Web applications are the systems of utmost importance for many networks. They help in storing, processing, and transmitting data. They are also targeted by hackers who have a knack for finding vulnerabilities. So, in order to secure your network and to test it for vulnerabilities, penetration testing needs to be conducted. This is a process of testing where the security of the code and software usage is testing on which the application runs. Four essential areas being tested are as:
- Injection vulnerabilities
- Broken authentication
- Broken authorization
- Improper error handling
Difference between Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing
They may seem similar, but they are not. The former is conducted to ascertain a list of vulnerabilities and prioritizing them for review. The companies conducting vulnerability assessments are aware that they have a few security issues and require assistance to identify them. But, penetration testing are intrusive as well as comprehensive than its counterpart and are designed in such a way that they enact a particular hacking scenario. Companies tend to use this testing procedure to regain their confidence in the security department. Penetration testing helps in assessing true risk. For instance, vulnerability assessment will present you the list of vulnerable systems in an independent form, but a penetration test will provide you the risk in advance if an attack happens because of minor security vulnerability from multiple systems to establish an attack that is caused in an essential asset being compromised.
Types of Penetration Testing
- Black Box Penetration Testing
This creates a scene where the ethical hacker has no clue to where the system is attacked. The gist is to stimulate external hacking. The characteristics of this testing method entail unauthorized access and zero documentation except the IP address or URL.
- Gray Box Penetration Testing
This testing helps in assessment of systems as an authenticated user having a user level access. This approach helps in testing any kind of insider threats prevailing inside the application that supports multiple users for assessing what kind of damage a user can pose. The tester cannot access the source code. When you have an authenticated profile, testers will try to increase the privileges or access the controlled data. This type of testing makes sure that users can never access sensitive data.
- White Box Penetration Testing
This testing helps in assessment of a system with an administrator access and knowledge. The knowledge entails design documents, architecture diagram, specifications, and source code. This testing is used when developing your own products or integrating the systems.