Web application penetration testing is a type of security testing technique used on web apps as part of a healthy, secure development process.
It is a systematic sequence of procedures aimed at acquiring information about the target system that entails utilizing penetration testing techniques on a web application to find its vulnerabilities.
Application penetration testing entails a set of steps aimed at acquiring information about the target system, identifying flaws or vulnerabilities, and researching exploits that will exploit such flaws or vulnerabilities and breach the web application.
Why is Web Application penetration testing important?
Penetration testing determines a system’s capacity to defend its networks, applications, endpoints, and users from both internal and external attacks.It also seeks to protect system controls by thwarting any effort at illegal access.
3 Reasons why penetration testing is necessary :
1. Secure Infrastructure
For any firm, having a secure infrastructure is critical. Penetration testing is one of the most common methods of evaluating a security system. Penetration testing aids in identifying weak places in an application or network that a cyber criminal could readily attack.
2. Customer Trust and Company Reputation
The importance of a person’s reputation cannot be exaggerated. It’s what keeps the world turning, and it’s what most businesses are all about. The reputation of a company may make or break it. A mere news story about a company’s data leak can devastate your entire brand.
3. Efficient Security Measures and Security Awareness
The safety and security of the company’s data is critical.It is, nevertheless, vulnerable to attack, whether by an employee who accepts a bribe to divulge personal information or by hackers, so being prepared is essential.
A penetration test is a non-destructive method of identifying potential security flaws prior to an attack.
Web Application Penetration Types
There are two main types of web pentesting.
1:- Internal: While the app is still relatively secure but internal testing can be performed on corporate networks, revealing vulnerability to LAN errors and employee attacks.
2:- External: Testing is done online and simulates how customers and hackers interact with your app after it’s published.
Steps And Methodologies Are Used To Perform A Web App Pentest
Step1: Information Gathering
The reconnaissance phase or information gathering, is the most important step in any penetration testing process because it provides you with a wealth of information that allows you to quickly identify vulnerabilities and exploit them later.Depending on the sort of engagement, there are two forms of reconnaissance:
1:- Active Reconnaissance
Active Reconnaissance looks directly at the target system and gets the output
At this stage, you will get information about open ports, services, application versions, CMS, OS versions, a list of applications hosted on non-standard ports, and more.
2:- Passive Reconnaissance
Passive Reconnaissance allows receiving data from various open sources: Whois domain names, social networks, employees data, mapping nodes, second-level domains, test applications and hosts, mail servers, list of applications hosted with the same IP address, same address space, and other open information. Search engines like Google, Shodan, Pastebin can give good results here
Step 2: Attack and Gain Access
Penetration testing uses the data it retrieves to find and exploit vulnerabilities to gain access to the system.
To attack the web application, utilize the following tools.
It allows intercepting requests and responses from the browser to the server. Most Popular proxy tools areBurpSuite and OWASP ZAP.
2.Vulnerability identifiers and exploitation tools
B:- Burp Suite
H:- John Ripper
J:- Arjun and Paramspider
K:- Wfuzz, Dirb, GoBuster, DirBuster
Step 3: Reporting And Recommendations
The report’s structure should be simple and to the point, with enough facts to back up your conclusions. Make sure you stick to the approaches that worked and include as much detail as possible.
You can assist the client company in focusing its efforts on addressing the most critical elements of their system by writing down successful exploits and categorizing them by criticality.
Some businesses make it a point to prepare a report for business-oriented employees so that both client IT workers and upper management comprehend the report and how much danger they are exposed to.
In terms of commerciality and utility, web applications have a lot to offer the market.They make the internet more functional, but at a cost.
These systems are often public and so always accessible over the internet.Because of their increasing popularity and presence on the internet, web apps frequently contain design and configuration flaws that hostile hackers exploit.
Because these systems are almost always connected to the internet, they pose a higher risk and should be treated as such when it comes to penetration testing.
It is in a company’s best interest to do annual web application penetration testing if the application holds credit card data, personal information, or even health records.
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