A penetration test, colloquially known as a pen test, pentest or ethical hacking, is an authorized simulated cyberattack on a computer system, performed to evaluate the security of the system. Not to be confused with a vulnerability assessment. The test is performed to identify both weaknesses (also referred to as vulnerabilities), including the potential for unauthorized parties to gain access to the system's features and data, as well as strengths, enabling a full risk assessment to be completed.
The process typically identifies the target systems and a particular goal, then reviews available information and undertakes various means to attain that goal. A penetration test target may be a white box (which provides background and system information) or black box (which provides only basic or no information except the company name). A gray box penetration test is a combination of the two (where limited knowledge of the target is shared with the auditor). A penetration test can help determine whether a system is vulnerable to attack if the defenses were sufficient, and which defenses (if any) the test defeated.
Security issues that the penetration test uncovers should be reported to the system owner. Penetration test reports may also assess potential impacts on the organization and suggest countermeasures to reduce risk.
The National Cyber Security Center describes penetration testing as the following: "A method for gaining assurance in the security of an IT system by attempting to breach some or all of that system's security, using the same tools and techniques as an adversary might."
The goals of a penetration test vary depending on the type of approved activity for any given engagement with the primary goal focused on finding vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a nefarious actor and informing the client of those vulnerabilities along with recommended mitigation strategies.
Flaw hypothesis methodology is a systems analysis and penetration prediction technique where a list of hypothesized flaws in a software system are compiled through analysis of the specifications and documentation for the system. The list of hypothesized flaws is then prioritized on the basis of the estimated probability that a flaw actually exists, and on the ease of exploiting it to the extent of control or compromise. The prioritized list is used to direct the actual testing of the system.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has standardized the "penetration test" service as a pre-vetted support service, to rapidly address potential vulnerabilities, and stop adversaries before they impact US federal, state, and local governments. These services are commonly referred to as Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) and are listed on the US GSA Advantage website.
This effort has identified key service providers that have been technically reviewed and vetted to provide these advanced penetration services. This GSA service is intended to improve the rapid ordering and deployment of these services, reduce US government contract duplication, and to protect and support the US infrastructure in a more timely and efficient manner.
132-45A Penetration Testing is security testing in which service assessors mimic real-world attacks to identify methods for circumventing the security features of an application, system, or network. HACS Penetration Testing Services typically strategically test the effectiveness of the organization's preventive and detective security measures employed to protect assets and data. As part of this service, certified ethical hackers typically conduct a simulated attack on a system, systems, applications, or another target in the environment, searching for security weaknesses. After testing, they will typically document the vulnerabilities and outline which defenses are effective and which can be defeated or exploited.
EVRISKO pentest team consists of several renowned world-class hackers currently residing in the continental United States.