If you’ve decided to conduct a vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) procedure for your organization’s network infrastructure, it is much advised that you read up about the basic procedure to gain some prerequisite knowledge. Penetration testing procedure is usually a combination of both manual expertise and automated processes, especially if you hire third-party professionals who are experienced in the field.
Penetration testing tools should ideally have different kinds of pentester tools based on the kind of assessment technique used and each organization’s objective from the testing procedure. When it comes to the automated tools required to conduct the process, there are a couple of options that are freely available in the market and provide the required services.
Nmap, or Network Mapper, is a port scanner and an open source, free application that is available for network scanning, through the use of IP packets which audit and secure the network. Nmap is special because of the multiple options it provides for scanning any single or a host of IPs, ports, hosts, and subnets.
It allows the user to identify the services running on the hosts, understand the operating systems and their versions which are used for running remote hosts, while recognizing the security risks and vulnerabilities present in the system. This tool’s benefit lies in its ability to serve as a comprehensive source of output and important information to the penetration testing procedure.
A web vulnerability scanner, Nikto is also a famous pentesting tool, which is open source and available under GPL. The interface provides a variety of options for running against the host, continuously poking and prodding to find out the security vulnerabilities like security misconfiguration issues, outdated programs with risky code, host files and programs that haven’t been secured properly, and other specific issues that may be preventing the network from optimally functioning and protecting itself against forced attempts of access.
Your classic vulnerability exploitation framework, Metasploit goes the extra mile in providing all the necessary features and tools for conducting penetration testing procedure.
The unique characteristic of this framework is its multi-purpose methodology that allows the pentester to discover any and all vulnerabilities present on the platform, go in-depth about risks and loopholes found, initiate resolution measures and test the effectiveness of such defensive measures.
Also an open source project, the framework boasts of the contributions of more than 200,000+ experts and over a variety of fields such as penetration testing, testing exploitation strategies, checking the aptness of remediation measures put in for the defense of the system, and contributing to the database of information, vulnerabilities, and risks.
Fiddler is a freeware proxy server application that performs diagnostics on browsers and platforms, with various additive features that is useful for a pentester, such as intercepting HTTPS traffic and decrypting according to security standards to check for accuracy.
One of the characteristic features include providing the option for users to debug the web traffic from any site, operating systems on almost all PCs, and other electronic appliances. The basic purpose of this tool is to play around with the statistics of web traffic and find out what are the security risks and vulnerabilities plaguing the system.
- Burp Suite
A famed network scanner, one of the main uses that Burp Suite fulfills is intercepting and targeting requests, responses and any transmission between the browser and the required application.
The free version also provides the option of generating proof-of-concept cross-site request forgery (CSRF) for any given request, along with a crawler that is tuned to applications and analysing its content for security concerns. All of these features make the paid version more attractive to those interested in getting technical details about the penetration testing procedure.
This vulnerability scanner was derived from the free version of Nessus after 2005, now working only in non-enterprise environments, efficient vulnerability scanning but at a fee, and detailed reports with insights into all vulnerabilities found, the potential impact for the organization, and details necessary for developing the organization’s security strategies.
This is an umbrella package of tools that tries out cracking passwords, especially for the 802.11a/b/g family of wireless networks with supportive mechanisms for raw monitoring, or rfmon, code.
It also has the ability for viewing the network traffic through the monitor mode and after collecting enough data, it runs a cracking algorithm that tests the recovery of WPA and WEP keys. The various tools include Airodump-ng as a packet capturing program, Airsnort-ng as an encryption key cracker, Aireplay-ng for traffic generation, etc.
In this manner, there are a variety of tools and automated solutions, both new and old, that are simplifying the penetration testing procedure and amplifying its usefulness. The sheer number of tools available on the market can often be overwhelming, especially when you’re not aware of what works best for your organization.
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