Web Application Vulnerability Testing: The Tools and Methodologies

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Web Application Vulnerability Testing is a process of identifying and documenting vulnerabilities in web applications. Web application testing tools are used to identify security flaws, while the testing methodology determines how to exploit these weaknesses. This article will discuss what web application vulnerability testing is, provide examples of different types of tests and their methodologies that can be performed during this process, and introduce you to some of the most popular tools for performing these tests!

Methodologies For Web Application Vulnerability Testing

There are three common methodologies for website vulnerability testing: black box, white box/grey box, and grey hat.

  • Black Box Testing is an approach where the tester has no knowledge of the inner workings of the website being tested. This includes not having access to any source code or documentation that could provide details on how things work internally within a system. Because this type of testing provides very little information about what’s happening behind the scenes, it’s often referred to as “blind” testing! During Black Box testing, testers focus solely on functionality by using automated scanners—such as Burp Suite Scanner, Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner, Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner —or manually reviewing the website for common vulnerabilities.
  • White Box Testing is an approach where testers have detailed information about the inner workings of a system, including access to source code and documentation; it’s sometimes referred to as “clear box testing” or “glass box testing”. This type of test is often used in conjunction with automated scanners—such as Burp Suite Pro, Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner, Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner —to ensure that all possible attack vectors are covered by both manual and automated techniques. White-box tests can also be performed manually if desired.
  • Grey Box Testing provides testers with some knowledge about how things work internally within a system but without having total control over what happens behind the scenes. Grey Box testing can be compared to opening the hood of a car and looking around. During this type of test, testers may have access to some documentation or other resources that detail how things work internally; however, they cannot control what happens behind the scenes due to how dynamic web applications are these days! A tester might not know exactly where certain functionality is located within an application but would still like to execute automated scanning techniques—such as Burp Suite Scanner, Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner, Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner —to ensure all possible attack vectors are covered during their manual tests.

Automated And Manual Web Application Security Testing

Automated web application security testing is usually used as a first step to quickly identify low-hanging fruit and insecure flaws, while manual testing is often employed in conjunction with automated techniques for more detailed tests.

Manual web application security testing is an approach that requires testers to manually review the website for common vulnerabilities. Manual testing is often used in conjunction with automated scanning techniques, such as Burp Suite Pro, Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner, Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner, which can identify specific vulnerabilities within your web application or automate routine checks and tests.

The main drawback of manual security tests is their limited ability to scale effectively; it’s not uncommon for a professional penetration tester to take several weeks performing various types of manual vulnerability scans, code reviews, and other complex tasks! As you might guess—this process would be extremely time-consuming when performed on multiple applications across an entire enterprise network! This is why many companies are turning towards automation tools like Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner, Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner, in an attempt to speed things up a bit!

Vulnerability scanning tools allow companies to continuously monitor their websites and web applications for vulnerabilities with minimal effort. They can also be used as part of a more comprehensive penetration testing or ethical hacking engagement so that the client’s security posture is being constantly monitored from both external and internal perspectives—which ultimately improves their overall level of online trustworthiness! In addition, vulnerability scanners are often configured by experienced Penetration Testing Consultants/Ethical Hackers to perform automated scans on behalf of clients when specific conditions have been met. Since most modern organizations utilize some type of proxy server that directs access into protected areas—such as the DMZ—it’s important that your vulnerability scanning tool has proxy-aware functionality to avoid any false-positive results!

Vulnerability scanners can be used as standalone tools or integrated into an existing security infrastructure. When it comes to web application security, both commercial and open-source solutions are available on the market. It’s always a good idea to research different options and decide which product will fit best into your environment.

The Tools Available For Web Application Vulnerability Testing

As mentioned above, there are numerous tools available for performing different types of web application vulnerability testing. Some tools can be used for more than one methodology (e.g., automated and manual) while others might only provide specific functionality during a particular type of test; here we’ll go over some popular examples:

Automated Scanning Tools:

  • Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner
  • Burp Suite Pro
  • Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner

Manual Testing Tools:

  • Grendel-Scan (free)
  • Wapiti (free)
  • Burp Suite Pro
  • Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner

Conclusion

This article discusses the various methodologies that can be opted for testing your web application security. The three mentioned methodologies can be opted based on your requirements to assess the vulnerability of your website. This article also mentions some of the tools that are available for both automated and manual web application testing. Hope you find it enlightening and informative in helping you decide how you want to go about assessing your web application’s security!