What is penetration testing? Mention some popular penetration testing tools

A penetration test, often known as a pen test, is a computer simulation of a cyberattack to find possible vulnerabilities. It’s frequently used to supplement a web application firewall (WAF). It can entail simulating an attack on a variety of application systems, including APIs, frontend servers, and backend servers, in order to find any vulnerabilities. The information collected from this type of testing may be utilized to strengthen WAF security measures and address any vulnerabilities that are discovered.

The following are a few common penetration testing tools:

  • Netsparker
  • Wireshark
  • Metasploit
  • BeEF
  • Aircrack

“Penetration Testing” is a test attack in simulation to expose the existing vulnerabilities and risk elements of your network and system. It may include attempts to try to breach the application software, servers at backend, interfaces at front end, for better risk assessment and updating of the existing security mechanism.

The Penetration Testing stages mainly comprise of following:

Planning of the attack:

After clear demarcation of the mission goals and parts of the systems to be tested and checked, and the mode of testing. All the information is collected to study the response.


The information gathered in the first stage is analyzed here to have a better understanding of the responses. This when done during run time is called dynamic analysis and when done otherwise is called static analysis. The run time version is preferred for more practical results.


In this stage, methods like SQL Injection are used to penetrate and try to gather the data from the servers. The idea is to not just get the access to the system but also remain there for more deeper penetration.


In the final stage, all the data is gathered to make a list of all the vulnerabilities that were exploited in the process, the data that was compromised and the parts of the system that were affected, along with the time that the whole process took and the penetration survived for.

Following are various types of Penetration Testing:

External Testing:

Only the visible and public assets of the company are attacked here.

Internal Testing:

The penetration is deeper and within the firewall protection to gather the vulnerabilities of the internal setup.

Blind Testing:

This provides a better and more practical approach as here the testing can target any random part of the system to check the security measures and response time.

Targeted Testing:

Here the tester and the security team keep a real time check on each other to have a one-on-one response check to find out the system’s security status in case of an intense showdown during actual scenario.