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Penetration Testing

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Penetration Testing

Penetration testing, commonly referred to as “pen testing,” is a technique that simulates real-life attacks on your IT systems to find weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers.

Whether you’re trying to follow governance and regulatory compliance laws , gain customer and 3rd party trust, or achieve your own peace of mind, Wheelhouse IT can help organizations strengthen their cyber security posture and prevent data breaches.

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Why is Pen Testing Important?

Pen testing evaluates an organization’s ability to protect its networks, applications, endpoints and users from external or internal attempts to circumvent its security controls and gain unauthorized or privileged access to protected assets.

What are the Stages of Pen Testing?

Through penetration testing, you can proactively identify the most exploitable security weaknesses before someone else does. However, there’s a lot more to it than the actual act of infiltration. Pen testing is a thorough, well thought out project that consists of several phases:

Planning & Preparation

Before a pen test begins, the testers and their clients need to be aligned on the goals of the test, so it’s scoped and executed properly. They’ll need to know what types of tests they should be running, who will be aware that the test is running, how much information and access the testers will have to start out with, and other important details that will ensure the test is a success.


In this phase, teams perform different types of reconnaissance on their target. On the technical side, information like IP addresses can help determine information about firewalls and other connections. On the personal side, data as simple as names, job titles, and email addresses can hold great value.

Penetration Attempt &

Now informed about their target, pen testers can begin to attempt to infiltrate the environment, exploiting security weaknesses and demonstrating just how deep into the network they can go.

Analysis & Reporting

Pen testers should create a report that includes details on every step of the process, highlighting what was used to successfully penetrate the system, what security weaknesses were found, other pertinent information discovered, and recommendations for remediation.

Clean Up & Remediation

Pen testers should  leave no trace, and need to go back through systems and remove any artifacts used during the test, since they could be leveraged by a real attacker in the future. From there, and organization can begin to make the necessary fixes to close these holes in their security infrastructure.


The best way to ensure an organization’s remediations are effective is to test again. Additionally, IT environments, and the methods used to attack them, are constantly evolving, so it is to be expected that new weaknesses will emerge.

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Stay Compliant

By exploiting an organization’s infrastructure, pen testing can demonstrate exactly how an attacker could gain access to sensitive data. As attack strategies grow and evolve, periodic mandated testing makes certain that organizations can stay one step ahead by uncovering and fixing security weaknesses before they can be exploited. Additionally, for auditors, these tests can also verify that other mandated security measures are in place or working properly.

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