Beginner's Guide To Network Penetration Testing

By Navjoy

Every agency should have a goal to keep the network as safe and secure as possible. One way to do this is to perform regular penetration testing, or pen testing for short, to uncover potential areas for hacker entry. We want to give you the scoop on pen testing so you can start proactively using it as a strengthening tool.

What is pen testing?

Essentially, it is like a stress test for your network. During a pen test a security expert attempts to hack your network using non-malicious, investigative, processes. Through this process, they are able to determine where the weak spots in the network are (spots where a real hacker could enter in). From there, you know where to work on strengthening your network.

Hacker at a computer.Why is it important?

Hacking methods are ever evolving and your network needs to keep up as best it can. Since pen testing finds the weakest points in your network, you can work on bulking those up, so your network has minimal easy points of entry. The fact is, it really needs to be done regularly because areas of strong network security could easily become weak as hacking methods grow continuously more complex. Bottom line: It keeps your network as safe as it can be.

Who performs a pen test?

You need a network or IT expert to perform this test, as they must be able to simulate the actions and processes of a sophisticated hacker. If you do not have someone qualified in-house, our networking staff is here to help. We have certified pen testers on staff who can perform the testing for you.

Are there different pen test methods?

There are three main methods for pen testing.

  • Black Box: The network expert “hacking” in is completely unfamiliar with the network being tested. This type is the most realistic simulation because a true hacker would likely not know the details of your organization.
  • White Box: The network expert performing the test has done research and understands the network’s architecture.
  • Grey Box: In this instance, the expert hacking in has access to internal materials, documents, and user privilege credentials, which is much more access than with a White Box. Because of the in-depth information, a highly sophisticated “attack” can be made.

Pen tests are complex and require thorough expertise to complete, but the benefits are second to none. It’s one of the best ways to locate network weaknesses without experiencing a real network breach and learning the hard way. To pen test your network today, contact us at