By AMSAT Jan 20,2021
All You Need to Know about External vs Internal Penetration Tests
Penetration testing, also called ethical hacking, is the exercise of reviewing the security flaws of application software, networks, computers and devices, wireless systems, and employees. Penetration tests can be either external or internal depending on the goal of the project.
An external penetration test seeks to misuse flaws that could be carried out by an external user without appropriate access and authorizations. An internal penetration test is similar to a vulnerability evaluation; nevertheless, it takes an examination one step further by seeking to exploit the flaws and ascertain what information is actually exposed.
External Penetration Test
External penetration testing comprises testing flaws to review the likelihoods of being attacked by any remote attacker. By exploiting the found vulnerabilities it recognizes the information being revealed to outsiders.
The major goal of this test is to pretend an attack on the internal network by imitating the actions of an actual hacker.
This type of penetration testing seeks to find and misuse flaws of a system to make off with or adversely affect the organization’s information. Consequently, the test will reveal whether the employed security measures are sufficient to secure an organization and to evaluate its ability to protect against any external attack.
An external penetration test typically takes three weeks to complete; nevertheless, this hinges on the intricacy of the system, the size of the network, and the objectives of the test itself
Examples of external penetration tests include:
Configuration & Deployment Management Testing
Identity Management Testing
Session Management Testing, Input Validation Testing
Testing for weak Cryptography
Business Logic Testing
Testing for Error Handling.
Testing methodologies include:
Checking for public information and other information leakages
System Scanning/Port Scanning/Service Scanning for flaws
Manual testing identified flaws
Password Strength Testing
Internal Penetration Test
An internal penetration test employs a different method of tackling the attacks and only bets highlighted once it completes an external penetration test. In this test, the key focus is to recognize what a hacker with internal access to your network could achieve.
Make sure you have the following checklist on hand before engaging with a vendor:
Your objectives for conducting a pen test
The number of internal workstations on the network
The number of servers
The total number of internal and external IPs.
Internal penetration tests include using:
Once those flaws have been identified, testers exploit them to determine the effect of an attack and show the defects/entry points to the organization.
Internal penetration testing is not just restricted to abusing internal network flaws, but it also comprises privilege escalation, malware spreading, man in the middle attacks (MITM), credential stealing, monitoring, information leakage or any other mean activity.
Testing methodologies include:
Popular tools used in internal penetration testing:
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