Penetration Testing

Gain actionable insights into your systems’ vulnerabilities and guidance on how to fix them

Uncovering potential weak points in your system’s defenses is crucial in fighting against evolving cyberthreats

Penetration testing is the key to identifying these weak points in advance. Pen testing allows you to strengthen your defenses, minimize risks, and fortify your organization against potential breaches.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing, or pen testing, involves simulating real-world cyberattacks on computer systems, applications, or networks to assess their security. The goal of pen testing is to identify vulnerabilities in the system so that they can be fixed before real cybercriminals exploit them.

Stages of Penetration Testing

Planning and Reconnaissance

The penetration tester defines the scope, goals, and rules of the test. Then, the tester gathers information about the target to identify potential vulnerabilities.


The test identifies live hosts, open ports, and services running on the system.

Gaining Access

The tester actively attempts to exploit vulnerabilities and gain unauthorized access.

Maintaining Access

The tester remains within compromised systems to see how long existing security measures can detect their presence.

Analysis and Reporting

The tester documents the findings, severity, and suggested countermeasures for the system owner.

Penetration Testing Methods

There are a variety of penetration testing methods that can be used, depending on the specific needs of the system owner. Here are some common penetration testing methods:

  • External testing is conducted from outside the target organization’s network. This type of testing is used to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by external attackers, such as those who gained access to the organization’s website or email server.
  • Internal testing is conducted from within the target organization’s network. This type of testing is used to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by internal users, such as undefined access privileges.
  • Blind testing is a type of external testing where the penetration tester is given limited information about the target organization. This type of testing simulates a real-world attack, where the attacker has to gather information about the target before they can exploit any vulnerabilities.
  • Double-blind testing is a type of blind testing where even the target organization’s staff are not aware that the penetration test is being conducted. This type of testing is the most realistic, as it simulates a situation where the organization is not expecting an attack.
  • Targeted testing is a type of penetration testing that is used to identify vulnerabilities that are specific to a system or application.

Penetration Testing and Web Application Firewalls (WAFs)

WAFs are security appliances that protect web applications from cyberattacks. WAFs can be used to block common attack points, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting.

Penetration testing can be used to assess the effectiveness of WAFs. The penetration tester will attempt to bypass the WAF and exploit vulnerabilities in the web application. This information can be used to improve the configuration of the WAF and make the web application more secure.

Penetration testing plays a critical role in meeting compliance requirements for security auditing procedures, notably for regulatory frameworks like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and System and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2). These compliance mandates require rigorous security assessments to ensure the protection of sensitive data and systems.

In specific cases, compliance standards such as PCI DSS 6.6 explicitly require the implementation of a certified WAF. Penetration testing complements this requirement by validating the effectiveness of the WAF in identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities. It ensures that security measures are not only in place but also function optimally.

Is SanTrac Technologies right for your business?

You’re in the right place if you’ve ever said:

A cyberattack happens every 39 seconds,* which means it’s just a matter of time before a cybercriminal targets your business.

A cyberattack costs companies $200,000 (on average),* which is why upgrading your cyberdefenses with SanTrac will pay for itself again and again. What will not upgrading them cost you?

*University of Maryland/CNBC

Our cybersecurity specialists will set up and fully manage everything. We’ll tailor the most effective solutions to your needs and goals to keep your digital assets safe and your business compliant. Backed by 24/7 monitoring, proactive maintenance, and performance reviews, we’ll keep you protected on the ever-changing threat landscape, while you focus on running your business.

Partnering with SanTrac means you get enterprise-grade cyberdefenses at SMB-friendly prices. So whether you’re a small business or large organization, we have all the solutions and expertise to keep you safe and a flat monthly fee to benefit your balance sheet.

Comprehensive solutions and services to meet any and all of your
security needs, including:


Security Assessments

Comprehensive, ongoing evaluations of your business and IT environment allow us to identify and minimize your risks


Email Security

Comprehensive, ongoing evaluations of your business and IT environment allow us to identify and minimize your risks


Backup & Disaster

Comprehensive, ongoing evaluations of your business and IT environment allow us to identify and minimize your risks


Dark Web Monitoring

Proactive scanning, real-time alerts, and other intelligence capabilities help stop your private information from being exploited


User Training

Up to date, practical knowledge and skills help your staff use technology safely and eliminate threats


24/7 Network Monitoring

Advanced firewalls, strict user access controls, 24/7 intrusion monitoring and prevention, and more to protect you at the perimeter