5 Tools to Have in Your Arsenal for Software Penetration Testing
If you’re responsible for the security of any software – from your company’s website to its internal systems – then you need to be using penetration testing tools. These tools can help you find and exploit vulnerabilities in your software so that you can fix them before someone else finds them. In this article, we talk about why it is so important to perform penetration testing on your software, and what tools you can use for this task. We’ll also look at what to consider when buying a tool so that you make the right decision for your needs.
Why is software penetration testing important?
Software applications are under attack all the time. Hackers are continuously on the lookout for new ways to take advantage, and they can do a lot of damage if they’re successful. For example, in 2017 there was a ransomware outbreak that affected over 230,000 computers in 150 countries. This type of attack can cripple a business or worse.
10 reasons to perform penetration testing on your software:
- Finding vulnerabilities – The whole point of software penetration testing is to get rid of the security flaws that are there. Through penetration testing, you find these flaws by first trying to exploit them. If an exploit was successful then you know your software is prone to such attacks.
- Reducing the risk of attacks – By fixing the vulnerabilities that are found, you reduce the risk of your software being attacked.
- Preventing data loss and theft – Hackers can steal sensitive data or damage important files if they’re able to exploit a vulnerability in your software. Penetration testing can help you find these vulnerabilities before they’re exploited.
- Compliance with regulations – Many industries have regulations that require companies to perform online penetration testing on their systems. For example, the financial industry has requirements set by the PCI DSS.
- Improving security posture – When you know where your weak points are, you can focus your efforts on strengthening them making it difficult for hackers.
- Preventing embarrassment – If a vulnerability is found and exploited, it can be embarrassing for the company involved. You can avoid this by finding it first with penetration testing.
- Building confidence in security – When your software passes penetration tests with flying colours, it gives customers and stakeholders confidence that your security measures are working well.
- Providing evidence of due diligence – Sometimes you need to prove to someone that you’ve done everything possible to secure your system. Penetration testing can provide this proof.
- Preventing data breaches – A data breach can be a very costly event for a business. By performing penetration testing, you can help prevent these breaches from happening.
- Identifying malicious activity – Penetration testing can help you identify any malicious activity that is taking place in your software environment.
How can tools help with software penetration testing?
Vulnerabilities are typically discovered by internal researchers or third-party vendors. When you release software, you will want to provide a security update to fix any flaws that have been found in the product’s code thus far. This could be a daunting prospect for many organisations who either do not yet have the resources or simply don’t understand what owning and maintaining a software security program entails.
A well-crafted best penetration testing tool can automate many of the tasks required to identify vulnerabilities in your software. It can help you rapidly identify potential security issues, and it can also automate the reporting process so that you have all the information you need in one place. This can save you a lot of time and effort so that you can focus on fixing the vulnerabilities that are found.
Top 5 software penetration testing tools:
There are many different tools available for software penetration testing, but here are some of the most reliable ones:
- Astra Pentest: This is a commercial tool by Astra Security, a leading cyber security company that specialises in penetration testing and audits. With this tool, you get features like vulnerability scans against 3000+ known threats, a risk score based on everything, tips to fix the flaws found, a firewall for your web servers that can block specific IPs. Not to mention their interactive user interface can be a sight for sore eyes. It also shows threats being blocked in real-time.
- Metasploit: This is one of the most popular open-source pentesting tools available. It includes exploits, payloads, and modules for attacking a wide range of systems.
- sqlmap: This is a powerful SQL injection tool that helps you hack into SQL databases and websites.
- Wireshark: This network analysis tool can be used to capture and inspect packets from a variety of sources.
- Drozer: This comprehensive security assessment framework can be used to find vulnerabilities in Android devices and applications.
What to consider before buying a software penetration testing tool?
When buying a software penetration testing tool, there are a few things you need to consider:
- Ease of use: The tool should be easy to learn and use so that you can get up and running quickly.
- Cost: The provider shouldn’t be overcharging for their tool and services, and it should fit your budget.
- Frequency of updates: The tool should be frequently updated to protect against the latest threats.
- Provider support and training: The provider should offer good support and training so that you can get the most out of the tool.
- Features included: The tool must satisfy your requirements in terms of features, including the types of vulnerabilities it can find and exploit.
Penetration testing is an important part of software security, and using the right tools can make it much easier. These are some of the finest software penetration testing tools available, so take a look at each one of them. Remember to consider the factors listed above when choosing a tool, so that you can get the most value for your money.