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Differentiate between Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing

A vulnerability Assessment is a high-level automated test that detects and reports potential vulnerabilities.Vulnerability assessment is a process of identifying and testing the potential vulnerabilities in an organization’s information systems. It is conducted to ensure that the system has not been compromised by hackers, which could lead to loss of sensitive data or unauthorized access. The main objective of vulnerability assessment is to find out whether there are any security risks in your network and if so, what can be done about it? Vulnerability assessment also helps you identify all possible threats against your network and therefore enable you to take appropriate measures for prevention.

Penetration testing is a security testing that employs both automated and manual techniques to assess the security of an application, website, or network. The goal of penetration testing is to identify vulnerabilities in the system so that you can address them before hackers do. Penetration testers are also referred to as “white hat” hackers because they strive for ethical hacking and will only report issues when it is safe to do so.

A penetration test is a hands-on examination conducted by a real person to detect and exploit weaknesses in the system. A penetration tester attempts to control critical systems and gain access to sensitive data using advanced tools and techniques.

Advantages of Vulnerability Assessment:

Vulnerability assessment is the process of identifying, assessing and prioritizing vulnerabilities in a computer system.

Limitations of a vulnerability Assessment

1:- False positives

2:- Testers must manually check each vulnerability before testing again

Vulnerability Assessment Tools:

1:- OpenVAS

2:- Nessus

3:- Nexpose

When should vulnerability scanning be performed?

To maintain a high level of security, a vulnerability scan should ideally be performed monthly. However, it is still dependent on factors such as the official standards that must be met, changes and updates, and the security program’s objectives. Before performing any system updates or organisational changes, it is best to perform a vulnerability and pen test. This way, any new loopholes are discovered right away.

Typically, compliance rules allow for a period of one year to one month (sometimes weekly) to conduct a mandatory test. Companies are commonly required to perform their tests every four months, and while this means that many issues will be discovered eventually, a lot can still go unnoticed for a long time.

Advantages of Penetration Testing:

1. Spot and resolve security vulnerabilities.

2. Gain valuable insights of the infrastructure/application.

3. Establish trust with your clients.

4. Personalized tests depending on the application.

5. Preventing vulnerabilities from being exploited and developing a reputation for strong cybersecurity service help to maintain positive client relationships.

Limitations of Penetration Testing:

1. Limitation of time.

2. Limitations of a Penetration Tester’s Skill Sets

Penetration Testing Tools:

1:- Burp Suite

2:- Sqlmap

3:- Owasp zap

Penetration Testers are well versed in:

1:- Black box / Gray box / White box pentest depending on the scope of the application.

2:- Security testing tools such as Burp suite, Metasploit, Etc.

When should penetration testing be performed?

A pentest should not be viewed as a one-time event. Because networks and applications are dynamic (that is, they change over time), pen testing should be performed whenever an update or new development process is implemented.

Penetration testing is sometimes performed too soon, even before the prototype is ready to be sent down for production. Because so many changes are bound to occur at the point of deployment, performing a pen test will only result in missing issues that arise later.


Penetration testing is crucial for identifying security vulnerabilities. You should be aware of its limitations, however, as they can have a significant impact on your organisation. Eliminating penetration testing is not an ideal solution, but it can be combined with other effective security methods and processes to conduct proper.

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