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Penetration testing is an activity to evaluate the security posture of an organization. The activity highlights network standpoint from hackers and insiders point of view. The vulnerabilities are inevitable and pose a great risk to the operations and businesses if they are exploitable. By conducting penetration testing exercises, organizations can verify that existing and new applications, systems and networks are not vulnerable to security risks that could allow unauthorized access to the company resources. It examines a system’s immunity to actual hacking methodologies and gives an excellent idea of the system’s exploitable vulnerabilities. Hacking is not a technique but a “thought process”, and hence the importance of conducting a simulated exercise of penetration testing periodically to counter the growing threat to organizational resources.

Penetration tests are a great way to identify vulnerabilities that exists in a system or network that has an existing security measures in place. A penetration test usually involves the use of attacking methods conducted by trusted individuals that are similarly used by hostile intruders or hackers. Depending on the type of test that is conducted, this may involve a simple scan of an IP addresses to identify machines that are offering services with known vulnerabilities or even exploiting known vulnerabilities that exists in an un-patched operating system. The results of these tests or attacks are then documented and presented as report to the owner of the system and the vulnerabilities identified can then be resolved.