Insights and Tips from the Experts

Modernization, Cloud Enablement, Managed Services

Quick Tip: Penetration Testing Explained: What, How, and Why.

[fa icon="calendar"] August 8, 2018 / by Bob Dorman, Highstreet

Over the last several years, it’s become apparently clear that there is real money to be made from criminal hacking, and identity theft is one of the world’s fastest growing problems.

Although there are many ways to secure systems and applications, the only way to truly know how secure you are is to test yourself.

The main objective of penetration testing is to determine security weaknesses. A pen test can also be used to test an organization's security policy compliance, its employees' security awareness and the organization's ability to identify and respond to security incidents.

What is Penetration Testing?

Also known in the field as a “pen test,” companies use penetration tests to identify and overcome network security weakness before third parties are able to exploit them. Penetration tests take a number of forms: Targeted (or “lights on”) approaches involve total cooperation between penetration testers and network security teams; External and Internal tests examine threats from within and without the network; and Blind or Double-Blind tests give network administrators little or no information about the penetration test occurring.

How does Penetration Testing work?

During a penetration test, an “ethical hacker” or a penetration testing team will gather information about and evaluate the many complex layers of a company’s network security system. Using this information, the team will identify and attempt to exploit any potential vulnerabilities in network security. The team will then report these vulnerabilities to network administrators, fixing them before malicious hackers are ever aware of their existence and offering total network security.

Why Perform a Penetration Test?

Penetration Tests prevent innumerable threats to business by identifying and resolving risks within the large complexity of a network. Modern computer networks are a multiplex web of services, applications, and numerous security measures, with advanced business networks further including access from any number of sources and partnering organizations. Businesses rely on this complexity to grow and develop.

However, the increase in modern network size directly correlates to the increased difficulty in tracking and removing exploitation opportunities. Coupled with the constant advance of new technologies, malicious hackers are creating sophisticated and unknown network security threats every day. These hackers cost companies millions of dollars in lost contracts, customer faith, reputation, and direct financial loss – in the worst cases, previously successful companies find themselves declaring bankruptcy as a result.

Penetration Testing offers a keener, more dedicated approach to combatting this ever growing threat by seeking out and preventing weakness from any front of a network before exploitation occurs.

Highstreet has your security solution

We offer a comprehensive security suite of services delivered in a SaaS (Security-as-a-Service)  format, to continuously monitor and maintain effective security controls. Our Security offerings work together as a coordinated security suite to reduce the risks associated with information security. As a bundle, the services provide the majority of the controls required for an organization to achieve regulatory compliance with standards such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and FERPA.

Our Enterprise Security Services perform comprehensive testing and audits and provide the security solutions to protect your business-critical systems including:

  • Vulnerability assessments
  • Penetration testing
  • Compliance audits
  • Ethical hacking

Don't let your security systems become at risk. Contact us today to learn more.


Topics: Managed Application Services

Bob Dorman, Highstreet


Highstreet provides modernization, cloud enablement, and management services for your applications and IT infrastructure. Learn more.

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