What is penetration testing?
Penetration testing, also known as pentesting, is the practice of testing a computer system, network or web application to find security vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit. Penetration testing can be automated with software applications or performed manually. Either way, the process involves gathering information about the target before the test (called the reconnaissance phase), identifying possible entry points, attempting to break in – either virtually or for real – and reporting back the findings in a report.
The main objective of penetration testing is to identify security weaknesses. Penetration testing can also be used to test an organization’s security policy, its adherence to compliance requirements, its employees’ security awareness and the organization’s ability to identify and respond to security incidents.