Black box penetration test

In a penetration test, IT security experts deliberately try to penetrate an IT system, such as a security system in a corporate network. This will put existing protection mechanisms to the test and uncover vulnerabilities that need to be closed. In a black box penetration test, the targeted IT system is a black box, an unknown size. IT security professionals need to learn everything, much as a cyber criminal would.

What does the term “black box penetration test” mean in detail?

  • A black box penetration test performs the conditions of a typical cyber attack from the outside.
  • It shows if and how a cyber criminal can penetrate a corporate network, which vulnerabilities exist and which protective mechanisms are already blocking attacks.
  • From the results of a black box penetration test, existing security gaps can be closed and the corporate network even better protected against attack.
  • Black box penetration tests have nothing to do with so-called black box attacks on ATMs. The main thing in common is the phrase, "black box."

Where would I encounter a black box penetration test in everyday working life?

In normal daily life, a black box penetration test will only be encountered in conversations or employee sensitization. Ideally, you’ll hear, "The black box penetration test of our IT security firm has revealed that our employees are very attentive to suspicious emails and links. Simulated attacks on these routes were not successful. Congratulations!"

What can I do to improve my safety?

A black box penetration test improves your security or that of your company network. Nevertheless, if you follow the measures to reduce your cyber risk, black box penetration tests will be less successful. And that means real attacks by cybercriminals against your corporate network will also be less successful.

Detailed information

If you would like to go deeper into the subject, here’s a somewhat older but informative study by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) on penetration tests.

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