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7 Penetration Testing Phases for Web Applications: Detailed Guide

Before we start off with the stages and the process of Penetration Testing, let us first try to understand, what is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a sort of ethical hacking that is also known as pen testing, security pen testing, and security testing. It refers to “white hat” penetration testers launching simulated cyberattacks with tactics and tools designed to gain access to or exploit computer systems, networks, websites, and apps.

Penetration testing techniques and specialized testing tools can be used by security professionals to assess the reliability of an organization’s security procedures, regulatory requirements, employee security awareness, and the organization’s ability to identify and respond to security issues and incidents like security breaches.

Is Penetration Testing the same as Vulnerability assessment?

Absolutely not!

The goal of a vulnerability assessment is to find flaws in an application. The method is used to determine how vulnerable an application is to various vulnerabilities. The usage of automated security scanning technologies is used to assess vulnerabilities, and the results are provided in the report. Some of the conclusions in a vulnerability assessment report may be false positives because they aren’t backed up by an attempt to exploit them.

With that being said, let us now understand the 7 stages of penetration testing!

1:- Information Gathering

Information collection is the first of seven steps of penetration testing. The organization being tested will supply broad information about in-scope targets to the penetration tester.

2:- Reconnaissance

Because penetration testers can find new information that may have been neglected, unknown, or not disclosed, the reconnaissance step is critical to effective security testing. This stage is extremely useful in internal and/or external network penetration testing; however, we don’t usually do it in web application, mobile application, or API penetration testing.

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3:- Exploration and Scanning

The information obtained is utilized to execute discovery tasks, such as determining ports and services accessible for targeted hosts, or subdomains available for web applications.

4:- Vulnerability Assessment

A vulnerability assessment is performed to obtain preliminary understanding and discover any potential security flaws that might allow an outside attacker to gain access to the environment or technology under examination. A vulnerability assessment, on the other hand, is never a substitute for a penetration test.

5:- Exploitation

A vulnerability assessment is performed to obtain preliminary understanding and discover any potential security flaws that might allow an outside attacker to gain access to the environment or technology under examination. A vulnerability assessment, on the other hand, is never a substitute for a penetration test.

6:- Final Evaluation and Review

This detailed report includes narratives about where we began testing, how we discovered vulnerabilities, and how we exploited them. It also contains the extent of the security testing, testing techniques, findings, and repair recommendations.

It will also express, when relevant, the penetration tester’s judgement on whether or not your penetration test complies with applicable framework requirements.

7:- Make Use of the Testing Results

The final of the seven steps of penetration testing is crucial. The company being tested must actually utilize the security testing findings to risk score vulnerabilities, assess the possible effect of vulnerabilities discovered, identify repair plans, and influence future decision-making.


How long does it take to finish all phases of penetration testing?

The first six phases of penetration testing, from reconnaissance through the production of a VAPT report, should not take more than ten days. The timetable may vary slightly depending on the breadth of the test
The remediation phase’s schedule is determined by how soon your development team can implement the changes recommended by the pentesting team. However, there is normally a time limit for taking use of a VAPT company’s complimentary rescans.

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What happens once all seven steps of penetration testing have been completed?

After the vulnerabilities have been identified and resolved, the VAPT business will rescan your application. If no more vulnerabilities are discovered during the rescans, the VAPT business may issue you a successful VAPT certificate. This certificate can be used to meet the basic standards of pentesting for regulatory compliances such as ISO, SOC2, HIPAA, FISMA, and many more.

Conclusion

Finally, in order to avoid such attacks and occurrences, it is critical to take the required precautions. This is primarily due to an exponential surge of attacks in recent years, which does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon (2020 has been considered a New Record in a Year on cyber-attacks).

Because of the valuable information that may be collected, businesses are the number one target of cyber attackers. They may even demand a ransom in exchange for the information.

Similarly, security must be maintained to account for the requirement to execute pen tests on a regular basis.

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Aashirvad Kumar

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