professional vulnerability assessor is a person who is hired by companies to do their vulnerability tests and informed by real-time data. An assessor brings with him/herself a combination of skills that make him/her a capable user both in terms of troubleshooting existing interfaces as well as creating new interfaces through the use of his/her intuitive sense for finding security weaknesses in web applications (the so called "security guessing").
Assessing is done by instantiating a number of different interfaces, databases, back-end services and other service categories, in order to identify which ones might be vulnerable to network risks such as various application vulnerabilities and so on. The assessor should therefore be someone who is experienced in using and knowing how to use the application(s) under test.
A penetration test thus performs a very important role in the due security of a company's applications and networks. It addresses the vulnerabilities by simulating an attack by a malicious hacker, through which he/she tries to gain access to sensitive data and networks.
The results of a penetration test are presented in a number of ways, which may include delivering (passing) messages to the computer system from a malicious source, over which an attacker may have remote access and more.
A penetration test is a set of tests that is designed to expose these vulnerabilities. It is also a methodology for analyzing the security of an application or network, from the perspective of its security aspects.
The penetration tests then proceeds to an active analysis and the penetration testing is paper based (non-virtual or virtual). After this is done, the penetration testing is turned over to the external researchers who will have to perform all the tasks. Over the time, as new vulnerabilities are found and vulnerabilities are mitigated, the testing methodology will be changed and will include steps in order to secure the systems.
A developer releases a hot-fix. This is a piece of code that is designed to improve the functionality of the application. But, it stops unknown people from exploiting it. Then, the developer releases a fix for the existing vulnerability, after which world-wide distribution begins. The developer receives good news about the patch. But, the liabilities of the vulnerability are not eliminated. In order to completely eliminate these risks, the developer adds a new vulnerability to the code. This is done by including some code that makes the web application vulnerable to the discovered vulnerability. Since the new vulnerability is discovered, all applications using the technology are at risk. Only after all applications containing the vulnerability have been fixed, the risk has been completely eliminated.
Penetration testing helps us understand how our security infrastructure would hold up if it were to undergo a surreally serious attack. This also helps us understand how an attack would be initiated, by testing the robustness of our security controls. After all, it is our data, so we have a personal responsibility to protect it!
That's why penetration testing is a vital part of our IT infrastructure. It allows us to identify any and all security problems that may put the business at risk. Since we cannot take a nonchalant approach to security because of the fact that we depend on it for so much, we need to make sure that it is in top shape.
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