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Technical Guide to Information Security Testing and Assessment



Murugiah P. Souppaya, Karen A. Scarfone


The purpose of this document is to assist organizations in planning and conducting technical information security tests and examinations, analyzing findings, and developing mitigation strategies. The guide provides practical recommendations for designing, implementing, and maintaining technical information security test and examination processes and procedures. These can be used for several purposes, such as finding vulnerabilities in a system or network and verifying compliance with a policy or other requirements. The guide is not intended to present a comprehensive information security testing and examination program but rather an overview of key elements of technical security testing and examination, with an emphasis on specific technical techniques, the benefits and limitations of each, and recommendations for their use.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-115
Report Number


penetration testing, risk assessment, security assessment, security examination, security testing, vulnerability scanning


Souppaya, M. and Scarfone, K. (2008), Technical Guide to Information Security Testing and Assessment, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created September 30, 2008, Updated May 4, 2021