Penetration Testing Types Explained

If you wonder whether investing in information security and penetration testing is worth it, consider that cybercrime is expected to cost $10.5 trillion by 2025. So, top-notch cybersecurity is invaluable if you want to minimize the risk of losing a massive part of your business money. Your IT infrastructure will require extensive testing to create an efficient information security system.

During penetration testing, auditors simulate all kinds of attacks. Therefore, they use different approaches depending on the level of information available to the expert. To make the conditions close to real life, testers might not have any ‘insider’ info, like any external hacker. Using this criterion, experts distinguish three main approaches to pen tests: black, white, and gray box.

What is white box penetration testing.

White Box Penetration Testing

White box pen testing is when the tester has access to complete information about the source code and environment. Basically, the pen testing team knows all there is to know about the system. Therefore, they can perform a most comprehensive study of its weaknesses. This analysis includes assessing areas such as code quality or system design.

Other names for white box testing include internal penetration testing or clear/glass box testing. The names indicate that this audit aims to study the entire system in-depth. Such a comprehensive analysis is rather expensive. Each area of the whole security infrastructure must be tested thoroughly. Therefore, on average, white box penetration testing can take two or three weeks.

Black box penetration testing explained.

Black Box Penetration Testing

Black box, otherwise called external penetration testing, is an approach used to simulate an attack from outside. The tester has very little, if any, information about the system. This approach allows running tests in a setting closest to a real-life hacker attack.

The cost of these penetration tests can vary greatly depending on the business’s IT infrastructure and requirements. However, it’s important to note that black box penetration testing can take as many as six weeks. In addition, these audits require extensive planning and creating a detailed report on how to address all system vulnerabilities.

The attack can be complex, and the tester will use all possible means to break into the system. To perform a quality black box audit, testers must have specialist experience. Look for certified professionals only.

What is gray box penetration testing?

Gray Box Penetration Testing

Gray box penetration testing is a mix of black and white. First, the tester has partial information and access to the system. From there, they will use a wide range of techniques and tools to break into it. One common gray pen testing scheme is giving the tester standard user privileges.

Note that for this approach the customer might request a specific set of conditions. For example, trying to get access to the application source code from the position of a registered user account.

Due to this methodology, gray penetration testing is more precisely targeted. So, the customer might use their budget most efficiently. In addition, this testing allows the creation of particular recommendations on how to get rid of the identified vulnerabilities.

Types of penetration testing.

Penetration Testing Types, Tools, and Methods

White, black, and gray are approaches that cybersecurity experts use during an audit. Those approaches are realized through a set of pen tests that can be divided into types based on targeted areas.

Network service testing

Network service penetration testing analyzes the infrastructure of the network to find vulnerabilities that can be exploited. This type of testing studies servers, firewalls, routers, printers, switches, workstations, etc. The purpose of this test is protection against the most common threats that target networks. Those include:

  • Router attacks
  • DNS attacks (zone transfer attacks and switching/routing attacks)
  • Firewall misconfiguration or bypass
  • FTP/SMTP attacks
  • SSH attacks
  • Database attacks
  • Proxy server attacks
  • Man In The Middle (MITM)
  • Unnecessary open ports

Network services are critical for any business. Therefore, it’s imperative to ensure your absolute security in this area.

Application testing

Apps can perform a multitude of tasks, both within the business and for its interactions with customers. However, they also serve as inherent security weaknesses, especially web-based apps. Therefore, penetration testing of each app becomes a necessity.

This type of testing will use a wide range of methods to try breaking the application from every entry point. Therefore, these tests must be highly targeted and detailed to ensure no weakness is missed. In the end, the team of auditors should provide a detailed report. It must list all the vulnerabilities and rate them by the threat level. Also, they must offer solutions for each issue.

Wireless network testing

Wireless penetration testing focuses specifically on the WiFi part of the business’s IT infrastructure. Today this testing covers not only laptops, smartphones, and tablets but also all connected IoT devices. Note that this type of audit should be performed on-site.

Important points to consider during this type of pen testing include:

  • Identifying every single entry point.
  • Analyzing the level of encryption at each point.
  • Assessment of the systems used for monitoring for possible unauthorized users.
  • Studying the network configuration.
  • Evaluating current protection measures.
  • Checking if all entry points use the WPA protocol.

Social engineering

Social engineering pen testing looks into the possibility of an outside agent using different methods to trick sensitive information out of the users. For example, one such threat is cons that aim to persuade you to give up bank login information. Bear in mind that most cyberattacks use social engineering at some point in their schemes.

Penetration testers use the following simulated attacks and tricks to run this audit:

  • Gifts
  • Phishing
  • Pre-texting
  • Smishing
  • Name dropping
  • Vishing
  • Imposters
  • Dumpster-diving
  • Eavesdropping

Client-side penetration testing

Finding any weaknesses in client-side apps is a must to identify specifically targeted cyberattacks. This type of testing is used to fight against threats like:

  • Malware infections
  • HTML injections
  • Cross-site scripting attacks
  • Hijacked forms
  • Clickjack attacks
  • Open redirections
  • Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS)

Red team & blue team

Red and blue team penetration testing audits the system using two different types of simulations. Red teams focus on offensive defense. It means that they simulate external attacks. Meanwhile, blue teams are pure defense. Therefore, they clash with the red teams, and each side tries to find weaknesses in the other.

The testing environment is completely controlled. However, it’s as close as you can get to an attack from real hackers. As a result, it can provide valuable insights and help design an effective cyber security infrastructure.

Mobile penetration testing

Penetration testing specialists will use manual and automated testing tools to find weaknesses specifically in mobile apps. Those are always high-risk. Also, they often use multiple third-party software integrations. Therefore, the number of possible weaknesses increases.

Extensive penetration testing will enable auditors to find any vulnerabilities and issues with:

  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Cryptography
  • Session management

In Conclusion: Which Testing Type Does Your Business Need?

There can be no doubt that penetration testing is essential if you want to ensure the security of your business in the digital age. However, as you’ve seen, information security testing can be highly varied. Therefore, the most efficient way to provide your business with the best defenses is to consult an experienced cyber security services company.

Expert auditors will be able to assess your business’s current cybersecurity infrastructure and needs. Then, they can use this information to develop a plan that will give you the maximum level of protection for any budget. If that is your goal, contact us and make an appointment with Devtorium information security experts anytime!

Devtorium as a Cyber Security Services Company

When we established the Devtorium Group of Companies, we aimed for versatility. Today we are introducing Devtorium as a cyber security services company. We understand the value of data protection in the modern world. Therefore, we strive to provide our customers with the best information security audit and management services.

The Devtorium cyber security consulting team uses the PDCA model to help our customers build the most effective defenses. It means that our certified experts can:

  • Plan.
    Create an ISMS (Information Security Management System) that includes risk management and assets identification.
  • Do.
    Implement and operate the new ISMS.
  • Check.
    Monitor and analyze the ISMS constantly.
  • Act.
    Maintain the ISMS and improve it continuously to protect from emerging threats.

At Devtorium, we deliver full-cycle software product development and maintenance services. To this end, we hold various certifications and are authorized to provide a wide range of information security services. Read the post below to learn what we can do to give your business and data the maximum level of protection.

Devtorium: Cyber Security Services Company with ISO Certification 27001:2013

Morebis Inc. (, a part of the Devtorium Group of companies, holds the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 ISMS security certificate. Morebis and Devtorium merged in September 2021, and we have been proud of this deal ever since.

The Morebis Inc. software development team is exceptionally talented and experienced. And now, the Devtorium information security department can provide a higher level of cyber security consulting services to enterprises and other types of businesses.

The ISO certification 27001:2013 enables our team to ‘share’ this certification with customers. So, our clients can boost their credibility by using the certificate icon on their pages as an authorized cyber security services company is auditing them.

We are also eligible to participate in international tenders as this certification is proof of the Devtorium information security audit team’s top-rated skills. 

Devtorium Information Security Audit

As a cyber security services company, Devtorium can perform a comprehensive audit of your systems. During this procedure, we are going to analyze the entire system to identify weaknesses in the areas of:

  • Physical protection
  • Software security
  • ISMS standards compliance

By the end of the audit, our experts will be able to guide you in how to bring your company’s security up to the highest standards.

Black Box Assessment

One of the services we offer our customers is Black Box Security Audit. This type of audit works by emulating an external attack to see how the system responds to real-life threats. It’s no secret that cybercriminals are growing bolder by the day. Therefore, the level of threat from attackers and their ingenuity is increasing.

Black Box Audit is an effective response to those threats. Our team developed a unique set of tools that we can use to emulate a wide range of attacks. Moreover, we keep improving it to stay ahead of the emerging threats.

This type of information security audit helps highlight the weaknesses in the client’s existing security system. Also, it enables us to view the potential impact of an attack on the business.

Black Box Assessment is essential because it shows how your protections respond to an attack from a source that doesn’t know anything about the company’s IT structure. Therefore, it helps identify a greater number of system vulnerabilities. As a result of this audit, we are able to develop more robust security solutions for our clients.

Password Audit

We so often take passwords for granted these days. However, it’s crucial to remember that they remain one of the biggest weaknesses of any security system. As a cyber security services company, we make it our business to ensure that our clients use the most efficient password creation and storage methods.

Devtorium will do everything possible within the realm of modern technology to close this route of attack on your data.

Cyber security services company: penetration testing types

Penetration Testing Provided by the Devtorium Cyber Security Services Company

Our cyber security consulting services also include conducting full-range penetration testing of the client’s system. This includes:

  • Network service penetration testing
  • Web application penetration testing
  • Client-side penetration testing
  • Wireless network penetration testing
  • Social engineering
  • Red team & blue team
  • Mobile penetration testing

A comprehensive information security audit from Devtorium goes as follows:

  1. Performing load testing and audit on all of the company’s systems to identify vulnerabilities and risk zones.
  2. Simulating an attack.
  3. Finding a weak link in the control systems and modeling an attack.
  4. Simulating an adversary.
    The simulated adversary will follow two possible routes. Number one is an internal attack, for example, a physical attack on the company infrastructure. Another option is acting through employees through bribery, intimidation, extortion, etc. The other way for a simulated adversary to choose is an external attack. It means emulating possible email hacks, network penetration attacks, etc.
  5. Developing a list of recommendations depending on the results of tests and audits.

Once these steps are complete, we can build and maintain a highly reliable ISMS for every client.

Devtorium Cyber Security Consulting and Application Assessment

A part of our cyber security consulting services focuses on web application assessment. Web apps often store a lot of sensitive data, but they can be highly vulnerable to attacks. That’s why they require extensive manual testing in order to develop the best protection.

After performing these tests, we would be able to advise how to increase the security maturity of the app. In addition, we will offer solutions to limit its inherent security weaknesses.

We use various methods to identify vulnerabilities during our web app information security audit. We try to find weaknesses at every stage of the application life cycle: design, development, deployment, upgrading, and maintenance. In addition, we study possible app design defects that can turn into vulnerabilities over time.

Our ultimate goal is to find, fix, and, most importantly, prevent weaknesses. Looking into the future is what we do at Devtorium. Our motto is to future-proof our customers’ businesses to help them succeed in today’s volatile economic conditions.

If you want to ensure that your company’s cyber security performs to the highest standards, contact us and set up a consultation now!


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