Cyber Security plays a very crucial role in present scenario. Today, everything is connected with each other with the help of the internet. Organizations have to follow steps of security to maintain complex information technology environment with achieving their business objective and goals. Many organizations test, analyse and secure their valuable information not only for legal requirements but also to reduce the possibility of threats or cyber-attacks. Sensitive information like banking passwords, organization details are also at risk. Hence, security of these details becomes important for any individual or organization. In this report it is discussed that what are the steps to secure the information and how to prevent cyber-attacks.
Financial sectors are very important for every nations and they are very likely to attack by cyber threats (Wang, C. & Lu, Z., 2018). There are many kind of cyber-attack like phishing attack, SQL injection attacks, Cross-site scripting, malware attack etc. Among such attacks malware attacks are very common. A malware is malicious software which is used to steal information without the consent of the owner. If some systems are in a compromised state then they can be attacked by malware. If malicious software enters into the system it can steal sensitive data, credentials, payment information etc. An organization must perform penetration test to avoid such attacks. It should also have some secure encryption and a verified backup (Yilmaz, E.N. & Gonen, S., 2018).
A penetration test or pen test is used to know how much secure is the information of an organization. The penetration testing procedure includes an analysis of the particular organization for any possible faults and failure that could result from lowly or inadequate system configuration. Then, it represents identified and mysterious hardware or software faults, and operational flaws in process of technical security measures (Bertoglio, D.D. & Zorzo,A.F., 2017 ). A potential attacker can perform this analysis on organization and can expose of security liabilities. This test can be done in two ways. First method is from the viewpoint of white hat, in which an individual or a team is given permission by the organization to do a penetration test. Full information is provided to the penetration test takers (Huang, H.C.et.al., 2017).
Second method is from the black hat perspective, in which an individual or a team do a penetration test without the permission of the organization. A very little or no information is provided to the penetration test takers. The basic difference between tester and attacker is the permission of the organization.
Methodology to conduct a penetration test
The first task is to create penetration testing structure. Then some targeted system are chosen on which the test is to be done (New York Law Journal, 2018). After that information about those systems is collected. This is provided either by the organization or it is done with the help of tools like Nmap and Nessus. The penetration test takers have full authorization of the information. After this, test sets are created and vulnerability analysis is done. Tools used for this purpose are Metasploit and COREIMPACT. A report is prepared for penetration testing that represents technical security faults and also provide information and solution to eliminate and lessen those faults. All the points where the information can be leaked are shown to the organization. Now the remediation of the analysis is provided. What steps are required to solve these problems?
Result of penetration test
Healthcare industry is also prone to cyber-attacks (The conversation, 2017). To conduct the penetration test United Health care was selected. First of all Nmap was used to collect the information about the company. COREIMPACT tool was used to conduct the penetration test and results were obtained. The operating system of every system was identified. Some systems using default windows were quickly compromised using well known exploits. Some systems were using Linux and they were not compromised. Some systems were using proper firewall and they were also uncompromised. Some systems were using out-dated firewall and they were compromised. Analysis report was shown to the company and all the safety measures and precautions were against the compromised ports. It was recommended to do the penetration test on a regular basis.
In the last two decades there has been a significant increase on the usage of web applications, hacking activities and cyber-attacks. Organizations are finding it very hard to maintain their information secure. They are trying to find out the loopholes in their systems which can be used by the attackers. F or this problem penetration test and vulnerability assessment provides a good solution. Organizations need to do such types of test to secure their information. Penetration test also needed to be updated regularly.
Bertoglio, D.D. & Zorzo,A.F., (2017). Overview and open issues on penetration test. Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society, 23(2), doi: 10.1186/s13173-017-0051-1
Huang, H.C.et.al., (2017), Web Application Security: Threats, Countermeasures, and Pitfalls. Computer, 50(6), 81-85, doi: 10.1109/MC.2017.183
New York Law Journal. (2018). Pen Testing: The Good, the Bad and the Agreement. Retrieved from: https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/03/02/pen-testing-the-good-the-bad-and-the-agreement/?slreturn=20180508081207
The conversation. (2017). Why has healthcare become such a target for cyber-attackers?. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/why-has-healthcare-become-such-a-target-for-cyber-attackers-80656
Wang, C. & Lu, Z., (2018). Cyber Deception: Overview and the Road Ahead. IEEE Security & Privacy, 16(2), 80-85, doi: 10.1109/MSP.2018.1870866
Yilmaz, E.N. & Gonen, S., (2018). Attack detection/prevention system against cyber-attack in industrial control systems. Computers & Security, 77, 94-105, doi: 10.1016/j.cose.2018.04.004