Automated Penetration Testing: What It Is

Automated penetration testing is an important part of information security.

This is a method of mimicking attacks on a computer.

They do it in order to identify potential vulnerabilities that hackers might utilize. 

Penetration testing has traditionally been completed manually, but this is both time-consuming and pricey.

 

automated-penetration-testing

 

In recent years, the use of automated penetration testing has risen.

Penetration testing conducted automatically is faster, more accurate, and more efficient than manual penetration testing. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the following:

  • what automated penetration testing is
  • how it is different from manual penetration testing
  • the features of automated penetration testing tools
  • some of the major automated penetration testing tools available today.

What Is Automated Penetration Testing?

Automated penetration testing is a form of software penetration testing.

In it they use automation tools to simulate hacks on a computer system.

One can use these tools to find vulnerabilities in websites, networks, and systems.

Penetration testing that is automated is quicker and more accurate than manual penetration testing.

 

What Are the Features of Automated Penetration Testing Tools?

There are several types:

 

Automatic Vulnerability Scanning

Automatic vulnerability scanning is one of the key features of automated penetration testing tools.

These tools can scan for vulnerabilities in websites, networks, and systems.

 

Attack Simulation

Attack simulation is another key feature of automated penetration testing tools.

Scanning applications can test websites, networks, and systems for vulnerabilities to provide a more realistic approach.

 

Reporting

Automated penetration testing tools generate reports that contain information about the results of the tests run.

This data can assist you in finding and correcting system flaws.

 

Cross-Site Scripting Detection

This allows you to find cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in web applications.

Also, in websites by using an automated tool like Burp Suite Pro or Astra’s Pentest.

The best part about this feature is that it doesn’t require any knowledge of the HTML programming language!

All you need is a computer with an Internet connection and the tool will scan your site for security holes.

 

SQL Injection Detection

Many companies have implemented measures such as WAFs (Web Application Firewall).

This is because of SQL injection attacks becoming increasingly common.

However, these systems are not always effective at preventing them from happening in real time.

This is where automated tools come in handy!

They can identify and stop these attacks before they happen.

 

What Are Some of the Major Automated Penetration Testing Tools?

Here are some of the major automated penetration testing tools available today:

Burp Suite 

Burp Suite is a popular automated penetration testing toolkit security professionals use worldwide.

It includes a variety of features such as automatic vulnerability scanning, attack simulation, and reporting.

Metasploit Framework 

The Metasploit Framework is a popular open-source penetration testing software.

It includes a variety of features such as automatic vulnerability scanning, attack simulation, and reporting.

Nmap

Nmap is a popular network exploration and security auditing tool.

It includes a variety of features such as automatic vulnerability scanning, port scanning, and OS detection.

Astra’s Pentest Suite

Astra’s Pentest Suite is a popular penetration testing and vulnerability scanning solution.

It includes a variety of features such as automatic vulnerability scanning, vulnerability management, and penetration testing.

How Is It Different From Manual Penetration Testing?

Here is the main difference between automated and manual penetration testing.

This is that automated tools are used to simulate attacks in the former, while the latter you can do by hand. 

Automated testing tools are faster and more accurate than manual testing.

They also generate reports that contain information about the results of the tests run.

This data may assist you in patching your system’s vulnerabilities. 

Some of the major automated penetration testing tools available today include Astra’s Pentest Suite, Burp Suite, Metasploit Framework, and Nmap.

MUST READ  PDF Filler: What You Should Know About It

 

Steps in Automated Penetration Testing:

There are four main steps in automated penetration testing: reconnaissance, scanning, attack configuration, and reporting.

  • The first step is to gain intelligence on your objective system through espionage.
  • Next comes scanning for vulnerabilities using tools like Nmap or Nessus. This might take some time depending on how large of a network you’re trying to scan.
  • Once you have completed successfully scanning, we can move on to configuring attacks with Metasploit Framework. This allows us to set up our own custom payloads (such as Meterpreter) before running them against remote hosts. So that they execute code on them without having direct access to the machine itself. This could be useful if there’s no way into an organization except via their public-facing web server(s).
  • Finally, reports are generated containing information about the results of testing which help you fix vulnerabilities in your system.

Different Types of Automated Penetration Testing

There are two main types of automated penetration testing: a web application and a network. 

  • Web application penetration testing: This is the process of finding security holes in web applications. This can include scanning for common vulnerabilities. For example, Cross-Site Scripting and SQL injection. As well as performing manual tests like verifying authentication and session management mechanisms.
  • Network penetration testing: This is the method of finding flaws in systems linked to a network. This includes scanning for open ports and services, enumerating users and passwords, and running vulnerability scans against hosts on the network. In many cases, one can use automated network penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities that manual inspection would otherwise miss alone.
  • Port scanners: These tools scan your systems for open ports and then report back any information they find (such as what type of service is running on that port). This allows them to identify vulnerabilities in these services which attackers could use as an entry point into your network or computer system.
  • Vulnerability checkers: They will look at installed programs/applications within a given network environment and determine if there are any known exploits associated with those programs. So when using this kind of tool, it’s important not just to install software but also to keep up-to-date patches applied regularly too! If you don’t have access rights on the server itself then contact someone who does before attempting anything like this yourself because errors could cause more harm than good.
  • Network traffic monitors: These tools track all network activity going in and out of a given system. This allows you to see what data one sends and where. It can be very helpful in identifying malicious or unauthorized activity on your network. For instance, when someone is trying to steal sensitive information.

Benefits of Automated Penetration Testing

Automated penetration testing has many benefits, including:

It’s Faster Than Manual Testing

An automated tool will complete the job much sooner than if someone were doing it manually.

It doesn’t require human intervention.

This allows companies to save time and money on security audits.

They get more done with less effort from their staff members.

From the ones who need to focus on other tasks during business hours.

This is instead of researching vulnerabilities for clients’ websites or networks all day long.

Benefits include saving time/money which you could spend elsewhere within your organization.

Increasing efficiency since there won’t be any delays due to human error or mistakes made during manual testing.

And improving accuracy since automated tools don’t have issues with things like memory usage, processing power limitations.

You’ll also see better results compared to what you would get if you were doing it yourself manually!

MUST READ  Easy Fix: Software Reporter Tool High CPU Usage

 

It’s More Accurate Than Manual Testing

Because there are no humans involved in the process of running an automated test, there will be fewer errors/mistakes made by people.

People might not know everything about penetration testing (which could result in missing something important).

Benefits include saving time/money that one could spend elsewhere within your organization.

Increasing efficiency since there won’t be any delays due to human error or mistakes made during manual testing.

And improving accuracy since automated tools don’t have issues with things like memory usage, processing power limitations.

You’ll also see better results compared to what you would get if you were doing it yourself manually!

 

It’s More Comprehensive Than Manual Testing

Automated tools can test a system much more comprehensively than a human ever could.

This is because they have the ability to scan through systems quickly.

Also, they can identify vulnerabilities that one might miss during a manual inspection.

 

It’s Easier To Use Than Manual Testing

Most automated penetration testing tools are designed with usability in mind.

So they’re typically very easy to learn and use.

This makes them ideal for people who don’t have a lot of experience in penetration testing (or any kind of security auditing).

Cons of Automated Penetration Testing

– It’s limited in scope. Automated tools can only do so much.

They won’t catch everything that a human might notice during manual testing.

So it’s important to keep this in mind when deciding whether or not you want to use an automated tool for your security audit needs.

– It takes time away from other tasks. Using an automated tool can take up valuable time that you could otherwise spend on more important tasks.

For instance, writing code or monitoring systems for vulnerabilities and alerts.

This means that if there is something urgent happening with your network then it’s better not to rely solely on automation.

This is because its results may not be accurate enough to address the problem at hand immediately.

Especially since humans will still need some input.

The most common types of automated pen testing tools are port scanners, vulnerability checkers, and network traffic monitors.

But there are many others out there too!

These all work together to make sure your system has no weaknesses that malicious attackers from outside sources could exploit.

Conclusion

So there you have it!

We hope this post has helped you understand what automated penetration testing is and how it differs from manual penetration testing.

Be sure to check out some of the major automated penetration testing tools listed above if you are interested in learning more about this topic.

The takeaway?

Automated penetration testing should be an important part of your overall security strategy.

But it’s not the only thing you need to worry about!

Make sure you’re also doing things like patch management, employee training, and keeping up with the latest security news.

Now you can stay ahead of any potential threats.