Top Security Testing Tools

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

Security Testing Tools Consider the case of creating a new software application, a web application, a plugin, etc. You tested it in beta and alpha versions. Currently, you are just considering a release date, but have you thought about applying penetration testing to your developed application? Security penetration testing is your attempt to determine whether your application’s security features are effective.

It might come to you as a surprise, but more than 88% of the total businesses and companies in the world have witnessed a phishing attack in one form or the other in 2019 (source). And in most cases, the security is penetrated by the hackers from the software which the company is using.

Thus, to ensure the safety of your customers and clients, you need to perform penetration testing on your developed application. In order to perform the test, you will need security testing tools, and that’s what we are here for. Today, we will show you some of the best security testing tools that you can find on the internet.

These tools will test each and every single line of code that you have written for the application. We are sure you will see some security flaws once the test has been completed. But that’s what testing tools are for, to bring the issues related to security to your attention.

Why Is Security Testing Important In 2022?

If you are asking this question in 2022, you should definitely check out the news. Each day there is a new data breach or some new ransomware attack on big MNCs. Therefore, if billion-dollar corporations cannot keep their sites protected from cyberattacks, you too should think about your application and how vulnerable they may be too.

Performing security testing might take some time, but each second that you are spending on security testing will save you hundreds of dollars and customer reliability. The main goal for conducting security testing is to find out the issues present in your application that could lead to compromise of data, security and access. Once these threats are found, your development team can work on eradicating these issues and get the application safe and secure to use. There are a total of 7 different types of security. In the section below, we have defined each one of them in brief for your better understanding.

Types Of Security Testing?

So here is the list of different types of security testing that you should be doing on your application to find out the threats related to its security.

1. Vulnerability Scanning

Starting the list with the most apparent testing and the one which everyone needs to do for their applications is vulnerability scanning. In this type of security test, the software will perform the automation to find out the vulnerabilities that are present in the application. The software will check the code from the outside and will look for the issues such as cross-site scripting, SQL injections, command injections, insecure server configuration and more. The main issue with this type of scanning is that sometimes without any alert, this scanning can result in a complete crash of the system due to invasive activity.

2. Security Scanning

There is no fancy name to this one, as security scanning aims to find the loopholes and weak points which are present in your development methodology and code. The more complex the system is, the more complicated this testing is going to be. Keep in mind you can do this as a one-time check, but to be complete and follow the industry standard, you should be performing this test on a regular basis.

3. Penetration Testing

No matter how big or small your software is, this is one of the most critical testing practices. This test will simulate an external hacker attacking your application. It is an attempt by a cybersecurity professional to determine potential weak points in your application or website. It will try to trigger the false alarm and bypass the security to access the information, which is basically what a number of hackers and hacking techniques follow.

4. Risk Assessment

A risk assessment basically classifies a threat that the tester found in the system. The threats range from low to medium and high threats. But as a developer or a software owner, you should be concerned about all of them and solve them by their decreasing level of threat. Thus, threats that are at higher risk need to be resolved first. Your risk management team can help you plan a strategy to resolve the issues and get your application online as soon as possible.

5. Ethical Hacking

In some cases, it becomes a necessity to hire someone and try to break into the system the wrong way, such as the hackers do. This will reveal all the defects and threats that are housed in the application. With ethical hacking, you are going to achieve the data about whether your application is safe from an outside attack or not.

This type of testing is not done by software; for this, you need to hire a specialist or an ethical hacker who have experience in testing out the applications like yours and find out their vulnerabilities. Once you are done with the ethical hacking, your application will have no more malicious attacks that could steal the data or lock it from you or could do something even worse.

These were five main types of security testing that one needs to perform to make sure their application has closed all the doors that are there for the threats to enter.

Top 10 Security Testing Tools

Here is the list of best security testing tools for the year 2021, all of these testing tools are equipped with the testing of the latest threats that hackers are using to transfer the malicious files on the web-based application or inject a virus into the system.

1. Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP)

This software tool is developed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). This software is a multi-platform testing tool that can be used to tracing out the number of security vulnerabilities that are present in the web application during the development. It has its own proxy, which can be used by the newcomers in the testing field. In addition to this, it supports command-line access for advanced users.

For many reasons and features that it provides, we have to give Zed Attack Proxy the flagship status. The code of ZAP is completely written in JAVA, and one can see the source code on their main website. Furthermore, this tool can also be used for manually testing out the webpages using the interception of proxy technique.

2. Wapiti

If you are looking for something which is industry-leading and still costs you nothing, then Wapiti is the testing tool you must check out. It is an open-source project developed by two companies, the first one being SourceForge and the second is developing.

In order to find the security issues in the web application, the testing tool uses black-box testing. But one thing you should know about this tool is that there is no UI for your ease; all the commands and the work is done on the command line. So it is quintessential for a user to know how to work with the command line and should be familiar with the command commands. On the other hand, to make its command-line implementation friendly to newcomers, the developers provided an extensive list of instructions and tutorials that can help you get your testing started using Wapiti.

Moreover, if Wapiti needs to check whether the script is vulnerable to threats or not, it will inject the script with a number of payloads. Also, Wapiti comes with support for both GET and POST HTTP attack methods. You can use different methods to authenticate yourself, and the most common ones are Kerberos and NTLM.

3. Intruder

This is one of the best vulnerability scanners in terms of the user interface. However, when we look inside, we are equally amazed at the 10,000 high-quality security checks that this tool performs across the IT infrastructure. In addition to this, the tool also includes configuration, weaknesses and missing patches in the application files. As a result, the developer team is able to stay ahead of all intruder injection threats. With the deployment of this tool, your business will be safe and secure from hackers all the time, but still, you need to be vigilant and should not let your guard down.

4. Acunetix

Invicta’s team of developers is behind Acunetix, and this security testing tool is suitable for small to medium-sized organizations that are situated in one office. It ensures that all the web applications that are being used by the company are safe to use and are secured from all the modern-day threats along with web breaches. It scans the web application with around 7000+ threats and vulnerabilities, and this number also includes threats like OWASP and XSS.

In case there is a web page or a whole website that you have completely forgotten about, and it resides in your server, this tool will let you know about it with the help of its Automated web asset discovery. It also has a combined interactive and dynamic application security to test out the hidden vulnerabilities which are kept hidden from other testing tools.

5. Wireshark

This testing tool had a change of name, it used to be called Ethernal 0.2.0, but then it is changed to Wireshark that we now know. This is an award-winning network analyzer and has more than 600 authors working on its source code. With this tool, you can easily capture all the data packets which are being sent by other devices to your network. It is an open-source application, and thus, it is available for a number of OS, but we are sorry to say you can take advantage of its working when using macOS.

It has both offline and live capture options; with its data capturing capabilities, even the smallest of the vulnerabilities in the packets or malicious content is exposed to you. For the rapid analysis, you can even use the colour coding on the packets your network receives.

6. Metasploit

This is one of the most used testing automation frameworks, which helps both the rookies and the professional team of testers to verify and manage their web security layers. With the use of this software, you get awareness, and it keeps you updated about all the threats that are newly found. It is an excellent tool for pointing out the issues that are present in your application and seeing how your defense is against the latest threats.

As open-source software, this tool gives the network administrator too much power to test out every single weak point in the application that could be fatal. But this tool is also used by hackers to build up their skills as this is the first layer of protection they have to beat in most cases, and even social engineers use it to replicate the websites. Lastly, it collects the testing data from more than 1500 exploits.

7. NetSparker Security Scanner

This is a fully automatic pen testing software that, in recent times, has become quite popular due to its freedom of implementation, allowing developers to use it on any of the platforms to scan and test their entire website. This tool will provide you with all the information that you need to make a full in-depth diagnostics of various penetration tests. A developer can scan up to 1000 web applications all at once. This makes the tool’s testing abilities fully customizable, giving high efficiency to the whole testing environment. The data of the potential impact of threats will be at your disposal as the scan goes on. Lastly, it follows the proof-based scanning, which guarantees the robustness of the scan in every aspect.

8. BeEF

Because it is a niche tool, it only tests the browsers that are used by the companies. BeEF’s primary purpose is to protect the system from web-borne attacks. As a result, if you are working with a remote client, this could come in quite handy for you. When using this tool, keep in mind that it will only find threats and vulnerabilities that are explicitly associated with the web browsers and their single source context. By launching the test from its command module, you can scan multiple browsers all at once.

9. w3af

This is a pure penetration testing tool that was created by the same team of developers that have created Metasploit. The main motive to develop w3af is to find the weakness which might be present in the web-based application. If you think this is just a simple package that is developed as a spinoff for Metasploit, then you surely need to check out the list of features and tools this testing software packs. It comes with some of the industry’s leading testing features: user-agent faking, custom headers that can be used for requests. DNS cache poisoning or DNS spoofing along with different forms of attack types.

With the presence of all around parameters and variables, a developer gets to quickly save up the Session manager file allowing the reuse and reconfiguration of the file to perform the pen test on various web applications. Lastly, the results of tests can be easily seen in both graphic and text formats according to the user needs.

10. SQLMap

Last on our list is the SQL penetration tester that is powered by a detection engine so as to automate the identification and the exploitation of SQL injection flaws. This testing tool does provide you with the support of various database management systems along with multiple SQL injection techniques to test out your database security.

Wrapping Up

Testing your web application is essential in order to ensure its security integrity. You might need to research a bit to find the right security testing tool for your needs. We have provided ten testing tools for you to choose from. Check them out and see which one best meets your needs. Before we sign off, we want to emphasize that you should always keep your testing tool up to date and always be alert to the latest threats and malicious content injected into the application so you are prepared with countermeasures.

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