Choosing a Black Box Vulnerability Scanner

Black box scanning allows you to emulate your attackers, hence with a black box scanner such as Netsparker you can identify security vulnerabilities and fix them before malicious hackers find and exploit them.

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There are many solutions available that can help you build more secure web applications or secure existing ones. The most prominent technologies are black box scanning, white box scanning, which allow you to identify vulnerabilities in web applications, and web application firewalls, which allow you to block the HTTP / HTTPS requests of someone trying to exploit an existing vulnerability in your web applications.

In an ideal world, an effective web application security program should include a good mix of all of the above technologies and thorough penetration tests. Though in reality businesses shave limited budgets, so they have to choose. In such case it is always more effective to build a secure web application rather than protecting a vulnerable one. And the best way to have secure web applications is to scan them with a black box scanner.

Seeing The Web Application Like An Attacker

Black box testing, in short, means testing your web application from the perspective of someone intent on hacking it. An outside attacker is not likely going to have the source code to your web application, even if it runs on an open source code base because many business applications are customized. Attackers only have the HTTP / HTTPS address like all other internet users. So they use automated scanners that emulate a web browser, such as cracked versions of black box scanners to identify and attack.

Through a rigorous web application security program via black box testing, when you use the right testing tool such as web application scanners you can find vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, Cross-site Scripting (XSS) and thousands of other variants before attackers find and exploit them to get your business data, which could include cardholder data. The advantage of using a black box scanner is that it allows you to easily test your web applications while being developed, when they are being tested before going live and when published in a live environment. Web applications should also be scanned whenever new code and functionality is added, regardless if they are developed in php, .NET or any other web technology.

Effective penetration testing requires thorough vulnerability scanning, which can be automated with black box testing. Vulnerability scanning helps map out the surface of the web application and identify the broad spectrum of vulnerabilities that may be present and visible to an outside attacker.

Then, more focused penetration testing can delve deeper into the web application. A penetration tester can start with the results of the black box scanning, and then use other testing tools to identify security issues and ways to pivot from the web application to the web server and other systems and infrastructure behind it.

How Netsparker Can Help

When choosing among black box vulnerability scanners, which are also known as web vulnerability scanners, your business needs a solution that offers comprehensive vulnerability testing on any platform, is easy to use, minimizes false positives, is easy to integrate, and allows you to automate much more of the vulnerability assessment process.

Both the online hosted edition of Netsparker and the on premises Microsoft Windows Desktop scanner version can scan any type of web application, web service and web API, regardless of the technology they have been built with or the type of web server it is hosted on. Netsparker allows your security professionals to identify vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection, Cross-site Scripting (XSS) and thousands of other variants, some of which are listed in the OWASP Top 10 list of most critical web security risks.

The Netsparker dashboard makes it easy for your security team and team managers to scope, schedule, and scan. They can run broader security tests or deploy the black box scanner against individual web application vulnerabilities. They can scan anything from singular web pages, custom built HTML5 web applications, complex Single Page Application (SPA) and any other application that heavily relies on JavaScript and client side technologies without requiring access to the source code. The testing tool is a complete scalable solution and has all the means and UI that allows your team to scan thousands of HTTP / HTTPS addresses within just hours.

Dead Accurate Black Box Scanner Scan Reports

Unlike other security testing tools though, Netsparker also gives your security testing team the advantage of Proof-Based Scanning™. So instead of simply listing all the possible vulnerabilities, in the Netsparker report you’ll find the proof of exploits. This is possible because Netsparker automatically exploits the identified vulnerabilities in a safe and read-only way, thus confirming they are not false positives. For example in case of a SQL Injection vulnerability, the canner actually shows the sql query it used to exploit the security vulnerability, and also the data it managed to extract when it exploited the vulnerability, regardless if the database server is Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL or Oracle.

These dead accurate results save time, compared to other web application vulnerability scanners. It saves the security analysts from hours of combing through false positives, and allows developers to hone in directly on exploitable vulnerabilities, and to test and deploy updated code to the web application more quickly.

Get Your Free Black Box Scanner Trial Today

Scan your web applications and web services with Netsparker and see why it is the most comprehensive and usable black box scanner on the market, and why businesses choose it as their web application security scanner of choice. Netsparker is very easy to integrate and has all the analysis tools you require to do thorough vulnerability testing. Contact us today for your 15-day free trial of Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner.

What our customers are saying

"I had the opportunity to compare external expertise reports with Netsparker ones. Netsparker was better, finding more breaches. It’s a very good product for me."
"As opposed to other web application scanners, Netsparker is very easy to use. An out of the box installation can detect more vulnerabilities than any other scanner."
"We chose Netsparker because it is more tailored to web application security and has features that allow the university to augment its web application security needs."