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External vs Internal Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a type of security testing that is used to assess the security of a computer system, or network. Penetration testing attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in a system or network in order to identify vulnerabilities that a real-world attacker could user to gain access to sensitive data or systems. A penetration test can be either external or internal depending on the goal of the project.

External and internal penetration testing both have their advantages and disadvantages. Organizations should carefully consider their needs and choose the type of penetration testing that is right for them. Both external and internal penetration testing can play an important role in securing an organization’s systems and data.

What is external penetration testing?

External penetration testing is a type of security testing that is performed by attackers who are outside of an organization’s network. The goal of external penetration testing is to gain access to the organization’s systems and data, and to identify security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

Examples of external penetration tests include:

  • Externally facing web application pentesting
  • Externally facing service penetration testing such as APIs, FTP and other listeners
  • Configuration & Deployment Management Testing
  • Client-Side Penetration Testing
  • Pentesting Mobile applications
  • IoT device penetration testing

What is internal penetration testing?

Internal penetration testing is a type of security testing that is performed by attackers who are inside of an organization’s network. The goal of internal penetration testing is to gain access to the organization’s systems and data, and to identify security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

Examples of internal penetration tests include:

  • Internal network penetration testing including internal computer systems and servers, access points, firewalls, and employee devices
  • Internally facing web applications penetration testing

Learn More

To learn more about different types of pen testing check out our Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Penetration Testing here.

External vs Internal Penetration Testing

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