Web App Penetration Testing: Best Methods & Tools Used 2022

Web App Penetration Testing: Best Methods & Tools Used 2022

Is your company well-versed in cybersecurity policies to protect your online apps from intruders and phishing attacks? It may seem strange if your website has been hacked after investing a lot of time and cost in the creation of web apps. 

According to CISCO’s Cybersecurity Threats study, phishing attacks hit 86 percent of businesses globally in 2022. Web application security has recently become a big worry, as web infiltration may affect companies of all kinds (small, medium, and giant international firms), regardless of their size or cash. A simple error in the app’s settings might result in significant revenue losses. Consider the hacking of a US colonial pipeline by a group of hackers, which resulted in a ransom payment of 4.4 million dollars. That was the price of security’s inefficiency in protecting them from data intrusions. 

In order to avoid such situations, the best option is to implement penetration testing or web app penetration testing, which is considered the best security testing method for web apps.

Need for Web App Penetration Testing

Web application penetration testing simulates real-world cyber-attacks against a web application in order to find flaws that might lead to the loss of sensitive user and financial data. This is done in order to uncover existing vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit and to take the required precautions to avoid them. 

 Businesses may use penetration testing services to discover the sources of vulnerability in online applications and devise a plan to address them. Experts conduct a series of simulated assaults that mimic realistic unauthorized cyber-attacks in order to determine the severity of the vulnerability, defects, and the effectiveness of the organization’s overall application security posture. 

Also, another thing to note here is how people get confused between vulnerability scanning and penetration testing.  

Vulnerability scanning allows the user to detect known flaws with the program/software and provide remedies to address and improve the overall security of the application. Vulnerability scanning’s purpose is to determine if security updates have been applied and whether systems have been configured properly to make assaults more difficult. Pen testing, on the other hand, involves testers acting as unauthorized users attempting to obtain private data from online applications in order to find vulnerabilities. It provides a comprehensive overview of the system’s security layers.  

Web App Pen Testing Methodology

The methodology is nothing more than a collection of security industry rules for how testing should be carried out. There are some well-established and well-known methodologies and standards that can be used for testing, but because each web application requires distinct sorts of tests, testers can design their method by adhering to industry standards.  

Some of the commonly used methodologies and standards used for identifying threats are:  

Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)  

The OWASP top 10 is a frequently updated awareness document that identifies the top ten most serious dangers to an online application. OWASP is an organization that attempts to improve software security by ranking the top ten risks, ordered from most serious to least serious.  

The OWASP comprises experts from all across the world who constantly share information about risks and attacks.  

Open-Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM)  

Another popular testing methodology benchmark. Open-source security testing is a security testing guideline that is updated every six months with the most recent cyber threats. This is a systematic and scientific procedure that assists users in correlating credible penetration test data, analyzing vulnerabilities, red-teaming, and other security operations.  

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)  

It is a collection of requirements designed to ensure that all organizations that process, store, or transfer credit card information operate in a secure environment. It increases client trust and aids in the prevention of sensitive information loss as a result of unnoticed breaches. PCI DSS is especially important because of the payment component. When organizations follow this practice, it is regarded as the gold standard globally to ensure that payment information remains secure.  

Information Systems Security Assessment Framework (ISSAF)  

The ISSAF is a nine-step organized procedure meant to analyze network systems, application control, and security. Gathering information; mapping the network; discovering vulnerabilities; penetrating; obtaining basic access privileges and subsequently elevating them, retaining access, compromising distant users and remote sites, and concealing the tester’s digital footprints are all parts of the ISSAF. When compared to other more regularly used approaches, this form of penetration testing is more sophisticated.  


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Pen Testing Tools to Use in 2022 

The market is filled with several penetration testing tools and choosing the correct tool is completely depends on the type of task is meant for and what you want for your project. Below are some of the well-known tools you can consider:  


SQLMap is one of the greatest and most extensively used open-source tools for identifying and exploiting database-related vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection and database server takeover. This program supports a wide range of DBMS, including MySQL, MSSQL, MongoDB, Oracle, and PostgreSQL, among others.  


ZAP is a popular and widely used open-source web app scanner developed by OWASP that is used to find vulnerabilities. It is a’ man-in-the-middle proxy,’ which means it sits between the pen tester’s browser and the target online application. The pen tester can now intercept, inspect, and change messages passed between the browser and the web application. 


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The Burp Suite is a prominent penetration testing toolset that is frequently used to uncover online application security flaws. Because it allows you to intercept communication between the browser and any target program, this tool is frequently referred to as a proxy-based tool.  


Nessus is a well-known and commonly used paid vulnerability assessment tool. It is best suited for experienced security teams, as the UI can be difficult to learn at first. It should be used in tandem with pen-testing tools, giving them places to target and potential flaws to exploit.  


Wireshark is frequently seen in a security toolset. Pen testers use it to detect network issues and analyze traffic for vulnerabilities in real-time. It highlights data packet features, origin, destination, and more by reviewing connection-level information as well as the elements of data packets. While it identifies potential flaws, they must still be exploited using a pen-testing tool.  


Metasploit handles vulnerability screening and testing. It provides IT, security teams, with an analysis of pen testing results, backed by a massive open-source database of known exploits, so remediation actions may be completed rapidly. It does not, however, scale to the enterprise level, and some users report it is difficult to use at first.  

With hackers becoming more advanced in today’s world, it is critical for businesses to increase their security measures without delay. The benefit of online penetration testing is that it protects your systems and prevents data and financial loss. 

Hire a professional penetration testing company like ImpactQA to improve the security of your website without much effort.  We are ready to meet your demands at all times!  


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