(Systemic) Penetration Testing

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Penetration Testing (Pentesting) is a term used by Cybersecurity practitioners to describe the process of diligently assessing potential vulnerabilities in the information security infrastructure, including in the case of Manufacturing and Industrial environments also operational technology infrastructures. It typically uses a series of tools to automate the process, but will make use of the expert experiences focusing on known tricks and vulnerabilities. The goal for the pentester is to detect and report the leaks, but not to exploit them. It is also refered to as ethical hacking, in the perspective of not intentionally manipulating equipment, data, stealing data or leaving exploitable software behind. Pentesting is the ultimate means to demonstrate both the capabilities of the security infrastructure, as it is the way to identify the shortcomings upfront. A pentesting report will allow security managers to support their activities by indicating risks, threats, vulnerabilities and indicating the needs for a risk management process. Companies with a higher level of maturity will organize a systemic approach, allowing for pentesting to take place periodically, or following specific changes happening inside the infrastructure. This can also take place in the form of contests, having for instance red teams (the attackers) playing against the defenders (blue team); both utilizing their experiences of pentesting. With a Responsible Disclosure, organizatoins and individuals can call upon the community of ethical hackers (white hats) to help identifying vulnerabilities. These will be reported sometimes in return for a small bonus. Large hacking contests can be organized to test complete platforms. When vulnerabilities are found in technologies, including Platforms which are being sold, they are being reported as CVE's after a grace period of the reporting for about 3 to 6 months. For Digital Manufacturing Platforms pentesting should also take place in the platform itself, by performing software testing and testing the Platform being put into an operational environment, as it uses web and internet technologies making it susceptible for exploitation. 

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