Penetration Testing on Web Applications and Ways to Conduct Them

smartphone-3179295_1920 (1)
Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

Web application penetration testing helps ensure that your application and your customer’s sensitive data are secure from hackers and malicious theft. Web applications have become a nice place to store your sensitive data so that you can access it easily. However, malicious hackers and script kiddies have come up to try to obtain the data stored there. Penetration testing is done to identify loopholes and misconfiguration flaws in the web application. Penetration testing is done internally or externally to simulate attacks to check if there are leakages of information.

Importance of web application penetration testing

· It helps to identify loopholes and misconfiguration flaws in the web app.

· Penetration testing helps to check if the security and control policies are effective.

· It helps to ensure that the web application complies with PCI HIPAA and DSS.

· It helps check the web app’s configuration and the strength of the information disclosed to the public.

Ways of conduction web penetration testing

Penetration testing, also known as pentesting, can be conducted through internal, external testing, or both.

Internal testing

Internal penetration testing is essential to track the attacks from inside the corporate walls. Assuming that attacks or hackers do not come from within the corporate might be wrong. The penetration test is conducted through the intranet to ensure there are no leakages of information.

External penetration testing

External penetration testing is done in web applications to stimulate attacks. The penetration testing is done by obtaining the app’s IP and domain, like how ordinary hackers do them to try to manipulate the information. The test will identify if there are chances where the malicious hackers could tamper with their web app.

 Stages of performing a web application penetration testing

The penetration testing is done in four phases, as discussed below.

First phase

Planning is the first phase whereby the need to do the penetration arises, and whether to do internal or external testing is made. Also, the time that tests should be conducted is set to avoid tampering with the app’s security policies.

Second phase

In the pre-attack phase, the testing is done by looking for information from the public that can negatively affect the organization, and it is done through open-source intelligence. This stage prepares you for the next step of testing.

Third phase

The attack phase is where the initial act occurs whereby the hackers try to access and tamper through the internal part of the corporate firewall and compromising the host. Activities such as physical security tamper and social engineering attacks are what is done here.

Fourth phase

In the last phase, the post-attack phase, a detailed report is generated concerning the test done. The information is further given to the organization test, recommendations and conclusions are made.

 In conclusion, there are tools for conducting penetration testing, and they can be manual or automatic. The tools include an automated burp suite and browsers developer tool etc. web application penetration testing is crucial to enhance information security.