Which of the following assessments would Pete, the security administrator, use to actively test that an application’s security controls are in place?
A. Code review
B. Penetration test
C. Protocol analyzer
D. Vulnerability scan
Correct Answer: B
Section: Threats and Vulnerabilities
Penetration testing (also called pen testing) is the practice of testing a computer system, network or Web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.
Pen tests can be automated with software applications or they can be performed manually. Either way, the process includes gathering information about the target before the test
(reconnaissance), identifying possible entry points, attempting to break in (either virtually or for real) and reporting back the findings.
The main objective of penetration testing is to determine security weaknesses. A pen test can also be used to test an organization’s security policy compliance, its employees’ security
awareness and the organization’s ability to identify and respond to security incidents.
Penetration tests are sometimes called white hat attacks because in a pen test, the good guys are attempting to break in.
Pen test strategies include:
Targeted testing is performed by the organization’s IT team and the penetration testing team working together. It’s sometimes referred to as a “lights-turned-on” approach because
everyone can see the test being carried out.
This type of pen test targets a company’s externally visible servers or devices including domain name servers (DNS), e-mail servers, Web servers or firewalls. The objective is to find
out if an outside attacker can get in and how far they can get in once they’ve gained access.
This test mimics an inside attack behind the firewall by an authorized user with standard access privileges. This kind of test is useful for estimating how much damage a disgruntled
employee could cause.
A blind test strategy simulates the actions and procedures of a real attacker by severely limiting the information given to the person or team that’s performing the test beforehand.
Typically, they may only be given the name of the company. Because this type of test can require a considerable amount of time for reconnaissance, it can be expensive.
Double blind testing
Double blind testing takes the blind test and carries it a step further. In this type of pen test, only one or two people within the organization might be aware a test is being conducted.
Double-blind tests can be useful for testing an organization’s security monitoring and incident identification as well as its response procedures.
A: A code review is the process of reviewing the code of a software application. This is generally performed during development of the application before the application is released. A
penetration test would test the security of the application after it has been released.
C: A Protocol Analyzer is a hardware device or more commonly a software program used to capture network data communications sent between devices on a network. A protocol
analyzer is not used to test an application’s security controls.
D: A vulnerability scan is the process of scanning the network and/or I.T. infrastructure for threats and vulnerabilities. The threats and vulnerabilities are then evaluated in a risk
assessment and the necessary actions taken to resolve and vulnerabilities. A vulnerability scan scans for known weaknesses such as missing patches or security updates. A
vulnerability scan does not actively test that an application’s security controls are in place.