Network Penetration Testing: The Best Tools, Methodologies, and Benefits

Network Penetration Testing: The Best Tools, Methodologies, and Benefits
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Network penetration testing is a crucial component of any well-rounded cyber security scheme. NPTs are done to identify and mitigate the risks associated with the vulnerabilities in your network, but what makes them different from vulnerability assessments? How can you make sure that you’re employing the most appropriate equipment for NPTs? What are the necessary steps for a successful NPT? These are some of the most frequently asked questions about NPTs, and it’s answered for you in this article! Also, you’ll get to know about top penetration testing companies from here.

The Best Tools For Network Penetration Testing

This section features the best penetration testing tools available for network penetration testing with details on their features and how they can be used. Burp Suite, Acunetix, Astra Pentest, Netsparker, and Qualys are among the most popular tools for NPT and each has its own strengths and weaknesses:

  • Burp Suite is a comprehensive platform that covers the entire testing process from start to finish. It includes a variety of tools for reconnaissance, scanning, exploiting vulnerabilities, and reporting.
  • Astra Security’s Astra Pentest is a well-known web application security scanner that can be used to test the security of your network. The tool provides access to a vast amount of information on vulnerabilities and detailed reports, but it’s also one of the slower scanners out there.
  • Acunetix is a powerful scanner that can identify a large number of vulnerabilities with high accuracy. However, it does not include many features for exploited or post-exploitation activities.
  • Netsparker is an effective scanner with good reporting capabilities. It also includes some features for exploitation and exploitation.
  • Qualys is an enterprise-level cloud-based platform that helps with vulnerability assessment, robust scanning, compliance, and configuration management. It also includes the largest library of predefined security checks for easy use by everyone on your team. However, it does not include many tools for post-exploitation like other solutions in this list do.

Methodologies Opted For Network Penetration Testing:

The best methodologies available for network penetration testing are the OSSTMM and OWASP methodology:

  • OSSTMM is a well-known industry standard that has been used by organizations large and small to test their networks since 2001. It’s considered one of the most thorough testing frameworks out there, but its long history means that some newer vulnerabilities will be identified as low severity by default unless they’re marked otherwise in the report template. This can lead to frustration among clients who feel like these issues should receive higher priority when remediated.
  • OWASP is a newer methodology that was created in 2004. It’s more lightweight than the OSSTMM and includes specific instructions for testing web applications, which can be helpful for organizations that are particularly at risk from these attacks. However, it does not include as much detail on other aspects of network security like email servers or databases.

Network Penetration Testing

Once you’ve identified some weak points in your network using one of the best tools for penetration testing listed above, what’s next? These methodologies include information gathering, penetration testing with exploitation and social engineering, privilege escalation where applicable, pivoting throughout the network to gain access from a single point of entry, and reporting!

Information gathering is also known as reconnaissance is the first stage in any penetration test. This process involves identifying all possible targets within the network, as well as the systems and services that they offer. The second step is to actually go after these systems and try to determine whether or not they’re vulnerable to attack. Penetration testing with exploitation and social engineering are two common methods used for this stage. If vulnerabilities are found, the next step is privilege escalation, where an attacker gains elevated privileges on a system in order to exploit it further. Pivoting throughout the network from a single point of entry is also often necessary at this stage in order to gain access to other systems. Finally, reporting provides detailed information about the findings of the NPT and what measures should be taken to mitigate any risks identified.

Benefits and Drawbacks Of Network Penetration Testing:

The benefits of network penetration testing as a whole are obvious: you’re able to identify vulnerabilities and fix them before they can be exploited. However, the drawbacks of this type of testing may not always be clear even when there’s evidence that it has been performed poorly or incompletely in some way:

Benefits:

You will know more about what your network is vulnerable to and how those risks can impact operations. This allows for better mitigation strategies so fewer issues arise after an attack occurs. You’ll also have detailed reports on exactly where these weaknesses exist so they can be fixed quickly and efficiently with minimal disruption.

Drawbacks:

Network penetration tests tend to take longer than other types because there are many moving parts involved – from information gathering to exploiting vulnerabilities. They also require a higher level of skill from the testers, so they can be more expensive than other types of security testing.

Conclusion

Network penetration testing for networks is an important element of any security plan. By using the best tools and methodologies available, you can reduce your risk of being hacked while gaining a better understanding of your network’s weaknesses. However, it’s important to remember that this type of testing should always be performed by experienced professionals to ensure accurate and reliable results.

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Author Bio: Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing “engineering in marketing” to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events.

You can connect him on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankit-pahuja/

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