How to Test Your Network Security Measures Effectively

Date: 8 January 2024

The prominence of cybersecurity attacks is escalating for global businesses. With the advancement in attack methods, approximately 68% of corporate leaders believe their cybersecurity threats are rising. Ignoring cyber security testing is no longer an option.

A large segment of companies depends on a limited set of automated security testing tools and procedures to uphold cybersecurity compliance. However, some organisations incorporate automated and manual security testing to guarantee comprehensive and robust software testing. Numerous methods exist for manually conducting security testing to examine the security stance of your application.

Risk Identification

The initial, and paramount, stage in quantifying the success of cybersecurity is an all-encompassing and precise risk appraisal. This step is indispensable, as without properly pinpointing the most crucial risks, an organisation may devote their resources, time, and efforts towards less significant cyber threats, thus making their cybersecurity countermeasures less effective.

Your company's most substantial threats can be discerned through cyber risk modeling, which allows you to identify and evaluate the most extensive array of potential cybersecurity occurrences.

In addition, security teams must engage in dialogue with managers and key stakeholders to understand their views on the most imminent cyber risks.

Ongoing Surveillance and Reassessment

Your security departments must persistently carry out attack surface management of your IT systems for any security happenings, examine their related metrics and KPIs, and contrast them with recognised cybersecurity standards.

With time, by systematically accumulating and comparing metrics from various intervals, you can enhance the evaluation of your enterprise's cybersecurity competence and, as a result, detect shortcomings in your IT security.

cyber tabletop scenarios

Verify Server Access Controls

Web applications come with numerous access points for users, designed to meet their requests adequately. However, it is imperative to maintain security to prevent data breaches and cyber attacks. Testers must confirm that all internal and external access points to the application are used by anticipated machines (IPs), applications, and users, ensuring strict control over all access.

To determine whether an open access point has sufficient restrictions, testers should attempt to access these points from various machines, both trusted and untrusted IP addresses. Executing a range of real-time transactions in large volumes can help assess the application's performance under heavy load conditions.

When conducting manual security testing, the tester should also verify whether the open access points in the application permit specific user actions securely.

 

Utilise Network Scanning

Carrying out network scans is a standard process undertaken by network administrators to detect the active devices on a network. The objective is to supervise and control the systems, create a catalogue of devices, and compare this list with the expected number of devices to evaluate the wellbeing of the network.

Network administrators typically utilise a feature found in the network protocol to identify responsive devices. Intruders adopt a similar approach. They initially ascertain the IP address range allocated to an organisation using DNS or WHOIS protocol.

Subsequently, they scan the addresses within that range to identify servers, operating systems, and the services they run, in pursuit of finding a potential security breach.

Endnote

Software is at the core of our day-to-day communication, entertainment, and work routines. Nonetheless, cyber attacks and viruses threaten this system, causing significant organisational disruptions. Hence, robust security testing becomes the initial protection barrier, fortifying your business and software applications to withstand any potential threats.  

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