12 April 2024

Today's digital world is always changing, and cyber threats are always a big problem for businesses of all kinds. The average cost of a data breach in 2023 was an unbelievable $4.35 million [IBM]. This shows that the number of leaks is going up. Organizations are using penetration testing (pen testing) more and more as a key security tool to strengthen their defenses and stay ahead of bad actors.

Penetration testing, which is also called "ethical hacking," mimics real-life cyberattacks to find weak spots in a system's infrastructure, networks, and apps. Organizations can find and fix security holes before real hackers can use them with this proactive method. You can't say enough good things about security testing. Here are some important numbers and information that show how valuable it is:

The market for cybersecurity around the world is booming: The huge global cybersecurity market is expected to reach $323.1 billion by 2027 Grand View Research. A big part of this growth is due to more people wanting penetration testing services. This rise shows that more and more people are realizing how important it is to take proactive security steps.

Hackers are getting smarter about how they attack: Cybercriminals are always coming up with new and even smarter ways to attack. By showing them the newest ways to attack and letting them fix holes before they can be used in a real attack, penetration testing helps companies stay ahead of the curve.

Costs a lot, data breaches: As was already said, the average cost of a data leak is a lot of money. By finding and fixing weaknesses before they are used, penetration testing can help companies avoid security breaches.

About constantly finding and fixing security holes, penetration testing has many advantages, which makes it an important tool for any company wanting to improve its safety. We will talk more about the specific benefits of penetration testing, the different kinds of pen tests that can be done, and how to start this important security practice in the parts that follow.

How to Understand Penetration Testing?

A pen test, which is another name for a penetration test, is a managed cyberattack that is used to see how secure a company's network is. Its objective is to find and take advantage of weak spots in a company's IT system so that gaps can be found before they can be used for bad.

Penetration tests are an important part of security audits because they use techniques similar to those used by cyberattackers to help companies figure out how secure they are. These tests could imitate different types of attacks, like hacking, taking advantage of open ports, setting up backdoors, changing data, or adding malware. The usefulness of penetration tests comes in their ability to look at an organization's security from the outside, revealing problems or hidden risks that internal reviews might miss. The main benefit is that they show how weaknesses affect real life and help find the ones that are the biggest threats.

As a safety measure, regular penetration testing businesses are told that penetration testing is an important part of making their security stronger and that they should do it regularly. For checking by a third party from the outside, it's best to do a review every year. Based on the size of the company, the scope of the tests, and the available resources, internal teams should test more often. When big changes are made, new offices are opened, or new digital services are released, penetration testing is especially important.

Find Vulnerabilities That Are Hidden:

  • Penetration testing is a great way to find security holes that attackers might not find until they are already being used.
  • Penetration tests look for holes in your network, systems, and apps by pretending to be cyberattacks. This finds places where security could be breached.
  • With this method, companies can fix security holes before they become real entry points for attacks, which keeps their digital infrastructure safe.

Enhance Security Measures:

  • Penetration testing gives companies a deep understanding of their security holes.
  • With this information, security efforts can be prioritized, making sure that resources are put where they're most needed to strengthen defenses.
  • The results of penetration testing can help you make a better security plan that uses the newest technologies and methods to protect you from sophisticated cyber dangers.
  • Reduce the Costs of Fixing Problems:

    • Penetration testing can help you find and fix weaknesses early on, which can greatly lower the costs of fixing a data breach.
    • Early discovery means fixes are easier and less expensive, and the organization doesn't have to deal with the huge damage that a full-scale breach can do to its finances and operations.
    • Regular penetration testing is a cheap way to protect your business from breaches. The huge costs of breach recovery, such as court fees, fines, and rebuilding customer trust, are much higher.

    Meet Compliance Requirements:

    • Many businesses have to follow strict rules that require regular security checks, which can include penetration testing.
    • By doing these tests, businesses not only show that their networks are safe, but they also show that they follow rules like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GDPR.
    • By following these rules, businesses can avoid big fines and penalties and make sure that private customer data is kept safe as required by law.

    Protect Brand Reputation:

    • In this day and age, one data breach can do a lot of damage to a business's reputation, making customers less likely to trust and stick with it.
    • Penetration testing is a real-world example of how committed a company is to security. It shows customers and business partners that the company is serious about keeping data safe.
    • Also, checking and updating security measures regularly makes a brand look good and sets it apart as a trustworthy and safe company in its field.

    How Penetration Tests Are Done in Steps?

    There are five clear steps to penetration testing: reconnaissance, scanning, risk assessment, exploitation, and reporting. Let's look more closely at each of these steps.


    In the first step, called "reconnaissance," a lot of information about the target system is gathered. This includes getting information about operating systems, apps, user accounts, network structures, and more. The goal is to gather as much information as possible so that a good attack plan can be made.

    Depending on how the information is gathered, reconnaissance can be either passive or aggressive. Active reconnaissance involves directly interacting with the target system to get data, while passive reconnaissance uses information that is open to the public. Most of the time, a mix of the two is used to fully understand the target's weak spots.


    After getting the important information together, the next step is to scan it. To do this, you need to use different tools to find open ports and keep an eye on the target system's network data. Finding open ports is very important because they can be used by attackers as entry points.

    This method is called vulnerability screening outside of penetration testing, and it is usually done automatically. However, scanning may only show possible threats without checking the amount of access hackers can get. To get the most out of the scanning process for safety, you need the skills of penetration testers.

    Vulnerability Assessment

    Next is the vulnerability review, which is the third step. Using the information from the previous steps, this step includes finding possible security holes and judging how easy they are to exploit. Vulnerability evaluation is useful on its own, but it's much more useful when it's part of the whole penetration testing process.

    There are many tools available to penetration testers, such as the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), that help them figure out the risks that come with finding flaws. The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is used by the NVD and the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database to rate the severity of program vulnerabilities.


    During the exploitation step, tools like Metasploit are often used to try to get into the target system and take advantage of known weaknesses. To avoid breaking or damaging the system while getting around security measures at this very important time, you must be very careful.


    Reporting is the last step. This is where the report with the results of the hacking test can be found. This paper is very important for fixing any vulnerabilities that are found and making the company safer overall.

    A good penetration testing report has thorough information about vulnerabilities, how they affect business, how hard it is to exploit, a technical risk briefing, ideas for fixing the problem, and strategic suggestions.


    It is important to do penetration testing to find and fix security holes. As a preventative step, it makes cybersecurity stronger. When businesses simulate cyberattacks, they can find weak spots before hackers do. Making customers trust this process not only keeps data safe but also builds trust. Penetration testing also follows the rules set by regulators, so there are no legal or financial problems. It's a big step toward making the internet safe and reliable. Penetration testing is a must for any business that cares about security. It makes sure that things keep getting better and that they can adapt to the constantly changing threat situation. When you commit to strong protection, you commit to penetration testing. At SafeAeon, we are your one-stop destination to ensure your top-notch cybersecurity.

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