GDPR Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning Guide

By : admin In: Articles, Blog September 6, 2018
This article explains about GDPR penetration testing requirements and vulnerability scanning. The General Data Protection Regulation protects the personal data of individuals stored in all organizations’ databases regardless of their geographical location. GDPR requires the personal data of the users to be processed in a manner that ensures its privacy and security. This includes protection and prevention of unauthorized access or unlawful processing of sensitive user data.  

How does Penetration Testing help the GDPR Project?

Penetration testing aims to determine how attackers can gain unauthorized access to assets that directly affect an organization's security. It is a way to minimize the risk of vulnerabilities that can defeat security firewalls and gain access to critical system components. It helps to have a real-world control over the system components GDPR recommends that you access applications and critical infrastructure for security vulnerabilities, and the effectiveness of security controls are tested regularly. Services such as penetration tests and vulnerability assessments can help meet this recommendation and provide strong control over the information.
    Main mandates that GDPR helps to achieve regulation of personal data are:
  1. Information collected is specified and is used for legitimate purposes only.
  2. Data is processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
  3. Information stored is accurate and updated.
  4. Information is retained as long as required.
  5. Data must be processed securely to maintain the privacy of information.
  6. Information is adequate, relevant and sufficient to fulfill the requirements.

GDPR Penetration testing requirements to satisfy GDPR compliance

1. For Network Infrastructure Vulnerability Testing includes both manual and automated testing to be performed on the network infrastructure. Network infrastructure penetration testing essentially includes every system visible on the testing network. Common testing checks include verifying that software installed and operating system used is up to date with relevant patches applied and the system does not offer any previously known vulnerabilities. Updating of default credentials is usually skipped after the installation of the network device, vulnerability assessments also ensure that the services used by the remote host must not be user's default or easily enumerated passwords.
2. For Web Applications Web Applications have multiple endpoints to be included in the penetration tests. To reduce the threat level, it is recommended to use the software and tools that satisfy the GDPR requirements. Web application includes critical endpoints which need regular security checks to ensure their proper functioning and security like:
  • authentication or login panels
  • payment card gateways
  • encryption mechanism to encrypt sensitive information
  • limiting access controls for users at different levels, etc.
These endpoints generate the risk to users’ data and privacy information. Usually, the web applications need changes and updates to make the application user-friendly but this also offers multiple user-side vulnerabilities.

Conclusion: GDPR ensures maximum security for organizations and reduces the risk level of data leaks, but it still does not guarantee hackproof security. So, organizations must keep a process of regular testing assessments to ensure the security and privacy of their users’data