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Penetration Testing: What It Is, Importance, Types, & Top Tools

Penetration testing, often referred to as ‘pentesting’, is a process of identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in a computer system or network. Pentesting can be performed on individual systems, networks, or applications. There are several different types of penetration tests, each with its own set of goals and methods. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of penetration tests, the tools used for pentesting, and how you can get started with penetration testing.

Penetration Testing Software Importance

Penetration testing software is essential since it allows firms and organizations to discover and repair holes in their computer systems and networks before they are attacked. By identifying these vulnerabilities, penetration testing can help prevent data breach, financial loss, and reputational damage.

What is a Penetration Testing Device?

A penetration testing device is a piece of hardware or software that is used to test the security of a computer system or network. Scanners, firewalls, and honeypots are just a few of the many types of penetration testing devices.

Software (Operating systems, services, applications), Hardware, Networks, Processes, and End-user behaviour are also parts of a penetration testing device.

Types of Penetration Tests

  • External testing: This type of penetration test is conducted from the outside of a network and is designed to simulate an attack by a real-world attacker.
  • Internal testing: This type of penetration test is conducted from the inside of a network and is designed to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by someone with access to the internal network.
  • Blind testing: This is a blind test of a system or network that has never been tested before. The objective of blind testing is to discover as many vulnerabilities as possible.
  • Double-blind testing: This type of penetration test is conducted with both the tester and the target being unaware of each other. Double-blind testing is used to simulate a real-world attack and to find vulnerabilities that could be exploited by someone with knowledge of the system or network.
  • Targeted testing: This type of penetration test is conducted against a specific target, such as a server or an application. Targeted testing is used to find vulnerabilities in a specific system or component.

How Penetration Tests Work

Penetration tests are typically conducted in four stages: reconnaissance, scanning, exploitation, and post-exploitation.

  • During the first stage of a penetration test, reconnaissance, you gather information about the target system or network. This data may be obtained manually or with the help of automated tools.
  • Scanning is the second stage of a penetration test and involves using automated tools to scan the target system or network for vulnerabilities.
  • The third stage of a penetration test is exploitation, which entails exploiting flaws in the target system or network. This can be achieved manually or with the aid of automated presentation software.
  • Post-exploitation is the fourth stage of a penetration test and involves conducting activities after successfully exploiting a vulnerability. This can include gathering sensitive information, installing malware, or creating backdoors.

Top Penetration Testing Tools

  • Astra’s Pentest

The ‘Astra Security’ product, the Astra Pentest, is based on one fundamental idea: making the pentest process as simple as possible for clients. It’s rather unusual to see Astra putting out efforts to make self-serving solutions while also remaining always accessible and on schedule with support. Making detecting, exploring, and resolving flaws as easy as performing a Google search is something that Astra has done.

The user is provided with a dedicated dashboard to see the vulnerabilities, read CVSS scores, contact security personnel, and get remediation assistance.

Astra has added a number of new clients over the last year, including ICICI, UN, and Dream 11 to an already impressive list that includes Ford, Gillette, and GoDaddy.

  • NMAP

The term “Nmap” refers to a popular network exploration and scanning program. It uses port scanning and other techniques to scan ports, detect operating systems, and produce a list of devices with the services running on them as part of its mapping process.

NMAP generates different-shaped packets for various transport layer protocols, which include IP addresses and other data. You may use this data to discover hosts, develop a fingerprint of the OS, discover services, and conduct security monitoring.

Nmap is a versatile tool that can map large networks with hundreds of ports.

  • Metasploit

Metasploitable is a great example of a vulnerable web application that has been exploited in the wild. Metasploit is both utilized by hackers and security professionals to identify widespread vulnerabilities. It’s a powerful platform with elements of fuzzing, anti-forensic, and evasion tools included.

Installations are simple and can be done on a variety of operating systems. Its popularity among hackers is due in part to this fact. That is one of the reasons why Metasploit is considered such a valuable hacking tool.

Metasploit now includes nearly 1677 exploits in addition to around 500 payloads, which include command shell payloads, dynamic payloads, meterpreter payloads, and static payloads.

  • WireShark

A popular open-source tool for protocol analysis, WireShark is a well-known brand. You may observe network activity at a subcellular level using this software. Its flexibility, ease of use, and features make it one of the best pentest tools available. Hundreds of security experts from all over the world contribute to its development, making it one of the most advanced pentesting tools available.

It’s vital to remember that WireShark isn’t an intrusion detection system or IDS. It can show you where there are problems, but it cannot sound the alarm if there is any malicious behavior on the network because a protocol analyzer may not disclose this information.

  • Intruder

Intruder is a powerful vulnerability scanner that identifies cybersecurity flaws in your digital assets, assesses the risks and guides you through the process of fixing them before a breach can occur. It’s an excellent tool to automate your penetration testing activities.


Penetration testing is the process of detecting and exploiting security flaws in a system in order to gain access to sensitive information or systems. It is important because it helps organizations to find and fix security weaknesses before they can be exploited by attackers.

Tools like Astra’s Pentest, NMAP, Metasploit, WireShark, and Intruder can help you conduct penetration tests more effectively.