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Penetration testing (pentest)

It is impossible to know when a hacker might target your IT system, but it is possible to make an educated guess as to how they might try to gain access. There are only a limited number of ways into a system through the network, and these are the common routes that hackers use regularly. For a company, or even an individual for that matter, who cares about the sensitive information being kept in their IT system, it is imperative that they consider having a penetration test done regularly.

Penetration testing, which is commonly referred to as pentesting, is the act of trying to break into your own IT systems. Considered being “white-hat” hacking. That is to say, the act of doing a “pentest” is no different than what a hacker might do to get into your system, but if you or a company that specializes in penetration testing wants the test performed, it is "good" hacking.

Why is it important?

It is also considered to be “offensive security,” which means that instead of waiting around for an attack that will test out your IT department’s security measures, a person or company can actively attempt the break-in themselves to help make decisions about the reliability of the system's security setup.

What Are the Different Types of Pen Testing?

While it's tempting to just request that at tester "test everything," this would most likely lead to pen testers only scratching the surface of a number of vulnerabilities, sacrificing gathering valuable intelligence gained by going more in-depth in fewer areas, with clear objectives in mind. In order to make sure pen tests can achieve these objectives and pinpoint weaknesses, there are various different types of pen tests that focus on different areas of an IT infrastructure, including:

Web Application Tests

Web application penetration tests examine the overall security and potential risks of web applications, including coding errors, broken authentication or authorization, and injection vulnerabilities.

Network Security Tests

Network penetration testing aims to prevent malicious acts by finding weaknesses before the attackers do. Pen testers focus on network security testing by exploiting and uncovering vulnerabilities on different types of networks, associated devices like routers and switches, and network hosts. They aim to exploit flaws in these areas, like weak passwords or misconfigured assets, in order to gain access to critical systems or data.

Cloud Security Tests

Security teams to work with cloud providers and third-party vendors to design and carry out cloud security testing for cloud-based systems and applications. Cloud pen testing validates the security of a cloud deployment, identifies overall risk and likelihood for each vulnerability, and recommends how to improve your cloud environment.

IoT Security Tests

Pen testers take the nuances of different IoT devices into account by analyzing each component and the interaction between them. By using layered methodology, where each layer is analyzed, pen testers can spot weaknesses that may otherwise go unnoticed.


The reasons are fairly clear as to why penetration testing should be performed regularly. The need for the kind of offensive approach to security breach defense is especially important in systems that have valuable or sensitive information stored, such as customer databases, financial records, medical records, a company’s sales reports, legal documentation, etc. Holm Security offers a comprehensive penetration test that leaves customers with settled minds.

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