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  • Writer's pictureIvanta Brooks

Common Terms in Penetration Testing - TopCISO

Penetration testing is a type of security testing that evaluates the security of an IT system or application by simulating real-world attacks. It helps identify, evaluate, and mitigate vulnerabilities in systems before malicious actors can exploit them.


Common terms associated with penetration testing include:


• Vulnerability Scanning: A process to discover potential weaknesses or flaws in a system. Vulnerability scanning can help identify security gaps that need to be addressed.


• Exploitation: The process of exploiting known vulnerabilities to gain access to an IT system or application.


• Penetration Testing Methodology: This is the approach used by penetration testers to assess the security posture of an organization. Common penetration testing methodologies include black box, white box, grey box and red team testing.


• Attack Surface: This is the total number of ways an attacker can attempt to compromise a system or application.


• False Positive: A false positive occurs when a vulnerability scan incorrectly reports that a weakness exists on an IT system or application when it does not.


• False Negative: A false negative occurs when a vulnerability scan incorrectly reports that a weakness does not exist on an IT system or application when it actually does.


• Remediation Plan: This is the process used to identify and address any observed vulnerabilities in an IT system or application. It involves assessing, prioritizing, and addressing the identified security gaps.


• Social Engineering: This is a form of attack that exploits human nature to manipulate people into revealing confidential information or taking actions that will allow an attacker to gain access to a system or application. Examples include phishing attacks and tailgating.


• Authorization Testing: This is the process of attempting to gain access to system resources beyond what has been authorized for a particular user.


• Post-Test Analysis: This is the process used to analyze and interpret the results of a penetration test. The analysis will typically include recommendations for addressing any identified vulnerabilities.


• Reporting: Reporting is an important part of any penetration test. This involves summarizing the results of the test in a concise and clear manner, including any identified vulnerabilities and recommendations for mitigating them.


These are just some of the common terms associated with penetration testing. By understanding these concepts, organizations can better protect their IT systems and applications from malicious actors.

By understanding these concepts, organizations can better protect their IT systems and applications from malicious actors. They can also use penetration testing to identify and mitigate any existing security gaps before attackers have the chance to exploit them. Overall, penetration testing is an essential part of a comprehensive cyber security strategy. It allows organizations to assess the security posture of their IT systems and applications, identify any potential weaknesses that could be exploited, and develop a strategy to address them.

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