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A Guide to Infrastructure Penetration Testing

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what infrastructure penetration testing is and how your business can benefit from having this as part of your ongoing cybersecurity strategy.

As we become increasingly aware of data breaches, hackers, and the need for strong cybersecurity practices, lots of businesses are now prioritising their cybersecurity strategy. But more than this, security teams now understand the need to move away from a simple compliance-based plan and instead get a reactive security strategy in place.

This ensures your business can stay one step ahead and feel confident in your continued cybersecurity efforts. And this is where infrastructure penetration testing comes in, as this is a crucial part of having an ongoing cybersecurity assurance programme.

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what infrastructure penetration testing is and how your business can benefit from having this as part of your ongoing cybersecurity strategy.

Read on to find out more.

What is infrastructure penetration testing?

Infrastructure penetration testing (also referred to as pen testing) is the vulnerability assessment of computer systems, network devices, IP addresses, and more.

Depending on the infrastructure-testing methodology you choose, the test can cover a range of technologies, from on-premises networks and cloud deployments to operating systems and web applications. Essentially, it’s a test of all the different technologies and tools that make up your IT infrastructure.

The test requires security teams or third-party service providers to simulate a hacking on the various parts of your tech infrastructure in order to identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by real cybercriminals.

Testing should be conducted from both outside and inside the organisation, but we’ll look at this in more detail later on in the guide.

Once any vulnerabilities have been identified through these tests, they are reported to the system owner. This way, a plan can be put in place to bolster their cybersecurity and mitigate the risks of a breach.

This type of test can also be used to determine whether your business is in compliance with security policies and regulations such as General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), as well as how effectively your teams can respond to any security threats.

What are the different types of infrastructure penetration testing?

There are two different ways this type of penetration test can be conducted, and these different types of test include:

• External penetration testing – which is typically conducted remotely to assesses your external security services exposed to the internet. This can be carried out by a third-party provider
• Internal penetration testing – which is done by plugging into your internal network. From there, testers can assess the internal devices or network IP ranges for vulnerabilities

Which you choose will depend on what aspects of your infrastructure you want to secure. Though it is important to do both types of test fairly close together to get a comprehensive overview of your security efforts and to ensure there are no vulnerabilities in your systems.

What are the benefits of running regular infrastructure penetration tests?

An infrastructure penetration test can have a number of benefits to your business, not least of al because you can feel confident that your teams are doing all they can to protect your sensitive data and mitigate the risks of a breach.

But, just in case you’re not sure why you should consider these tests in your business, here are 8 of the key benefits:

1. Reveal and manage vulnerabilities and weaknesses before cybercriminals can exploit these
2. This allows you to get the most effective and up to date cybersecurity measures in place
3. These tests will also test your cyber-defence capabilities and highlight any areas where your security teams need to do more
4. They can help you to avoid the extra cost and damage to your reputation that comes from a security breach
5. These tests provide real evidence of compliance with regulatory and certification standards such as GDPR
6. They reduce disruptions and make sure your business operations are up-and-running all the time to ensure business continuity
7. You can get a third-party opinion on your security strategies and outside advice on how to bolster your systems
8. And finally, these tests provide assurance to customers and suppliers that their data is secure

So as you can see, there is a multitude of reasons that you should conduct infrastructure penetration tests in your business if you don’t already.

How to get the most value from your infrastructure penetration tests

There are several ways that you can maximise the results of your penetration tests. Firstly, ensuring that these sit within a wider security assurance framework and that you complement your infrastructure testing with other assurance activities.

Doing this also allows you to make assessments of the level of security hygiene within the business as a whole.

Not only this but wherever possible, your tests should be backed up by industry-accepted standards or vendor best practices. This way, you can ensure that your tests are not just effective but that they help you to stay compliant and achieve the best possible results.

Creating infrastructure penetration test reports

One aspect of the testing process that is really important is the report that is generated at the end. This is because infrastructure testing reports need to be extremely detailed, allowing for a thorough explanation of any vulnerabilities that have been discovered.

This is so that businesses can get the most effective security systems in place to reduce or remove these vulnerabilities for the future.

Your penetration testing report is not the end of the line

And finally, after you have run the initial infrastructure penetration test and generated a detailed report, you’ll need to act quickly to fix any vulnerabilities and get better security systems in place. But your penetration testing journey does not end there.

Once you believe you have fixed any issues that were found and made your cybersecurity stronger, you should then re-test the areas where the original vulnerabilities were highlighted.

This is important for ensuring that you have effectively reduced and removed the vulnerability as much as possible. This way, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your systems are as up-to-date and safe as they possibly can be.

Written By

Stuart is the Digital Marketing Manager at, luggage shipping specialists helping students all over the world.

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