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Penetration testing – an introduction

What is a penetration test?

A penetration test, more commonly known as a ‘pen test’, is a simulated attack on a computer system with the intention of finding security weaknesses that could be exploited.

Why is it important?

Penetration tests and vulnerability assessments, delivered by a reputable, certified provider, offer an independent view of your existing security processes. They help establish whether critical processes such as patching and configuration management have been followed correctly.

Many cyber attacks are automated and indiscriminately target identifiable vulnerabilities in hardware and software, irrespective of the organisation that uses them. Unlike a physical break-in, data theft may go undetected for months – even years – and most companies are unaware that they have been hacked.

What does penetration testing entail?

Penetration tests are designed to test networks, servers, applications, mobile platforms, laptops, wireless systems, printers and any other hardware or system that can store, transmit or process data which a cyber criminal could exploit to take control of your systems.

Want to find out more?

  • Watch the introduction to penetration testing webinar
    What every IT professional should know about penetration tests, interpreting pen test reports, the frequency of conducting penetration tests, and assessing penetration testing providers
IT Governance is a CREST-approved penetration testing company