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Looking at a penetration test through the eyes of a target

Penetration testing, or pentesting, is a vital tool for organizations looking to bolster their cybersecurity defenses. By mimicking an attacker’s actions, pentesting provides actionable insights into an organization’s security posture, allowing them to identify weak links and prioritize fixes. However, confusion around terminology and unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and wasted resources. It’s important to understand the differences between pentesting, red teaming, vulnerability testing, bug bounty programs, and breach and attack simulation services. When selecting a pentesting team, it’s important to consider factors such as background and expertise, established procedures, toolkit, and awards and certifications. Organizations may choose to conduct pentesting in-house or rely on third-party services, but it’s important to ensure an unbiased assessment and avoid conflicts of interest. Pentesting should be conducted periodically, and pentest reports should not only identify vulnerabilities but also provide recommendations for remediation.

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