Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

A penetration test (pentest for short) is a method of attacking a computer's systems in the hope of finding weaknesses in its security. If the pentest successfully gains access, it shows that computer functionality and data may be compromised.

Penetration tests serve a range of valuable purposes. One its main purposes is finding vulnerabilities that are difficult for automated security systems to detect. Additionally, they determine the impact of attacks on computer systems, test network defense systems, and provide details needed to support an increase in spending on security technology.

Penetration, Security terms