information, but if you are looking for top-class infosec services then you’ve come to the right place! ZinnoX is an award-winning cybersecurity company based in Bangalore, India, that performs vulnerability assessment, cloud security and penetration testing for companies worldwide, such as Bosch, Campofrio Food Group, Barcelo Hotel Group & Riu Hotels Resorts. Consult with us and get an informative demo to understand how our pen testing can benefit your company.

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