A penetration test, or pen test, is a procedure that examines an organization’s network infrastructure in order to highlight weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Pen tests can test a whole range of hardware and software including servers, routers, wireless devices, as well as applications to make sure the source code is not open to security breaches.
Penetration tests are essential because you are looking at the security of your systems from the point of view of an outsider and you will be able to gain unbiased feedback that will enhance your security. It’s like having your very own hacker but without the catastrophic damage.
It would take hours, even days to test the network infrastructure of an organization. Luckily, automated tools have allowed the process to be faster and more efficient. Here are 5 of the best penetrating test tools your business should consider.
- The Network Mapper
You may also see this being called NMAP and it will map out the holes in your network environment as well as assist with auditing. The raw data packets can be used to understand the available hosts on a certain network trunk, the operating system being used, and the different versions of data pack filters or firewalls being used by that host.
You can find the tool in both command and GUI (also called Zenmap). The great advantage of NMAP is that it is completely free.
A step up from NMAP, Wireshark is an actual network protocol and data packet analyzer. It is able to analyze real-time, live information from a range of sources, such as IEE 802.11, Bluetooth, IPsec, WEP, SSL/TLS, Token Ring, and more. We like Wireshark because the results are so straightforward to understand you don’t need to be tech-savvy. It is also a great solution to examine the security risks posed by data posted on Web-based apps.
Like NMAP, Wireshark is free to download.
- John the Ripper
Passwords are a massive threat to online security. As tempting as it is to create easy to remember passwords, they are also easy to hack. Pen testers will use John the Ripper (or JTR) to launch dictionary attacks. This is done by taking strings of texts that are found in dictionaries. These words are then encrypted into a password format and then compared against actual encryption string to check for weaknesses.
John the Ripper can be used to pen test password databases either online or offline. As it is open-source, developers are able to modify it to suit their needs.
Metasploit is used by both cybersecurity professionals and ethical hackers. Instead of used one tool, there is a range of pen testing tools that is similar to a framework. It is constantly improving thanks to the contributions of the professionals that use it. The built-in exploits that come with Metasploit can be used for all types of pen tests, are also customizable. A particular favorite built-in exploit is the ‘network sniffer’.
Any security breach that is detected is displayed using the ‘Meterpreter’ tool that allows for a quick analysis. Metasploit is another open-source solution.
If you don’t have the resources available and you would rather trust the experts to pen test your networks and systems, you can hire a specialist from Teamsecure.io. Experts are constantly working to determine and prepare for potential new threats that are likely to arise in the future. The goal of Teamsecure.io is to reduce the number of interruptions to your business while allowing you to focus on other areas.
Specialists carry out automated and manual pen tests to identify all possible entry points whether that is from hardware, software, or employees. They will then provide detailed reports as well as suggestions for improvements. Teamsecure.io has cybersecurity experts that can work on-site or off-site.