Ethical hacking (penetration testing)
Ethical hacking (or penetration testing) is the process of testing your systems/applications for vulnerabilities. Many companies hire ethical hackers as part of their general security.
Why would you do this?
By hiring an ethical hacker you hope to discover any weaknesses and block them.
A penetration test will normally involve a skilled ethical hacker (or even a team of them). You give them limited information depending on what you are testing for. A common test is just to give them the company name and ask them to penetrate the system.
A few examples of penetration tests are the team are given the office address and told to break into the system. They might try anything from hacking an employees social media accounts or applications that your company uses regularly to gaining access to the computer room posing as computer repairers.
When Do you Hire an Ethical Hacker?
Before publishing a company web or mobile app, an ethical hacker is often hired and let loose on it. They are told to hack it or cause damage to it. The hacker will run a series of approaches to try to steal information from the app.
The main reason for this testing is the results. This is the purpose of penetration testing. No system or app is perfect but with these results, you can close up areas of weakness found. And dramatically improve your security.
Here are the Reasons why Penetration testing can help your business.
- They give security people actual experience of handling an attack. The best way to get the full experience is not to inform them. From this, you will be able to see how staff respond and how to tighten up security procedures.
- It can show up weaknesses in how security responds to the attack. An example would be when security is overly focused on preventing access. When a hacker breaks in they find they have no way of ejecting him in a timely manner.
- These ethical hackers will try to break into your system in any way possible ( just like a real hacker). This can involve physically breaking in and gaining access from inside the premises. Sometimes security hasn’t taken this into consideration. Your report should make mention of weak points in your building security where an intruder can easily gain entrance.
- Penetration testing can show developers how weak code can allow access to the system/app. If developers can see how the hacker uses their code they can often change it so that this weakness is gone in the future.
If your business is handling a lot of sensitive vital information you should definitely consider a penetration test. The results will probably be quite scary but your business will be more secure in the future for it. With companies as large and security conscious as Google and Facebook getting hacked there is no excuse in thinking it can’t happen to you. Remember there are thousands of businesses hacked every year and it is up to you to try not to be among them!
If considering a new project remember that the better the quality of your code the less chance you will be hacked. At Greenfinch Technology our coding is excellent. You can contact us on 01923 375 549 or use our Contact form. We have been developing for many years over a wide range of industries and we have a reputation for excellence.
An experienced staff member will be happy to give you a no-obligation consultation. They will go through what you require and put together the most efficient, secure and cost-effective solution for you.