Home » Protect Your Business: The 6 Steps of Wireless PenTesting

Publication date: December 6, 2022

Protect Your Business: The 6 Steps of Wireless PenTesting

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Written by Angela Polania

Angela Polania, CPA, CISM, CISA, CRISC, HITRUST, CMMC RP. Angela is the Managing Principal at Elevate and board member, and treasurer at the CIO Council of South Florida.

Wireless PenTesting is the act of searching and exploiting weaknesses on a WiFi network with the purpose of gaining access to the network or lateral movement to other devices connected to it. These gaps in security discovered can range from something as simple as not changing the default password on the router, to more complex issues that allow an attacker to target a web page, port, or protocol.

The objective of the Wireless PenTest is to find any and all vulnerabilities in a wireless network with the goal of gaining unauthorized access to a network. This allows the PenTester to learn how an attacker might be able to exploit these weaknesses to steal any private information that is transmitted over your wireless connection.

How often do you assess your wireless network to prevent attacks from malicious attackers?

There are different measures to take to be able to protect your wireless network from malicious attackers. One of the first things you need to do before securing your network is to know what kind of devices you have on your network, and keep an updated and accurate asset inventory list.

For this process, the pen tester will follow these six steps:

Reconnaissance

Identifying networks

Investigating vulnerabilities

Exploiting the wireless networks

Reporting on results of exploitation

Crafting a plan for strengthening security

1. Reconnaissance

This involves gathering information about what networks are used or related to the business in question. This stage depends heavily on proximity and geographical location.

2. Identifying Networks

Working with a list of wifi networks, you’ll begin to identify and produce specific data about each one. The pen tester will create individual profiles for each network flagged, collecting specific characteristics and using them to categorize the networks.

3. Investigating Vulnerabilities

As the final step in the planning process, exposing vulnerabilities in your system will be crucial. Your tester will assume the role of “attacker”, searching for any and all flaws or weaknesses that can be exploited through your wireless networks.

4. Exploiting the networks

In this stage – the “attack” begins. Through a process of ethical hacking, the pen tester simulates a breach where they attempt to penetrate systems as deeply and quickly as possible, seize control of the client’s digital assets and data, and get out without being detected.

5. Reporting Results

The pen tester will compile all information and categorize it based on the goals established during the attack. The collection of data is broken down in to sections detailing quality of infrastructure, list of biggest risks and their distribution, and a record of how/where/why these risks lead to increased vulnerability.

6.  Planning for the future

At the end of the simulation, the tester will use the offensive tactics to form a defensive plan. All of the exploited weaknesses uncovered are used to generate a recovery plan for the client to anticipate a breach, and put protocol in place in the event of a successful attack.

As cyber crimes become more common place, it is imperative to secure your wireless networks in order to protect your digital data. Wireless penetration testing is a reliable and effective way to determine the realistic security posture of your networks. Schedule a consultation today to learn how Elevate can help safeguard your company assets.

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