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May 31, 2024 Information hub

Penetration Testing A Key to Robust Web and Mobile Application Security

Penetration testing, also known as a pen test, is a simulated cyber attack against your computer system to check for exploitable vulnerabilities. In the context of web and mobile application security, penetration testing is commonly used to uncover vulnerabilities, such as unsanitized inputs that are susceptible to code injection attacks. The insights provided by the penetration test can be used to fine-tune your application security policies and patch detected vulnerabilities.

Stages of Penetration Testing
The pen testing process can be broken down into five stages:

Planning and Reconnaissance: The first stage involves defining the scope and goals of a test, including the systems to be addressed and the testing methods to be used. It also includes gathering intelligence to better understand how a target works and its potential vulnerabilities.
Scanning: The next step is to understand how the target application will respond to various intrusion attempts. This is typically done using static analysis and dynamic analysis.
Gaining Access: This stage uses web application attacks, such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection, to uncover a target’s vulnerabilities. Testers then try and exploit these vulnerabilities to understand the damage they can cause.
Maintaining Access: The goal of this stage is to see if the vulnerability can be used to achieve a persistent presence in the exploited system— long enough for a bad actor to gain in-depth access.
Analysis: The results of the penetration test are then compiled into a report detailing specific vulnerabilities that were exploited, sensitive data that was accessed, and the amount of time the pen tester was able to remain in the system undetected. This information is analyzed by security personnel to help configure an enterprise’s application security solutions to patch vulnerabilities and protect against future attacks.

Penetration Testing Methods
There are several methods of penetration testing, including external testing, internal testing, blind testing, double-blind testing, and targeted testing. Each of these methods has its unique approach and benefits, providing a comprehensive way to test an application’s security.

Conclusion
Penetration testing is a crucial part of maintaining robust web and mobile application security. It helps uncover vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers and provides valuable insights to help fine-tune security policies and patch detected vulnerabilities. By regularly conducting penetration tests, organizations can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and ensure the safety of their applications.

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