Penetration testing

Penetration testing is the process of attempting to gain access to data without knowledge of passwords and usernames. If the focus is on computer resources, then examples of a successful penetration would be obtaining or subverting confidential documents, databases and other protected information. The main thing that separates a penetration tester from an attacker is permission. The penetration tester will have permission from the contractor that are being tested and will be responsible to provide a report.  

The goal of a penetration test is to increase the security of the IT network being tested.