Penetration Test

How would it feel if you had to notify your partners, clients, and vendors that cyber criminals may now have their data — because YOU failed to protect it?

Your mortification will be compounded when the news hits the local press and you’re suddenly paying expensive, emergency fees to get your IT operations back up and running after being down for days, or weeks even. Your data may be lost, ransomware could be involved, and clients may walk out on you, threatening a lawsuit. The government may slap data breach fines on you, and your company’s reputation could be irreparably damaged. Without cybersecurity insurance to protect you, your bank account may also get drained.

Would your organization survive an expensive, devastating cyberattack?

Failing to secure your IT network, websites and applications is a risk that you cannot afford. Yet, data loss and IT nightmares can be prevented with good cyber hygiene and regular penetration tests.

Overview

With Ransomware at an All-Time High, Maybe It’s Time You Took a Pen Test

The increasing demand for penetration testing, or “pen testing” is driven largely by the threat of automated criminal hacking. Today, it’s not a question of if an organization will be hacked, but rather when.

This is precisely where pen testing services come into play. Many businesses are now turning to pen tests to identify and address vulnerabilities proactively before hackers can exploit them. Our pen test is a real-world exercise designed to reveal how easily bad actors can access, steal, or lock down specific data within your organization. Our experts look for red flags such as outdated operating systems, misconfigured security settings, software flaws, risky user practices, and much more to determine how well your current IT company has been managing your systems. Lastly, we’ll report our findings and help you remediate any issues. The process may continue with a custom-tailored plan to ensure that your team maintains proper cyber hygiene.

Have Questions? Let’s Start a Conversation.

Findings

Common Penetration Test Findings

Imagine an office where everyone assumes that their digital fortress is impenetrable. Then, picture a skilled penetration tester stepping in, armed with the knowledge and skills to expose hidden flaws. Their findings reveal not just cracks but vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. The findings below delve into the common pitfalls that these tests uncover, revealing the areas where organizations and businesses often falter and how they can bolster their cyber defenses.
Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability Management

Organizations often fail to keep their systems up to date with the latest security patches. Our pen tests will reveal unpatched or outdated software, vulnerability management issues, and exposures to other known vulnerabilities.

Identity and Access Management

Identity and Access Management (IAM/CIAM)

Weak passwords are another significant concern. Also, many organizations don’t follow identity and access management/customer identity and access management best practices or implement multi-factor authentication. AISN can help you identify instances where default credentials are still in use and tighten your protocols.

Configuration and Technical Controls

Configuration and Technical Controls

Misconfigured security settings and weak network perimeter defenses are common findings. No one wants open ports and unsecured APIs. The solution? Our team is here to look at proper session management to ensure sufficient logging and monitoring procedures are in place.

Data Security

Data Security

Inadequate encryption is a major red flag. Penetration tests will discover serious data leaks, so in the future, you can better encrypt data and make it a standard practice.

Application Security

Application Security

Insecure coding practices and a lack of input validation can lead to significant vulnerabilities. Applications often have insufficient access controls, but a pen test will uncover the next steps so that you can be vigilant about secure coding practices to prevent these weaknesses.

Social Engineering and Human Factors

Social Engineering and Human Factors

Phishing susceptibility is a major issue. Employees often lack training and awareness, making them easy targets for pretexting and impersonation. At AISN, our team can help you improve your security posture and protect your business from social engineering attacks.

Malware Defenses

Malware Defenses

A penetration test frequently finds poor malware detection and insufficient endpoint protection. Other key factors a test will find are:

  • Weak email filtering
  • Unpatched software vulnerabilities
  • Inadequate user training
  • Insufficient network segmentation
  • Lack of behavioral analysis
  • Weak access controls
  • Ineffective backup strategies
  • Insufficient incident response plans
Comprehensive Security Assessment

Comprehensive Security Assessment

Does your organization lack regular security audits and assessments? Trust our experts to evaluate the current state of your cybersecurity measures to help inform your decision-making.

Incident Response and Recovery

Incident Response and Recovery

Many organizations don’t have a defined incident response plan and perform poorly in communication during incidents. Let’s improve the process by establishing comprehensive incident response strategies and conducting regular drills to enhance your overall security.

Third-Party Risks

Third-Party Risks

Inadequate vetting of third-party vendors and failure to monitor their security posture continuously pose significant risks. Supply chain vendor contracts often lack sufficient security requirements. Start strengthening your third-party risk management practices today, since it’s more essential than ever to safeguard your data.

Cloud Security

Cloud Security

Misconfigured cloud services and inadequate monitoring of cloud environments are prevalent issues. Encryption for cloud data is often lacking for many companies, along with proper identity and access management. A penetration test will get the ball rolling for enhancing cloud security measures and protecting your data in these environments.

Mobile Device Security

Mobile Device Security

Mobile devices frequently lack sufficient security controls with vulnerabilities in applications and insufficient BYOD policies. Strong mobile security policies and controls are critical as device usage continues to rise.

By finding and addressing these common vulnerabilities, organizations like yours can significantly enhance your defense mechanisms. In a digital landscape fraught with threats, proactive measures and continuous vigilance are the keys to safeguarding critical assets, time, money, and more.

Services

AISN Pen Testing Services

At AIS Network, we support our clients with services that scrutinize the security position of their networks and applications, while aiming to fortify their defenses. Ask us if you don’t see the test that you need here.

Web Application Penetration Testing (External and Internal)

Our specialists are here to identify exploitable vulnerabilities and weaknesses to reassure robust account security. Whether conducting external or internal penetration testing, we aim to:

  • Detect potential backdoors into internal networks and find insecure coding practices (e.g., SQL injection, cross-site scripting).
  • Assess authentication, authorization mechanisms, and session management.
  • Identify insufficient input validation and output encoding practices, and detect security misconfigurations and unnecessary services.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of cookie handling and secure file upload mechanisms.
  • Uncover insecure direct object references (IDOR) and improper error handling.
  • Check for information leakage and cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities.
  • Assess the security of APIs and third-party libraries/components, while identifying weaknesses in the application’s logic and business processes.
  • Evaluate the use of secure communication protocols (e.g., HTTPS) and their implementation.
  • Identify potential security risks in the user interface and client-side code.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant security standards and best practices (e.g., OWASP Top Ten).

Network Penetration Testing (External and Internal)

Network penetration testing is a crucial exercise for organizations wanting to bolster their cybersecurity measures. Diligent and detailed, our experts are here to:

  • Utilize the PTES penetration testing framework, aligned with NIST 800-115 guidance, and industry-standard tools such as Core Impact and Metasploit.
  • Assess the security of your network infrastructure by identifying vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your security controls and measures, while providing actionable insights to strengthen your network defenses and mitigate risks.
  • Simulate real-world attack scenarios to test your network’s resilience and response capabilities, and identify misconfigurations in network devices (e.g., routers, switches, firewalls).
  • Test for the presence of unauthorized devices and rogue access points, along with evaluating the strength of network segmentation and isolation practices.
  • Assess the adequacy of logging and monitoring systems and check for weak or default credentials on network devices.
  • Test the effectiveness of intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS).
  • Evaluate the use of secure communication protocols within the network and identify potential data leakage points and unprotected sensitive information.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant security standards and best practices.

Wireless Network Penetration Testing (Physical On-site Testing)

By employing industry-standard tools and techniques, this testing identifies potential vulnerabilities and offers actionable insights to strengthen your network defenses. Our AISN professionals will:

  • Utilize industry-standard tools such as airmon-ng, airodump, aireplay-ng, and aircrack-ng.
  • Provide a comprehensive assessment of your wireless network’s security, identifying vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors.
  • Test for common misconfigurations and weaknesses in WiFi network design and architecture.
  • Determine if cyber criminals can hijack WiFi sessions remotely (e.g., sitting in the parking lot).
  • Discover if your guest network serves as a backdoor into your internal network and identify unauthorized access points and rogue devices connected to the network.
  • Assess the strength of WiFi encryption protocols (e.g., WPA2, WPA3) and detect weak encryption configurations.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of network segmentation and isolation practices.
  • Check for vulnerabilities in wireless client devices that could be exploited, while testing the susceptibility of the network to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
  • Identify weak or default credentials used for wireless network devices (e.g., routers, access points).
  • Assess the adequacy of wireless intrusion detection and prevention systems (WIDS/WIPS) and determine the adequacy of physical security controls for wireless access points.

Social Engineering

Social engineering remains one of the most effective strategies for cyber attackers, exploiting human psychology rather than technical vulnerabilities. Here’s an overview of how pen tests are conducted by our security specialists:

  • Utilize industry-standard tools like Maltego, the Social Engineer Toolkit and Core Impact's phishing capabilities.
  • Employ tactics such as phishing, USB drops, social media, phone and in-person methods.
  • Mimic real-world threat actors' attack strategies, and test employees’ skills, awareness, and cyber defense knowledge.
  • Assess the effectiveness of existing security awareness training programs and evaluate the organization's incident response to social engineering attacks.
  • Identify gaps in physical security that can be exploited by social engineers and analyze the susceptibility to pretexting and impersonation attacks.
  • Determine the effectiveness of internal policies and procedures against social engineering, while measuring the impact of social engineering attacks on organizational operations.

Firewall and Routers

AISN specialists have extensive experience performing specialized security assessments for firewalls and related networking equipment, including routers. Read our case study and view the information below for what the testing process includes:

  • Assess the appropriateness of the configuration of the organization’s perimeter firewalls.
  • Review the existing firewall rules for proper configuration and construction and to ensure alignment with relevant security compliance requirements.
  • Recommend enhancements to the firewall configuration and implementation and review the IT Firewall Standards to determine alignment with applicable industry best practices.
  • Test firewall performance under simulated attack conditions to evaluate resilience.
  • Identify and address any vulnerabilities in firewall firmware and software.
  • Ensure that logging and monitoring are appropriately configured for firewalls and routers.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of firewall and router redundancy and failover mechanisms, while assessing the segmentation and isolation capabilities of the firewall configuration.
  • Verify that access control lists (ACLs) are correctly implemented and effective.
  • Examine the configuration of VPNs and remote access controls associated with firewalls and routers.

Dark Web Search

In today’s digital age, the dark web poses significant threats to individuals and organizations. Our team can help you mitigate these risks by uncovering hidden dangers and providing actionable insights. Here’s what’s involved:

  • Utilize open-source intelligence (OSINT) gathering via TOR and dark web search engines and identify leaked data such as usernames, passwords, email addresses and personal data.
  • Monitor for stolen intellectual property, including proprietary information and trade secrets and detects compromised financial information such as credit card numbers and banking details.
  • Track threat actors and gather intelligence on their activities and evaluate the organization’s exposure on the dark web.
  • Ensure anonymity and security during the search and intelligence gathering process.

Other Penetration Tests

Mobile Application Penetration Testing

Identify vulnerabilities in mobile applications and test for issues like insecure data storage, insufficient encryption, and improper session handling.

Cloud Security Penetration Testing

Assess the security of cloud environments and test cloud configurations, access controls, and data protection mechanisms.

Physical Penetration Testing

Test the physical security controls of an organization and include attempts to gain unauthorized physical access to facilities, secure areas, or data centers.

Red Teaming

Simulate a full-scale, real-world attack scenario and involve a team of ethical hackers attempting to breach the organization using various techniques and tools.

API Penetration Testing

Evaluate the security of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and test for issues like improper authentication, authorization flaws, and insecure data transmission.

IoT Penetration Testing

Assess the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and networks, while identifying vulnerabilities in IoT device configurations, communications, and firmware.

Embedded Systems Penetration Testing

Test the security of embedded systems and firmware and identify vulnerabilities in hardware-software integration and secure boot processes.

SCADA/ICS Penetration Testing

Assess the security of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS). This type also will identify vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure systems and their networks.

Network Segmentation Testing

Evaluate the effectiveness of network segmentation controls and test for potential pathways that could allow lateral movement across segmented networks.

Client-Side Penetration Testing

Test the security of client-side applications, including web browsers and desktop applications. This test also identifies vulnerabilities that could be exploited from the client side such as script injection or insecure data handling.

Password Audit

Evaluate the strength of passwords used within the organization; test for weak, default, or reused passwords; and assess password policy compliance.

Have Questions? Let’s Start a Conversation.

Act Before an Attacker Does

A penetration test is an essential component of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy. By identifying vulnerabilities before an attacker does, you can take proactive steps to remediate them and reduce the risk of a successful cyber attack. With a better understanding of the penetration testing process and the types of testing available, information security engineers can make more informed decisions about the appropriate testing strategy for their organization.

Need help acting before an attacker does? AISN offers penetration tests routinely for clients in the private and public sectors, and we can perform a test for you too.

About the AISN Pen Testing Team

AISN’s certified team has extensive experience in network and application consulting across multiple industries that handle sensitive data, including the U.S. Department of Defense, large healthcare organizations, and state governments. Our security and risk specialists excel in solving complex assessment challenges and leading large-scale organizations to compliance at various levels.

The AISN penetration testing team includes personnel with significant coding and scripting expertise, including writing and modifying exploit code for manual penetration testing. Our team members are certified cybersecurity specialists, who continually update and broaden their skill sets.

Benefits

Penetration Testing Benefits

Plain and simple, running regular pen tests against the network gives you insights into real-world threats that may impact your network security. The test also exploits any vulnerabilities and provides next steps for remediation.

Routine pen tests allow a safe way to test your system’s resistance to external hacking attempts by simulating the actions of an actual intruder. Attempts to exploit vulnerabilities may be caused by operational weaknesses, outdated security policies, insecure settings, bad passwords, code mistakes, software bugs, service configuration errors, and more.

Here are five reasons why your organization would benefit from routine network penetration testing:

Identify and Prioritize Risks

Performing regular penetration tests allows your organization to evaluate web applications and internal and external network security. It also helps you to understand what security controls are necessary to have the level of security your organization needs to protect its people and assets. Prioritizing these risks gives organizations an advantage to anticipate risks and prevent potential malicious attacks from happening.

Prevent Hackers From Infiltrating Systems

Penetration tests are much like practicing for a real-life hack by a real-life hacker. Performing regular penetration tests allows you to be proactive in your real-world approach to evaluating your IT infrastructure security. The process uncovers holes in your security, giving you a chance to remediate any shortcomings properly before an actual attack happens.

Mature Your Environment

Continuing to mature the security posture within your organization’s environment is a great way to maintain a competitive advantage against others in your industry. It not only demonstrates to your clients that information security and compliance are paramount for your organization, but it shows that you’re continuously dedicated to attaining optimum security.

Avoid Costly Data Breaches and Loss of Business Operability

Recovering from the aftermath of a data breach is no doubt expensive. Legal fees, IT remediation, customer protection programs, loss in sales, and discouraged customers can cost organizations upwards of millions of dollars. Regularly scheduled penetration tests are a proactive way to stay on top of your security and can help prevent the financial loss of a breach while protecting your brand and reputation.

Comply With Industry Standards and Regulations

Penetration tests help address the compliance and security obligations that are mandated by industry standards and regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, FISMA, and ISO 27001. Having these tests performed regularly demonstrates due diligence and your dedication to information security, all while helping you to avoid the heavy fines that can be associated with non-compliance.

Want to learn more about the types of penetration testing services? Get in touch with an AISN expert today to discuss your security needs.

Case Studies

How We’ve Helped Protect Industries Like Yours

Check out our case studies and learn more about how AISN is fortifying cybersecurity defenses for those who will benefit from it the most:
Firewall Assessment Achieves compliance & Enhances Network Security for State Agency
Virginia State Agency Firewall Assessment
Assessment Enables State Agency to Improve Security Posture & Compliance
Assessment Enables State Agency to Improve Security Posture & Compliance
Financial Software Developer Fortifies Security With AISN's Expert Cybersecurity Assessments
Financial Software Developer Fortifies Security With AISN's Expert Cybersecurity Assessments
AISN's vCISO Solution Fortifies Historic Court's Cybersecurity and Compliance.
AISN's vCISO Solution Fortifies Historic Court's Cybersecurity and Compliance

Schedule a Pen Test

Your routine risk assessment strategy should include routine pen testing, especially if any of your staff work remotely. Want to learn more about the stages of pen testing?

Penetration Testing vs. Vulnerability Scanning

The increasing demand for penetration testing, or “pen testing” is driven largely by the threat of automated criminal hacking. Today, it’s not a question of if an organization will be hacked, but rather when.

This is precisely where pen testing services come into play. Many businesses are now turning to pen tests to identify and address vulnerabilities proactively before hackers can exploit them. Our pen test is a real-world exercise designed to reveal how easily bad actors can access, steal, or lock down specific data within your organization. Our experts look for red flags such as outdated operating systems, misconfigured security settings, software flaws, risky user practices, and much more to determine how well your current IT company has been managing your systems. Lastly, we’ll report our findings and help you remediate any issues. The process may continue with a custom-tailored plan to ensure that your team maintains proper cyber hygiene.

What’s the difference between pen testing and vulnerability scanning?

While vulnerability scans identify potential vulnerabilities and report risk exposure, pen testing goes further by attempting to exploit identified vulnerabilities and simulating real-world attacks.

With AISN’s expertise in penetration testing, clients can strengthen their defenses against cyber threats effectively. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you protect your network from potential hackers.

Insights

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What Is a Penetration Test?

Need a Penetration Testing Quote?
AISN Can Help.

Many organizations can handle limited penetration testing tools with their internal IT teams, but few regularly test for current vulnerabilities. Working with expert cybersecurity partners can help fill planning and testing gaps, ensuring that your systems are thoroughly evaluated and secured.

A partner like AISN can provide specialized knowledge and skills that might be lacking within your organization or your IT company. Additionally, a partner can serve as an impartial third party to assess the performance and security measures implemented by your IT provider, offering an objective perspective and helping to identify potential vulnerabilities or areas for improvement. If you have questions about security testing or need help implementing a penetration testing program, contact AISN today to get a quote.