Penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking or security testing, involves simulating real-world attacks on computer systems, networks, and applications to identify vulnerabilities and potential security risks. There are various types of penetration testing, including:
1. Network Penetration Testing: This type focuses on assessing the security of network infrastructure, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and servers. It aims to identify vulnerabilities that could allow unauthorized access, data breaches, or network-level attacks.
2. Web Application Penetration Testing: In this type, the focus is on evaluating the security of web applications, including websites, web services, and APIs. Testers attempt to exploit vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and authentication flaws to gain unauthorized access or manipulate data.
3. Mobile Application Penetration Testing: With the increasing use of mobile applications, this type of testing concentrates on identifying security weaknesses in mobile apps developed for various platforms (iOS, Android, etc.). It involves analyzing app binaries, APIs, data storage, authentication mechanisms, and other aspects to uncover vulnerabilities.
4. Wireless Penetration Testing: This type evaluates the security of wireless networks, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other wireless communication protocols. Testers attempt to identify weaknesses in encryption, authentication, or configuration settings that could be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access.
5. Social Engineering Testing: Unlike the previous types that focus on technical vulnerabilities, social engineering testing examines the human element of security. It involves manipulating individuals through various tactics, such as phishing emails, phone calls, impersonation, and physical access attempts, to gain sensitive information or unauthorized access.
These five significant types of penetration testing cover a broad range of areas within the field of cybersecurity assessment. Organizations often employ a combination of these tests to comprehensively evaluate their systems' resilience against potential threats and ensure proper mitigation measures are in place.
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