An effective penetration testing program consists of multiple layers.
Many open source and proprietary penetration testing tools, including nmap, Nessus, and OpenVAS are intended to identify and exploit host and network security vulnerabilities. These security tools are useful to map out IP addresses in the network, test for vulnerable Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems, and locate vulnerable network services. Then, a network penetration tester can use the Metasploit framework as well as custom pentesting tools to exploit them and discover what other data and machines can be accessed while pivoting through the network. Network penetration testing is part of the picture, but it is not the whole picture.
These vulnerability scanners and pen testing tools are not tailored for an important part of the attack surface: web applications and web services. Sophisticated attackers have the know-how and security tools to find vulnerable web applications and target the data behind them -- so you need the expertise and pentesting tools to secure your web presence before they find you.
Web application flaws lead to data breaches, causing both liability and an erosion in the trust of clients and customers. According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Intelligence Report, more data breaches were caused by a web application attack than by any other category of causes. According to the DBIR, top attacks in the web application sphere include the use of stolen web application credentials, as well as exploitation of SQL injection security vulnerabilities.
The goal of your web application penetration testing program is to know your attack surface, identify security vulnerabilities, and remediate them before attackers get their hands on the data on your web servers and beyond.
Effective web application penetration testing requires security professionals or security consultants who know how web applications function and fail. It also requires giving that team the right penetration testing tools so they can map out the attack surface, find vulnerable pages and inputs, and discover what real data and company assets are at risk as a result.
Netsparker's web application security scanner is an integral part of a web application pentesting program. Our scanner is frequently updated: it tests for vulnerabilities listed in the OWASP top vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS), and thousands of other security vulnerabilities. Netsparker even checks the web server for possible security misconfigurations that could lead to a security hole. It has specific checks for Apache web server, Nginx, Tomcat, Microsoft Windows IIS and several others.
Our Proof Based ScanningTM helps streamline your web application penetration testing process. Netsparker's dead accurate results contain proof of exploit: not only a statement of what vulnerabilities were found, but also a clear presentation of what data was exposed when the identified security vulnerability was exploited. This allows a web application pentester to easily understand and trust the reported vulnerabilities, and get a head start on penetrating the network further because they do not have to manually verify the issues. Giving your pentesters this deeper, clearer view leads to better security testing findings in less time, and more effective remediation.
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