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Penetration Testing: Best Practices and Tools

Himanshu Gupta
Himanshu Gupta
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With the increasing threat of cyber attacks, penetration testing has become a critical aspect of security for businesses of all sizes. It assists in locating security flaws and gaps that an attacker may use to enter a system without authorization. In this blog, you will learn about Penetration testing and the best practices & tools to perform penetration testing.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is the process of evaluating a network, web application, mobile device, and computer system to find security flaws that potential online attackers may exploit. It’s also referred to as pen testing.

By discovering the potential weakness in an IT environment, penetration testers tries to resolve these problems before malicious users can take advantage of them. It also measures the compliance of security and test security issues. Penetration testers performs these tests once a year to ensure the security of network and systems. Penetration test depends on various factors such as the infrastructure & size of company, company budget etc.

Different Types of Penetration Tests

There are multiple types of penetration tests that pen testers perform based on the enterprise’s scope, goal and budget. The following list includes a few of the penetration tests:

  • External Testing: Such testing can lead to an attack on an organization’s external IT systems and networks. This includes websites, open-source web applications, and servers and network equipment that are available online.
  • Internal Testing:This kind of testing encourages an attack on the internal IT systems and networks of an organisation. These include of its internal software programmes, servers, workstations, endpoints, and network infrastructure.
  • Web Application Testing: This kind of testing concentrates on a company’s website and online apps. Penetration testers search for flaws including remote code execution, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting (XSS).
  • Mobile Application Testing: This kind of testing focuses on mobile applications for businesses. Penetration testers search for flaws such inadequate authentication & authorisation, absence of encryption, and unsecure data storage.
  • Cloud Penetration Testing: This form of testing focuses on the cloud computing infrastructure of a company. Penetration testers search for weaknesses such as unprotected access points, incorrectly configured cloud resources, and so on.

Best Practices of Penetration Testing

For effective and successful outcome of penetration testing, one should follow these practices for penetration testing:

  • Define the scope and budget:
    Enterprises should be very particular about the systems, networks, and other assets that will be examined as well as the penetration test’s objectives and scope. The extent of the testing may occasionally be constrained by the funding at hand.
  • Laws and permissions:
    Only once the target has given their complete consent and approval may penetration testing begin. Before, during, and after the exam, be sure you abide by all applicable rules and regulations.
  • Follow a penetration testing methodology:
    The approach you use will have a big impact on the outcomes of your penetration test. Common testing standards and procedures include:
    a. Penetration Testing Execution Standard (PTES)
    b. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
    c. Open-Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM)
    d. OWASP Web Security Testing Guide
    e. Information System Security Assessment Framework (ISAFF)
  • Incident response:
    An corporate IT system should be patched as soon as critical vulnerabilities are found by penetration testers. To do this, the organisation should adhere to appropriate incident response policies.
  • Post-test reporting:
    Penetration testers are required to write thorough reports on the testing’s findings, including any vulnerabilities found and their suggestions for fixing them.
  • Tracking new developments: 
    Penetration testing and cybersecurity are continually changing as new attack vectors exist and new tactics and defences are developed to counter them. To keep one step ahead of the attackers, penetration testers should stay current with new tools and advances in their industry.

Penetration Testing Tools:

The following list includes the many categories of penetration testing tools:

  • Nmap:
    It is also known as a network mapper, and it is an open-source tool for scanning the computer network and system for vulnerabilities. It can run on all the operating systems and is mainly suitable for all the small and large networks as well. This programme is mostly used for various tasks like doing network attack surface mapping and monitoring host or service uptime.
  • Metasploit:
    It is an assortment of different penetration tools. It is used to carry out a number of activities, such as locating vulnerabilities and organising security evaluations and other protection strategies. Servers, networks, and applications may all make use of this technology. It is mostly used to assess the security of infrastructure against previous vulnerabilities.
  • NetSparker:
    It is a scanner that is used to assess the security of web applications and may automatically discover vulnerabilities like SQL injection and XSS. The scanner automatically recognises URL rules, and setting is simple. It can grow infinitely.
  • OWASP:
    The full form of OWASP is Open Web Application Security Project. It primarily aims to increase software security. There are several tools available to test the environment and protocol penetration. The many tools that are available to scan the project dependencies and tests against the vulnerabilities include ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy), OWASP dependency check, and OWASP web testing environment project.
  • Accunetix:
    It is a penetration testing tool that is entirely automated. It thoroughly checks single-page apps, HTML5, and JavaScript. It scans sophisticated, approved online applications and generates a report on network and system vulnerabilities. It discovers a significant number of vulnerabilities and is quick and scalable.


With the aid of the penetration-testing tool, we can prevent attacks from attackers and proactively ensure the security of the system and application. Prior to any attackers identifying those flaws, it is an excellent way to discover the system’s leaks. To check the system’s vulnerabilities, there are a variety of testing tools on the market. To prevent assaults on a system or application, it is preferable to make use of these technologies.


Himanshu Gupta

Himanshu Gupta

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