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Safe way to do penetration testing?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
As head of IT, I've been asked to do a penetration test.  A search for free software was fruitless, except for Metasploit, but I'm concerned about running that in a production environment.  It sounds as though it tests by being doing invasive and potentially harmful simulations of actual attacks.  Obviously, I'm not looking to bring down my network.  Is penetration, by default dangerous?  What tools and software should I use?  Please note, I'm not looking to do a security audit, but a penetration test, as though I was someone malicious trying to gain network access/harm the network.  THank you.
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I would ask yourself first if you or anyone on your team is qualified to complete such a test? If not, it is ok because there are many companies out there that does an excellent job. Read this:


acunetix is top notch.
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Thanks guys for the truly great and helpful write ups!
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