The 5 Stages of Pen Testing: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Penetration testing, or “pen testing,” is a process that helps organisations identify and fix vulnerabilities in their data security. It can be broken down into five stages: reconnaissance, scanning, enumeration, penetration, and reporting. 

If you’re responsible for the security of your company’s data, you know that penetration testing is a critical part of keeping your information safe. In this blog post, we will discuss each stage in detail and provide tips on how to prepare for them. Knowing what to expect during a pen test can help you get the most out of it!

Stage one is reconnaissance. 

This is the stage where testers gather information about the target system. They may use public sources, such as Google, to find information about the company’s network and systems. They may also try to get access to internal documents, such as employee manuals or marketing plans. The goal of this stage is to gain a better understanding of the system so that they can plan their attack.

Stage two is scanning.

 In this stage, testers scan the system for vulnerable points of entry. They look for open ports, weak passwords, and unpatched software. Once they have found a vulnerable point, they will attempt to exploit it.

Stage three is enumeration.

In this stage, testers try to gather more information about the system. They may use tools to enumerate users, groups, and shares. They may also try to guess passwords or collect email addresses. The goal of this stage is to gain as much information about the system as possible so that they can plan their attack.

Stage four is penetration.

In this stage, testers attempt to access the system through a vulnerable point. If they are successful, they will then try to escalate their privileges and gain access to sensitive data.

Stage five is reporting. 

In this stage, testers compile all of the information they have gathered and create a report for the client. This report will include a list of vulnerabilities, how those vulnerabilities were exploited, and recommendations for them. It is important to note that penetration testing is an ongoing process. Once a system has been tested, it is important to keep track of new vulnerabilities and retest the system on a regular basis.