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What is Penetration Testing: A Basic Overview of Pen Testing

All of us who own computers should be aware of what penetration tests are. But I am sure that about 90 percent of us might give the name a weird look. Does it look like something to do with physics? Yes, at a larger level it might be something to with physics...

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All of us who own computers should be aware of what penetration tests are. But I am sure that about 90 percent of us might give the name a weird look. Does it look like something to do with physics? Yes, at a larger level it might be something to with physics doubtlessly. However, as of now, it is a technical term but a little common. You might also know it with the name pen test. Any bells ringing? Regardless of your awareness, in this article we cover the most important things that you need to know about penetration testing also known as a pen testing and it’s related cyber security testing types.

Understanding Penetration testing: Manual vs Software
Penetration testing is the test carried out by a team or an organisation to ensure the security of a computer system. The process of ensuring the security wall of the information system is called penetration testing, and it is shortly known as pen test. As far as the pen test is concerned, it can be carried out both manually and mechanically. There are a lot of software packages that are developed with the aim of carrying out the penetration with much more ease. Not all software packages can be tailor-made to fit the requirements of the clients and in such instances manual check is required that is without the assistance of a software package.

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Penetration testing in an organisation:
The penetration testing in most of the cases applies for the organisation, especially the ones that have a lot of top-secret files and also have a large volume of information. However, carrying out penetration test is not as easy as we think. Apart from the physical and technical difficulty, there are also problems with regard to the tough protocol that every pen test follows. Every organisation before conducting a penetration test has to make sure that stick to the Rules of Engagement. This ROE will state the need and the cause of the penetration test and the things that they have to follow.


The organisation or the team that carries out the test must seek permission from the top-most or the senior person present in the office in order to avoid any sort of breach. Also, identify the location that has to be tested and the location that should be touched. Understand the limits and the scope of the test. Start the test only after obtaining proper authorization and fixing the appropriate protocols.

Types and process:
There are different types of penetration tests. As we stated earlier, there are different ways in which penetration tests work for different organisations that are the reasons as to why tests differ from one place to the other. There are three major types recognised, and they are physical penetration, operations penetration and electronic penetration. Either these things can happen together, or they can go one at the time depending on the need and urgency. In every penetration testing, there are three teams involved, the red team that takes care of the test, the blue team that looks after the system maintenance and the white team monitors the efficiency and the accuracy of the activities. This is how a penetration test works.