The internet world has undoubtedly been one of the best things that ever happened to humankind. The world is connected to the extent that the boundaries of depths and peaks have been blurred like never before. Things once unimaginable before are the matters of our everyday lives.
But, the universal fact that if boon exists, sure does the bane with it. And the world of technology is neither an exception nor ever will be. In the wrong hands, technology can even be a weapon of mass destruction viz. a cruel reality.
There will always be that side of us that is never satisfied, greedy for more, and to achieve it, going to any extent, stooping below any known morality code, for reaping affluence by hook or by crook.
Being aware of such events, we need to take extra care, to go the extra mile to prevent such incidents from ever happening. And to fortify what we have built, a method is to purposefully test the resilience by deliberate attacks through simulated methods under controlled conditions.
What is Web Application Penetration Testing?
Web application penetration testing is one such practice in which simulated attacks are deliberately made, on a system under guided supervision. The objective of this attack is to gain access to sensitive data, and the purpose is to determine whether the system is secure.
These forms of attacks take place either internally or externally on the system. It helps us in identifying vulnerabilities within the system by acquiring vital information about the target system. Enabling us to uncover potential exploits that might compromise the system to the world of attacks.
These stimulated attacks act as an essential method of checking the health of any particular system, letting the testing analyst comprehend the severity of the security concerns. Thus enabling a remedial action or set of actions to address the flaws and ensure the required guard against any such strikes.
Need for Web Application Penetration Tests
There has been a massive expansion of web applications over time. A huge amount of internet resources are being spent to develop software and find ways to configure these applications to be various platforms compatible.
This newfound frontier is however under the incessant vector of attacks by malicious hackers that can be used by them for personal gains.
Considering that many web applications hold sensitive data, they should be kept secure at all times. Especially, since they are exposed to the world of the internet. Therefore as a part of the Software Development Life Cycle(SDLC) process, web application penetration testing would be the best and most cost-effective way to fight off any form of vulnerabilities.
Programming mistakes are another reason that allows malicious attackers to exploit the application and create a dangerous scenario. This can act as a way to compromise all personal information or end up providing unauthorized access to crucial systems.
Methodologies used to perform Web Application Penetration Testing:
Testing the web application is focused on gathering public information about the web app and then the network involved in hosting the web app needs to be mapped out.
The steps involved are:
Step 1: Information Gathering: This phase is focused on acquiring the maximum amount of information that helps us to identify the vulnerabilities easily. This serves as the know-how information regarding the possible exploits that may happen.
Information gathering is done in two ways
- Active Reconnaissance is when the target system is probed directly, and output is retrieved. Example includes fingerprinting the web application, performing DNS forward and reverse lookup, a DNZ zone transfer, and more. Identifying related external sites is an important step in the process of information gathering. As normally there is traffic flowing between external sites and the target site.
- Passive Reconnaissance is the process of gathering information that is already there on the internet without interacting with the target system directly. Usually, the research made in this phase is done using popular websites such as Google. And also by probing the old version of the website important characteristics can be noted down that might come as a help, later in the research and exploitation phase.
Step 2: Research and Exploitation: Research is one of the most important factors when performing a web app penetration test. Therefore, one needs to use appropriate tools to narrow down the aspects of research and find ways to exploit the system.
Popular tools used for website penetration testing include:
- Burp Suite
- John Ripper
Benefits of Web Application Penetration Testing
- Providing satisfaction for compliance requirements required by various industries.
- Helps to know your infrastructure robustness: Any changes made on the Public-facing infrastructures such as firewalls and DNS servers make it vulnerable.
- It helps identify vulnerabilities by finding loopholes in the applications before an attack actually occurs.
- Aids in confirming security policies by assessing existing security policies for any weaknesses.
Fegno Technologies makes all efforts possible to keep the web application flawless by ensuring strict measures of scrutiny through penetration testing. With our experience in building robust and error-free applications, we assure you that our products and services stay up to the international mark as we ‘Build Beyond The Marks’.