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Penetration Testing (Pen-Testing)

Definition - What does Penetration Testing (Pen-Testing) mean?

Penetration testing (pen-testing or pentesting) is a method of testing, measuring and enhancing established security measures on information systems and support areas.

Pen-testing is also known as a security assessment.

Techopedia explains Penetration Testing (Pen-Testing)

Pen-testing may be conducted to complement background investigations and ensure social engineering and networking safety.

Pen-testing is implemented by simulating malicious attacks from an organization's internal and external users. The entire system is then analyzed for potential vulnerabilities. A plan that communicates test objectives, timetables and resources is developed prior to actual pen-testing.

Pen-testing is an invaluable process for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • Minimal security breach potential ensures system reliability.
  • Complies with regulatory or other agencies.
  • Demonstrates a good-faith effort to protect customer information

Pen-testing tools include:

  • Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or prebuilt equipment and/or software applications
  • Proprietary enterprise applications (EA)
  • Potentially compromisable phone and wireless systems
  • Physical controls
  • Websites
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