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Whether you are looking to complete Penetration Testing to manage risk, protect your data, comply with regulatory compliance standards or as a requirement for cyber insurance, selecting the right company is crucial. Download our buyer’s guide to learn everything you need to know to successfully plan, scope and execute your penetration testing projects.

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Selecting Your Penetration Testing Provider

This Guide Includes:

The benefits of conducting a penetration test
How a penetration test can affect your cyber insurance premiums
Penetration testing frameworks, standards and methodologies
Factors that influence cost
What should be included in a report
Packetlabs reporting options (traditional vs. PTaaS)
What to look for in a penetration testing provider
20 questions to ask a penetration testing provider

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Frequently Asked Questions

Packetlabs' Infrastructure Penetration Testing methodology is 95% manual and is derived from the SANS Pentest Methodology, the MITRE ATT&CK framework for enterprises, and NIST SP800-115 to ensure compliance with most regulatory requirements.

Unlike depth-based penetration testing, coverage-based penetration testing has a broader, “let’s keep looking” focus. With this approach, testers look for multiple ways to compromise an environment and exploit its vulnerabilities. In fact, they look for as many ways in, not just the easy ones, and don’t simply stop after the first exploit. Depth-based, in contrast, focuses on finding the path of least resistance, or the easiest way in. This is the path attackers will often take, but it doesn’t consider that there are multiple other ways, which may be a little bit more challenging to exploit.

The simple answer is reassurance. Our team of consultants will ensure that we have done everything possible to evaluate the security defenses you have in place at your organization. It is impossible to assess how well an organization’s defensive measures are working, unless they have been tested to react the way a vendor has claimed they are intended to perform. Many of our clients have discovered that their defensive 24/7 Security Operations Centre awareness teams failed at discovering an intruder in a timely manner, or fail to identify a breach of security. In addition, many Anti-Virus and Intrusion Detection System frameworks have failed at detecting malware. Unfortunately, other clients called us only after they experienced a breach. At that point, the damage had already been done, which lead to a forensic assessment to discover how the breach occurred. By taking a preventive strategy your organization will gain access to our comprehensive reports, which are among the most inclusive in the industry. Our reports detail findings in an easy-to-read layout for executives, but also provide the necessary results, guidelines and suggestions that can help the technical staff mitigate the exploitable vulnerabilities found going forward. This allows management to share results with all organizational stakeholders involved to address the weaknesses in all related operations, and to help focus on the costs needed for investing in securing your entire IT architecture.

From our experience, we have found that intruders continuously find the weakest link and utilize the path of least resistance to enter an organization’s network. This path circumvents a firewall’s configuration and implementation. The purpose of a firewall is to only allow specified traffic in or out as authorized – but if an attacker can hide within permitted traffic, they can undoubtedly use it to enter and exit as required. Common examples can include utilizing web, DNS, or email traffic to keep from being discovered. In most cases, the common weakest link in organizations are the staff that fall victim to phishing-based attacks that can be used to gain a foothold into the internal network that may lead to an intruder exploring sensitive assets.

Depending on the scope and size of the engagement, most security testing engagements fall between the range of weeks to months. In that time, the assessment of the network infrastructure involves testing all assets in scope, which can include a large number of services, applications and protocols being used by those assets. Given the budget of the client, time restrictions, and scope of allowable testing rules, in most cases the time and budget spent would be better utilized on the actual testing of the assets. Our team of consultants can spend the entire allocated time and budget on trying to bypass external defense mechanisms or create a sophisticated phishing campaign (as is done in objective-based penetration testing) until we gain entry, but by that time the budget may be well spent, leaving little opportunity for the actual security assessment. As such, in most situations, providing our consultants with VPN credentials or planting a device inside the network to ensure the network infrastructure can be thoroughly tested in its entirety will provide the most value.

The advantage of performing security testing in production environments is that it allows the testing to be conducted within the actual network conditions using the latest developments the staff has configured. This also helps to discover how attacking certain parts of a network or individual systems may affect other areas of the architecture. In many of our engagements, we have found that there are multiple ways to successfully infiltrate a network or laterally move within a network based on how well the services were connected with each other. By performing a test in a production environment, these paths can be explored and provide a level of insight not possible in situations where pre-production isolated systems exist. One of the small, possible disadvantages to full production environmental testing is that live systems may experience interference during normal operations. In most cases, this interference is minimal and is usually not even detected, but capturing relevant data can be absolutely critical to the result outcome. If special circumstances exist where these systems are inherently sensitive, it is possible to perform testing in pre-production environments. The difference being that the consultant would not have the opportunity to evaluate how the regular services accessed by this system would typically run for the organization’s users, customers or vendors. The pre-production test would simply focus on assessing the pre-production infrastructure integrity on its own.

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We analyze your security posture and make recommendations to improve it so that you can better withstand potential data breaches in future years.


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