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Penetration Testing Services for External & Internal Threats

SWK’s network penetration testing services empower you to get a more accurate measurement of the strength of your cybersecurity controls in place, as well as identify critical vulnerabilities that could put your IT assets in danger. Often called pen testing for short, this solution is vital to completing any cyber risk assessment and is increasingly a major requirement for confirming compliance with data security regulations in the event of an audit. SWK Technologies will perform a penetration test of a select number of your public IP addresses within a safe environment (to avoid exposures), measuring the potential impact of both external and internal attack vectors.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a security test method that simulates the methodology and typical actions of a hacker, at all stages of a breach. This ensures that testers will be able to quantify the severity of vulnerabilities found and includes external and internal factors such as public-facing user information, support lifecycle age of solutions installed, and the ease as well as the speed at which identified gaps can be exploited. The scope of pen testing is also generally considerably narrower than with other actions in a cyber risk assessment – such as a vulnerability scan – since it is targeted at specific components within a section of your network.

As a penetration test is aimed at gauging real-world cyber risk, it needs to be deliberate and meticulous so that testers have room to experiment manually with the potential avenues of exploitation (as a hacker would) as well as document their findings. This documentation is disseminated into vulnerability analysis and reporting, which – in the case of SWK’s services – are used to highlight remediation actions that should be taken to plug these gaps.

External Threat Assessment

SWK’s external penetration testing includes all of the OSINT (open-source intelligence) research that an external attacker may conduct, and our consultants will gather information through publicly available channels that are often a target for malicious actors, such as social media. Popular websites and apps can be a treasure trove of credential information for diligent hackers – since so many people reuse the same passwords over and over again, anything that helps build a profile on a user makes it easier to guess their login. Additionally, misconfigurations and legacy authentication protocols (among other factors) can allow attackers to break into software and middleware with administrator access from an open port, something that is easy to overlook if nothing being actively searched from an external perspective (such as with penetration testing).

Network Penetration Testing vs Application Penetration Testing

Pen testing can be applied between different solutions as well as specific points in your IT infrastructure, and either type of test method can be expanded to include a review of the impact of user security practices (or lack thereof). The biggest difference between an application penetration test and a network penetration test is the area that is being examined, which also impacts the focus and scope of the testing environment. App penetration testing will look at the local protocols and firewalls within that software as much as the security procedures being used around it, while on the networked side it is privilege levels and access that need to be measured.

Data Security Regulations Compliance

Conducting regular pen testing has historically been a small but critical part of certifying compliance for businesses that handle sensitive data and certain types of transactions. However, it is growing as a regulatory requirement for any organization that is considered part of the US’s critical infrastructure sector (a long list that ranges from utilities to real estate), that operates on government contracts, or that collects a large enough volume of consumer PII (personally identifiable information).

Here are some of the individual laws and regulatory agencies that either require penetration testing or recommend it:

  • GDPR
  • ISO 27001
  • NIST
  • CISA
  • SEC
  • CCPA
  • CMMC
  • SOC II


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