What is network penetration testing?

Equilibrium Security are CREST accredited Penetration Testers.

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Certified by CREST and Offensive Security, our qualified testers employ real-world hacking techniques to uncover profound insights.

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Whether you are a CISO, an IT Director or a business owner, Equilibrium has the expertise to help you shape and deliver your security strategy.

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What is the purpose of a network penetration test?

Network security and penetration testing services have many different purposes for each individual customer. Some businesses require network penetration tests in order to achieve security compliance such as PCI DSS, ISO 27001, GDPR and the DSP Toolkit.

Others may need proof of a recent network vulnerability test to be granted a government contract or get access to a government framework.

What is the difference between internal and external penetration tests?

Network pen testing can be performed on an internal and external basis. In other words, a certified penetration tester can conduct tests both inside and outside your network perimeter.

Internal Network Penetration 

  • This could be any employee, partner or contractor who has access to corporate systems, applications and privileged data.
  • An internal pentest will test all user machines, switches, servers, firewalls and phone systems. To explore all potential exploit paths, CREST certified testers test from both an authenticated and non-authenticated perspective.
  • While external testing targets external defenses, internal testing simulates attacks from insiders or those already inside the perimeter.
  • Vulnerabilities can be identified which could be exploited and find out what data can be accessed for users who have network login credentials and for those who don’t. 


The Benefits

The benefits of an internal network pen test is

  • Enhance Security Awareness: Internal tests spotlight human vulnerabilities, guiding improvements in security training and awareness
  • Identify Hidden Vulnerabilities: Internal tests reveal vulnerabilities in the internal network, such as misconfigurations and unpatched software, not visible in external tests.
  • Assess Insider Threats: Simulations help gauge risks from malicious insiders like disgruntled employees or contractors.

External Penetration Testing

  • External network penetration testing tests how robust your perimeter security measures are against malicious attacks.
  • These type of pen tests assess your internet facing systems to help identify hidden security weaknesses in firewalls, intrusion prevention controls, VPN, ports, servers, mail, FTP servers, websites and  more.
  • External penetration testing services help to determine whether an unauthorised user with no system privileges can gain access to your network through your external perimeter.
  • The role of a penetration tester is to pinpoint vulnerabilities before they’re exploited by adversaries.
  • The role of a penetration tester is to pinpoint vulnerabilities before they’re exploited by adversaries.

The Benefits

The benefits of external network pen tests is:

  • Identify Vulnerabilities: Uncover and address security weaknesses, misconfigurations in firewalls and operating systems and find open ports which could expose you to network breaches. 
  • Real-world Perspective: Gain a practical view of potential attack vectors on an organisation’s network.
  • Prioritise Remediation: Determine which vulnerabilities pose the most risk and address them accordingly.

CREST certified penetration testers UK

Here at Equilibrium, we are OSCP certified pen testers and CREST-certified penetration testers. The OSCP and CREST certification is a proven Cyber Security framework which demonstrates that we have up to date knowledge of the latest network pentest methodology, vulnerabilities and techniques used by real attackers.  

In order to achieve the CREST certification you must undertake a series of thorough examinations which are assessed and approved by GCHQ and NCSC.

CREST is the not-for-profit industry body representing the technical information security industry. CREST provides internationally recognised accreditation for cyber security service providers and professional certification for individuals providing penetration testing, cyber incident response, threat intelligence services and now Secure Operations Centre services.

Our Penetration Testing Process

Step 1
Scoping phase

Before testing commences, our experts will take time to understand your pen testing requirement in more detail, define the testing scope and gather the necessary technical information and access required to carry out the test.

Step 2

Using a variety of pen testing tools our qualified penetration testers will manually assess your systems to identify security weaknesses/vulnerabilities which require patching and remediation.

Step 3
Analysis and exploitation

In this phase we will interpret the results, and (if permitted and approved) exploit any vulnerabilities discovered. This will determine whether a hacker could use the vulnerability as leverage to gain wider access to your systems. However, many customers prefer to patch and remediate, rather than risking the potential service disruption that exploitation could cause.

Step 4
Detailed Penetration Test report

Our experts will analyse the results and present the finding in a comprehensive penetration testing report. This will detail and categorise the vulnerabilities discovered ranked as either ‘Critical, High, Medium, or Low’, as well as outline instructions of how to remediate, patch and strengthen your defences.

Step 5

After remediation, we can retest your systems to check that all patches have been applied and security holes have been mitigated.

Would you like to find out about network penetration costs?

Here at Equilibrium, we are a CREST accredited company and have been offering certified penetration testing services for a number of years. 

Our penetration testing price packages are straightforward, easy to follow and can be flexible to meet your budget and scope. 

If you would like to find out more about our network penetration testing costs, please request a quote below or call us on 0121 663 0055.