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6 Types of Penetration Test

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A penetration test is a type of information security test that simulates attacks against systems or devices to find vulnerabilities. The following are illustrative examples.

White Box

Testing teams are given design overviews and technical documentation to aid them in their attack.

Black Box

Testing teams are given no inside information about a system.

Double Blind Testing

Testing teams aren't given inside technical information and operational teams aren't told that a penetration test is being conducted. Designed to test detection tools and the readiness of operations teams.


Tools that automatically execute exploit code for known vulnerabilities. Often used in conjunction with a manual test.


Manual attacks by IT professionals who have knowledge of hacking typically using vulnerability scanners and other automated tools as a starting point.

Contests & Events

Critical systems may benefit from broad and intensive attacks to rapidly harden their design and implementation. This can be achieved with contests and events that invite a large number of individuals to attack a system.
Overview: Penetration Test
A type of cybersecurity test that simulates attacks against systems or devices to find vulnerabilities.
Related Concepts
Penetration Test Definition

Information Security

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Audit Trail
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Deep Magic
Defense In Depth
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Failure Of Imagination
Incident Response
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Security As A Service
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