You are here: Resources > IT Security Technical Resources Part3 > Pen Test Appliance
Pen Test Appliance
A penetration test, also known as a pen test, is a method for a user to assess the overall safeness and security level of his computer system or network via the simulation of hack attacks done by a malicious entity such as a cracker or a black hat hacker. It is considered as part of a full security audit. In turn, a penetration testing appliance (i.e., a pen test appliance) is any hardware (standalone or employing a Unified Threat Management solution) that's capable of pen testing your machine or server. In contrast to pen testing software, physical devices have the added advantage of evaluating a potentially or already compromised system without installation or the possibility of altering the results.
More to the point, the only major difference between a software-based and hardware-based pen test is the fact that the pen test appliance is an external method that's not limited by the platform it's attempting to examine. The procedure requires an active evaluation of a system for any possible bugs that may result from operational weakness in process or technical countermeasures, unknown and/or known software or hardware flaws, and poor or improper system configuration, among many other vulnerabilities that systems connected to unstable networks like the Internet usually face.
Instead of analyzing an attack from the victim's point of view, pen tests are typically implemented from a hacker's position, which means that the simulations may involve search for zero-day or previously encountered security holes as well as active exploitation of these very flaws. Any problems or issues revealed by the pen test will be presented to the user via a comprehensive report containing relevant information such as an assessment of the impact of the vulnerability and a recommendation for possible solutions or quick fixes until a proper patch has been deployed by the makers of the platform, network, application, or system being used.
The entire point of a pen test is to find out how feasible a cyber attack or hacker threat is against an examined system and how much financial damage could a successful penetration produce once it's discovered.An appliance or unit that's conducting a pen test is quite beneficial because it can be placed on your network indefinitely in order to implement regular checkups and scans at your behest. These devices are mostly a breeze to mount and execute, and some of them even contain exclusive IP addresses that you can login to.