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QASource Blog Everything You Need to Know About Web App Penetration Testing

Everything You Need to Know About Web App Penetration Testing

Everything You Need to Know About Website Penetration Testing

The digital world is filled with many platforms that make our lives easier and more productive. However, with today’s widespread reach of technology, it’s much easier to fall prey to malicious activities such as ransomware attacks or SQL injections. This is why you must invest in premium protection that keeps you and your business safe despite lingering threats. Web App Penetration Testing is a form of pure play software testing and is one of the most effective ways to enhance your security.

Preventing a problem will always be better than curing one, and one of the best ways to stay clear of these threats is to know what they do and how you can identify them. SQL Injections allow third parties to gain access to your application or platform’s data. This type of threat will attempt to sabotage your applications by removing or modifying important data, causing your platform to have errors and inconsistencies. Ransomware, on the other hand, poses a greater threat to users: this type of attack compromises sensitive information, allowing hackers to use it for malicious intentions and hold it against you in exchange for compensation. Without web app penetration testing, you won’t be able to prepare for the threats that hackers bring through SQL injections or ransomware.

It’s time to take action to protect yourself and your business against these malicious attacks before they happen. Invest in web application penetration testing to know how you can manage your business’ safety.

What is Web App Penetration Testing?

Web App Penetration Testing, also known as web pen testing, challenges an application by executing a hacker-like simulated attack against it to discover its vulnerabilities. This allows business owners to identify what they can improve on in terms of security. However, the main purpose of penetration testing is to find out how hackers and people with malicious intent can use these vulnerabilities to their advantage. Whether it be through ransomware or SQL injections, web app penetration testing aims to identify how dire of a threat the weak points in your business’ cybersecurity are by simulating an actual attack.

Web application penetration testing helps you identify the vulnerabilities you may not be aware of. It also enables you to go through a situation and figure out how to deal with the potential consequences without actually experiencing them. Overall, it’s a great way to test your business’ level of security and vulnerability, because it identifies all possible loopholes and gives you a plan for every scenario. With all of this information, you have an opportunity to enhance your safety and prepare for the worst.

To prepare for penetration testing, here are a few simple tips to get you started.

  • Find a reliable service to conduct the test.
  • Inform your IT personnel and workers ahead of time.
  • Expect all outcomes and prepare for them.
  • Be prepared for system downtime.
  • Assure that your security hasn’t been artificially enhanced to achieve genuine results.
 

Web App Penetration Testing Methodology

Here is a brief overview of the methods and techniques that Web App Penetration Testing entails.

  • Planning Phase

    • Scope definition: This part is where the company briefly explains what the web application penetration testing will include and cover. This takes place before the actual testing begins.
    • Availability of documentation: There is a series of documents and requirements that need to be presented before the online web penetration takes place. This includes things like integration points. The tester must also be knowledgeable in traffic interception, Web Application Architecture, and basic HTTP protocols.
    • Determination of success criteria: How can you determine whether the website penetration testing was a success or a failure? Success criteria must be approved before proceeding with the online penetration testing process.
    • Test result review from previous tests: This provides a point of comparison between the results of the past and current website penetration testing. This identifies which measures were taken to improve performance since the previous test.
    • Understanding the environment: Testers should be able to analyze the environment they are dealing with before conducting the online penetration testing. Firewalls should all be disabled along with most security methods and protocols to ensure that all results from the penetration testing will run smoothly. Browsers must also be changed into an attack platform for the duration of the test.
  • Execution Phase

    • Run a test with different user roles: The web app penetration testing should be conducted under different roles. This is because some privileges and features can only be accessed by someone in a specific role or position.
    • Determine how to handle post-execution: There is an appropriate protocol that testers must follow throughout the entire process. First, they must base everything on the success criteria created beforehand. Vulnerabilities found should be reported after the pen testing has occurred, naming all risks and elements compromised during the process.
    • Generate test reports: This step mainly involves organizing the findings of the web app penetration testing into a proper report. The report must be detailed and complete, naming all vulnerabilities found, all methods used, where the issues were found, and their severity.
  • Post Execution Phase

    • Suggest corrective actions and alternatives: The main purpose of conducting web application  penetration testing is to improve your business’ security. That being said, the tester must provide recommendations and professional advice on how you can enhance your security and eliminate vulnerabilities.
    • Retest all vulnerabilities: Testers must ensure that the vulnerabilities that have already been resolved do not come back as another issue during the retesting.
    • Do a basic cleanup of the system: Restore all settings that were there before the website penetration testing took place. Make changes to the proxy settings to improve performance moving forward.
 

Advantages of Web App Penetration Testing

  • Reveals System Vulnerabilities

    Web pen testing carefully analyzes your system as it is subjected to a hacker-like simulation. Once the web app penetration testing has been executed and concluded, the tester will provide an elaborate report of everything that occurred during the process. This includes things like the vulnerabilities and issues found, where they were found, the methods used during the testing process, and recommendations from the tester about how you can boost your security.

  • Tests Your Software’s Cyber Defense Capabilities

    Your system should be well equipped to handle all possible threats that you may encounter. Web app penetration testing is a method in which you can experience the threat of a malicious attack without actually suffering from its consequences. The results of the website pen test will let you know all the areas that you need to work on. It will also identify the vulnerabilities you need to patch and resolve and what you can do to enhance your system’s performance against potential threats.

  • Ensures that the Software is Compliant with all Security Certifications and Regulations

    Compliance is a must when it comes to ensuring your security. The web app penetration testing will only be executed once certain regulations and certifications have been met, which is usually set by the industry itself. Certain protocols such as the PCI regulations require companies to conduct frequent web penetration testing to secure the safety of their system. This is for the good of your business, as malicious attacks are a large issue that many digital platforms and businesses have struggled against for years now. It’s better to be prepared for the consequences ahead of time and take the proper precautionary measures to prevent them from happening.

 

Penetration Testing Tools

There are various tools that can be utilized during the website penetration testing process. Here are a few common examples.

  • Network Mapper (Nmap): This is one of the best and most reliable tools when it comes to penetration testing. It scans the network thoroughly to identify any open ports, threats, services, or hidden activity that takes place within the system.
  • The Harvester: This tool is in charge of gathering Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), which consists of all information that is located in the public domain. This includes company emails, registration info, and similar components.
  • Nikto: Nikto is used to scan your system for vulnerabilities. This is where the actual scanning process begins. Nikto can handle and look through over 6700 server misconfigurations.
  • Open Vas: Like Nikto, Open Vas also scans your system for any vulnerabilities. It is a flexible tool that can be adjusted to accommodate your needs and requirements. The scale of its methods and tests can be tweaked to your preference.
  • Metasploit: This can be considered essential when it comes to website penetration testing. Metasploit is mostly used during the post-execution phase. It also goes great with NMAP by conducting recon.
 

Conclusion

Web app penetration testing is a necessity for every business when it comes to securing their safety. Malware, ransomware, and other attacks are still highly prevalent today. To combat these threats, you must invest in precautionary measures and pure play software testing methods that ensure the most optimized version of security for your business.

QASource offers the exact services you need to make that happen! We are fully committed to providing a safe and comprehensive web application penetration testing service and pure play software testing service to help your system stay clear of threats and vulnerabilities. Contact us today for more information!New call-to-action

Disclaimer

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.