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Web Penetration testing (Web Pen-Testing): Why It's Important?


The digitization of corporate organizations and business businesses is a notable development of IT in the current digital world. Many businesses are turning to the internet to increase their market reach and convenience of doing business. This has led to the emergence of a new generation of business practices and the development of distinctive online business environments.

As a consequence, both public and private information about companies and clients is placed online for easy access when needed. The existence and protection of critical information and intellectual property require good security, even if websites are frequently protected from being used by adversaries. With this defense, physical or cyberattacks by attackers will be prevented.

One of the finest tools security experts have to stop this web attack is web penetration testing.

Web penetration testing: What is it?

A pen test, also known as a penetration test, simulates a cyber-attack on your computer system in order to find any security holes that might be exploited. This test allows you to evaluate the network and computer systems' exploitable flaws.

Cybersecurity experts utilize online penetration testing, a web assessment tool, to gauge the reliability and potency of currently available cybersecurity solutions. It is a thorough security evaluation designed to find risk factors endangering current cybersecurity measures.

A security assessment that analyses and scans a company's digital resources and networks is carried out to find any vulnerabilities. Once vulnerabilities are found, they are investigated using a penetration test to see if attackers can take advantage of them.

Web penetration testing basics:

Multiple techniques and tools can be used to perform web penetration testing. On servers in a sandbox environment, cybersecurity specialists sporadically employ spyware that attackers may easily access. A penetration test on live systems may occasionally be conducted by the expert to assess current vulnerabilities. A web penetration test can be carried out using a variety of techniques, making it difficult to streamline the process. There are three types of web penetration, as follows:

  1. Black Box This penetration test takes place while the cybersecurity professional-tester is unaware of the target. The tester will gain knowledge about the target, evaluate the systems and applications, search for faults, and attempt to exploit those flaws during the penetration test. This black box test has the advantage of faithfully recreating a cyber-workflow. attack's To obtain critical information, the tester must interact with the target in a malicious actor's manner. The disadvantage of a black box penetration test is that it requires a lot of time and effort. A black box test has a wider scope than others, but it has the drawback of being difficult and time-consuming.

  1. White Box In a white box test, the expert is aware of the network, the business, and the flaw under scrutiny. In order to assess the risks posed by specific faults, white box penetrations are more common than black box testing. White box tests are less time-consuming than black box tests since the tester already has access to the target's information. The white box's focused nature and ability to clearly depict a discovered vulnerability are two of its benefits.

  1. Gray box: The grey box test combines black and white box tests, much as the combination of black and white produces grey. The penetration specialist typically knows something about the target in this situation, although not as much as in a white box test. The business might provide fundamental data that an attacker could generally acquire as a starting point for the test. Based on clients and security auditors, each test technique serves a particular purpose. Black box tests are designed to look like an attack from an adversary, and they can provide important details about how a company's vulnerability is evaluated and used externally. White box tests, however, are thorough and may be used to do penetration testing on all clients' web applications.

Types of Web penetration testing:


Web penetration testing techniques:

The techniques used to deploy penetration tests to evaluate systems differ, just like how these tests themselves differ. Because of this, it can be difficult to pinpoint a universal strategy. Instead, the procedures for deploying an online penetration test can be explained by a general overview of web penetrating methods.

Reconnaissance, scanning, vulnerability evaluation, exploitation, and access maintenance and reporting are the techniques.

i. Reconnaissance:

Reconnaissance, or learning as much as possible about the target, is frequently the first step in a web penetration test. This includes information about their organisational structure, systems, and operations. In particular, details about the network topology, user accounts, operating systems, and applications, as well as other relevant data, are obtained. Having this knowledge may help you identify potential attack vectors.

Web penetration testing techniques like white box penetration testing, which are typically deployed with sufficient knowledge of the target and any data important to the test itself, may limit or even completely disregard reconnaissance. Reconnaissance is typically laborious and time-consuming in a black box penetration test because it may call for a variety of information gathering techniques, such as social engineering.

Reconnaissance can be active or passive; if information was gained through engaging the target system and it was not made public, it was considered "active reconnaissance" . However, it is known as "Passive Reconnaissance" if the data gathered is already publically available.

ii. Scanning:

After receiving the required knowledge about the target's system, the scanning phase comes next. The scanning procedure comprises looking for weaknesses in the targets. There are multiple ways to accomplish this using various tools and tactics. This stage focuses on finding any vulnerabilities that would allow the tester to get access to protected systems or data.

Since open ports are access sites for enemies, all open ports are typically located and examined. The same objective of a vulnerability scan, which is to identify any holes, can also be performed as part of a full security assessment. But unless a penetration test is carried out, it won't indicate the gravity of the threat it represents.

iii. Vulnerability Assessment:

Compared to scanning, this step is more advanced. Here, all the information acquired from scanning and reconnaissance is used or combined to find any potential vulnerabilities and determine whether adversaries may take advantage of them. When combined with further penetration testing steps, this assessment typically gains significance.

iv. Exploitation:

The tester will attempt to access systems or data using the flaws discovered after analysing the system's weaknesses; this is known as exploitation. These weaknesses are frequently brought on by inadequate patch management or out-of-date software, which allows enemies easy access to delicate systems. By focusing on server vulnerabilities, the tester attempts to access restricted data or internet apps using tools that mimic genuine attacks.

The tester must exercise caution to avoid compromising the system since exploitation is extremely delicate because the system security will be circumvented. There cannot be a single offensive plan or technique used in this phase. Because there are so many apps, networks, and devices connected to the internet, a wide variety of techniques and technologies are employed during the exploitation phase.

V. Access Maintenance and Reporting:

The final step of a web penetration test before providing a thorough report is retaining access once exploitation has been implemented. The ability of the pen tester to continue having unrestricted access to crucial information or systems over time could be evaluated. During this stage, the tester could strive to get access to more systems or data by increasing their level of access within the system; this will aid in a more thorough evaluation. The information provided in this phase is critical for understanding security responses, access control protocols, and system resilience against cyberattacks.

After finishing each phase, the tester will write a report outlining the steps used and the outcomes of the penetration test. Technical risks and implications evaluation, a fix, and expert advice are all included in the comprehensive study. This is then applied as a guide to enhance the security architecture of the system.

Web penetration testing benefits:

● Cyberattacks being avoided

● avoiding costly security occurrences

● keeping laws and regulations in compliance

● makes it easier to understand the possibility of cyber defence

● steal rivals or competitors of their negotiating power

● maintaining cybersecurity experts' knowledge of current trends and practices.

Conclusion:

Many organisations and companies that rely on IT-related products and solutions suffer from system vulnerability.

If each penetration test is carried out differently, the deployment technique may have to be extensive. Which penetration test is performed will determine how extensive or broad the testing is. In general, the goal is to identify exploitable weaknesses and fix them to stop cyberattacks.


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