In this article, we will discuss the difference between vulnerability testing vs penetration testing. There are two ways in which these two tests can be performed. This is a very critical subject matter that must be thoroughly understood by both developers and IT professionals. While many people are trained on the way in which a vulnerability test may be carried out, they fail to understand the differences between the two techniques. As a result, many companies find themselves at a loss when it comes time to implement vulnerability testing or vulnerability scanning within their own organization. If you’re interested in learning more about vulnerability testing, as well as other types of computer testing, this brief article will help you understand the basics.
Basically, vulnerability testing refers to the examination of a system or application to identify any potential vulnerabilities. While penetration testing actually attacks the application directly, the goal of the vulnerability test is to show if the system has any potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited to cause system damage. Both kinds of testing are aimed at finding vulnerabilities in order to protect your company’s network from unwanted penetration. However, vulnerability testing typically targets software applications and network architecture to penetration testing attack the application directly.
For this reason, it’s not uncommon for vulnerability scans to be executed against networked application software, web servers, and even single machines. Depending on the requirements of the specific system being tested, a vulnerability scan can be scheduled for hours or even days on end. Once a vulnerability is found, a developer then implements measures to correct the issue. This process could include correcting code or memory errors, running different code scenarios, or adding related functionality. These measures are used to find any flaws in the targeted application or server and then are exploited using various methods, depending on the specific vulnerability.
While vulnerability scanning typically targets software defects, Penetration testing goes after different ways to infiltrate a system. In a pen testing test, testers execute a series of automated tests to search for security holes and other types of flaws. Pen testers typically use a set of rules or guidelines to test an application or server’s response time, functionality, speed, and security features. Because a penetration testing company will also often perform vulnerability scans on customer websites, they can provide the information required by companies looking to mitigate risk.
Vulnerability Testing Vs Penetration Testing
Common ways to exploit a server or software application vulnerability involves creating user accounts with physical access and then using those accounts to gain access to sensitive information. Often, attackers will create legitimate log-in pages with password fields that are randomly generated and appear to be authentic. Once a hacker gains physical access, he can then use these passworded pages to escalate his privileges. From there, he may be able to execute various types of malicious code. Therefore, vulnerability testing vs penetration testing can be thought of as an application vulnerability assessment in disguise – the first step toward preventing an attack.
When conducting vulnerability testing vs penetration testing, both companies must first determine what sort of attack they are planning to do. If it’s a network vulnerability, then testers will need to locate vulnerable software and servers and run a vulnerability scan to discover any vulnerabilities. A Penetration test, meanwhile, will find any weaknesses in the application or network that could allow for a successful attack.
During both types of assessments, IT professionals need to think like hackers. For example, if a hacker were to use a database of credit card numbers, he’d likely use one of the formats – V2, V3, or E2 – to make his attack. He’d use a program called an SQL injection to do this, which inserts commands into a database without permission. When running a vulnerability scan on a website, those same hackers would locate the database that a network administrator has created. He then could go ahead and upload copies of himself into the server’s scripts, and use them to drain the account.
In the case of vulnerability testing vs penetration testing, the goal is to discover any weak spots in a given system so that an experienced hacker can exploit them. However, if the system was never tested at all, there’s a good chance the company hasn’t been breached. The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to perform continuous system scans – not once every month, or even once a year, but at least once a week. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.