Hardware Penetration Testing – All You Need To Know

29. June 2021

One of the most powerful and innovative practices within cyber security, penetration testing helps your business to optimise its overall security.

Since it’s a type of “ethical hacking”, it not only leverages an exceptional offense to reinforce your business’ defense but also simulates cyber attacks and helps you understand the moves used by hackers to render your company inoperative.

Additionally, you can use hardware penetration testing for almost every aspect of your IT infrastructure, including all connected devices.

However, when it comes to creating a penetration testing strategy, there are certain points that you need to consider and that’s what we’ll be covering in this guide.

 

Hardware Penetration Testing – How to Conduct It

Given its obvious potential, every business needs penetration testing (also known as ‘pen-testing’) on its radar.

Nonetheless, the most common misapprehension about this process is that it’s applicable only to your IT environment’s relatively intangible aspects like servers and networks.

At Redpalm, we believe that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

That said, in this guide, we’ll be explaining how you can leverage penetration testing for your hardware by dividing the process into 3 primary approaches for any system.

By the time you reach the end of this blog, you’ll have a better understanding of how it can assist you to optimise your business’ hardware alongside the various devices this test can work on.

 

Penetration Testing Methodology – Top 3 Approaches

As mentioned in the beginning, hardware pen-testing invites a simulated cyber attack on your business’ IT security to understand the cyber criminals’ behaviour and the security of your own systems.

While the process involves three approaches (external, internal and hybrid), which we’ll be discussing below, it usually involves:

  • Gathering and scouting of relevant data of the business that’s likely to be attacked
  • Identifying important cyber assets, weak points and other surveillance for strategy planning
  • Creating a strategy for the initial attack and underlining the various vulnerabilities to be exploited and how that can be done
  • Executing the cyber attack and trying to get access to your business’ resources, networks, systems and more
  • Ending the attack without leaving any traces and accordingly preparing reports to tackle the various loopholes and weaknesses in your IT environment

Now that you know the different steps that are used in the three types of penetration testing, let’s take a closer look at them.

 

1st Approach – External Hardware Penetration Testing

Sometimes known as the “black hat” or “black box” test, external penetration testing starts from the state of relative ignorance.

Once the access has been granted, the hacker or in this case the pen-tester begins the attack from the outside of your systems. They typically start with little to no permission to any data on your assets, security measures or personnel that could result in an attack.

Put simply, these pen-tests are solely created to simulate a cyber attack through an unknown threat. What’s more, this approach primarily focuses on the initial stages of the attack – the techniques used by cyber criminals to gain entry into your servers.

 

2nd Approach – Internal Hardware Penetration Testing

Also known as the “white hat” or “white box” test, internal pen-testing is the opposite of the external pen-test and starts from an informed position.

In this pen-test, the hacker or the pen-tester starts the attack from within your systems with access to classified information on your IT infrastructure, personnel or cyber security systems. This can either be partial or complete information, where the cyber criminal begins with gaining access to your security systems.

Moreover, internal pen-tests are curated to replicate insidious attacks from your former or current employees who’re not known to be a threat. This approach focuses very little on the points of entry and concentrates more on how they seize control.

 

3rd Approach – Hybrid Hardware Penetration Testing

Usually called “grey hat” or “grey box” text, a hybrid pen-test starts from somewhere between the informed stance of the internal test and ignorance of the external test.

In this approach, the team of hackers or pen-testers will either emulate an attack that has breached your business’ network or an insider threat.

By conducting hybrid penetration testing, the pen-testers will try to understand the level and extent of access a user could gain to your systems and the potential damage that can be caused.

If you want to conduct penetration testing for your hardware but aren’t sure how to go about it, then get in touch with our IT specialists today!

 

Penetration Testing On Devices

Hardware pen-testing, also known as hardware security testing, focuses on subjecting certain areas of your business’ IT environment to the mix of approaches mentioned above.

Usually, this test is conducted on IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as internet-connected smart devices within your network. These include:

  • Laptops and desktops connected to your network through wireless and wired connections
  • Tablets, handheld devices, and smartphones connected to the internet
  • Fax machines, printers and other electronics that require an internet connection

However, with the adoption of mobile and cloud computing solutions, these pen-tests have also started focusing on systems and devices being used from the work-from-home environment.

Click here to find out the various benefits of conducting penetration testing in your business.

 

Contact Redpalm for Professional Hardware Penetration Testing

While hardware pen-testing is a powerful and innovative approach to optimise your business’ cyber defenses, it’s an incredibly intricate process that requires a smooth flow of communication between you and your testing partner.

At Redpalm, we offer a robust hardware pen-testing service which includes both external and internal testing. Moreover, we also offer an extensive range of other IT solutions that are fully customised to your organisation’s security requirements. 

To find out more, contact our team today!