What is Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing is an ethical hacking technique used to identify the security loopholes in your network or applications by simulating real-world attacks.
Performing penetration tests on your systems will help you determine whether they are equipped to defend against today’s advanced cyber-attacks and zero-days, which hackers use for breaking into networks with impunity. This includes unauthorized access of confidential data via insecure communication channels, revealing sensitive information about users through social engineering techniques, bypassing authentication mechanisms across various platforms, etc.
When Should Penetration Testing be Performed?
It is best if you perform regular internal penetration tests as a preventive measure rather than a reactive solution after having experienced a breach due to vulnerabilities in your systems already. However, if there has been a security incident already, penetration testing should be performed as soon as possible to help mitigate the risks associated with those vulnerabilities.
What are some of the OWASP Penetration Testing Tools?
- OWASP Zap.
- OWASP proxy.
- OWASP burp suite professional.
- OWASP wpsploit pro, etc.
There are a number of standard methodologies to be followed for performing OWASP penetration testing, which includes:
- The Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM).
- Penetration test Execution Standard (PTES).
- Web Application Security Assessment Framework (WASAF).
How to Conduct a Pentest?
The OWASP penetration testing should follow a step-by-step approach and use the same methodology as used during the development of web applications.
- The first phase is information gathering where you identify all possible entry points in your system, which includes both physical entry points or network ports open for communication on either side. This helps in determining vulnerabilities that might exist across different platforms if required to be tested later.
- Identifying known vulnerabilities: After assessing potential threats, the next stage is identifying common security issues present within certain systems that are more likely to get exploited by hackers. You can do this manually by looking at relevant documentation provided with these software packages or through automated tools such as OWASP zap, OWASP proxy, etc.
- Performing vulnerability testing: This involves using penetration testing methodologies to identify vulnerabilities within the systems so that they can be fixed before hackers exploit these for unauthorized access. These tests are executed in a safe environment and with prior permission from system owners since it might lead to downtime of servers if not performed carefully.
What does OWASP Penetration Testing include?
- Vulnerability Analysis.
- Network Scanning.
- Web Application Security Testing
- Social Engineering Techniques (to get sensitive information like passwords).
- Brute Force Techniques.
- Denial of Service Testing.
Penetration testing should be performed by OWASP certified professionals to help avoid the exploitation of vulnerabilities present in your systems. OWASP penetration tests can also detect previously unknown security issues and fix them before hackers exploit these for unauthorized access.
The need for OWASP penetration testing has never been greater. While there are many ways to test an application, the OWASP group of experts have found that Penetration Testing is still the most effective option because it examines not just one but multiple vulnerabilities in a system.