Get your hack together: The five fundamentals of ethical hacking
Is pen testing dead? Not quite, but ad-hoc and once-off pen testing should be. Here we look at the five elements of Ethical Hacking as a Service, and how combining these tests are the most effective in ensuring a much stronger security posture.
Gone are the days of one-and-done penetration testing. Today’s cyber landscape demands a more forward-thinking approach to security, and that’s where ethical hacking comes in. This advanced form of testing goes beyond the traditional pen test to provide a comprehensive assessment of an organisation’s security posture. With Ethical Hacking as a Service (EHaas), you can simulate real-world attacks and identify vulnerabilities in your cyber systems before malicious actors can exploit them. Here are the five elements that set ethical hacking apart as a security testing approach.
Written by Declan Timmons
1. Breach attack simulation (BAS) and adversary simulation
Breach attack simulation (BAS) and adversary simulation testing are relatively new methods of assessment, in which a cloud-based agent conducts technical assaults against an endpoint in your environment. These attacks look just ransomware and malware variants. They effectively assess all devices, allowing us to determine which endpoints can detect and defend against attacks assaults, and which fail. We investigate which threats can pass through these endpoints, why they can, and what fails to block them. We perform these attacks on a regular basis, allowing us to compare your current test result to past tests and make modifications to ensure your score remains high.
2. Red teaming and social engineering
Performing social engineering tests on your environment is where we can really get into the mind of a hacker.
We determine with you in advance what security ‘trophies’ we should attempt to obtain from your staff, such as domain admin passwords, credential store accounts, or network shares, when we use social engineering. They are often determined by which information, if gained by hackers, would most adversely threaten your organisation.
Ekco’s cyber security team has extensive expertise in effective social engineering assaults and red teaming, and we are constantly on the lookout for new hacker approaches. As a next step, we can then assist your organisation to develop more resilient procedures and help your employees become more security smart.
3. Web application testing
Pen testing still has its place as a cybersecurity tool if conducted in conjunction with other tests like social engineering and BAS. Web application pen testing includes looking for areas of vulnerability on your company’s website, such as obsolete software, easily exploited WordPress add-ons and session management. Your website is the public face of your company, which means it can open doors into your data for hackers. The goal with website pen testing is to lock these doors, particularly those that open into the most risk for your organisation, so that no one can see your data.
4. Mobile application testing
Testing web apps is frequently combined with pen testing of mobile apps. Because they both use the same databases on the back end, we scan comparable ideas and perform the same checks. The difference is that, with mobile, the focus is on code quality, which means you need to do static and dynamic analysis, with automated tools. Static analysis searches for weaknesses in the code without running the program, whereas dynamic analysis does this while the application is running. Both techniques can detect different kinds of vulnerabilities.
5. Infrastructure testing
Infrastructure testing is really a catch-all term for multiple tests, including: configuration reviews of cloud, server and user endpoints; internal network; and internet perimeter security assessments.
Ethical hacking has taken pen testing one step further by incorporating a holistic approach that includes not only technical vulnerabilities but also human factors and business processes. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, ethical hacking will remain an indispensable tool for organisations to ensure the security and integrity of their digital assets.
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