Vulnerability Scanning vs. Penetration Testing - Get Clear picture of Both


At the point when individuals misunderstand the contrasts between penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, they are regularly missing an imperative segment in their general security system. Vulnerability Scanning is most often confused with penetration testing and often used interchangeably, yet they are completely different. Vulnerability scanning check system for known vulnerabilities but penetration test attempts to actively exploit weaknesses in the system.


Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanning plans to identify vulnerabilities in a system. Vulnerability scans include the use of automated security scanning tools to recognize known weaknesses in a system, whose outcomes are listed in the report. These scans can be a characterized as a port scan, or a scan for PCI compliance or the OWASP top ten vulnerabilities. These automated tools discover which vulnerabilities are present, yet they don't separate between flaws that can be exploited and those that can't. Vulnerability scanners alert organizations to the prior flaws in the code and where they are found. What a vulnerability scan can't do, is exploit those flaws to demonstrate their severity level.

It's essential to remember that these scanners utilize a rundown of known vulnerabilities, which means they are as of now known to the security community, hackers and the product merchants. There are vulnerabilities that are obscure to the general population everywhere and these scanners won't discover them.


Penetration Testing

Unlike Vulnerability scanning which can be mostly automated, penetration tests are mostly manual and are performed by very skilled ethical hackers. penetration testing involves identifying vulnerabilities in a particular network and attempting to exploit them to penetrate into the system. The purpose of penetration testing is to find whether a detected vulnerability is genuine. Some flaws, such as CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) and other business logic vulnerabilities, require a human to be in the loop to exploit and verify the vulnerability. Only Manual testing can provide positive identification and manual validation of these vulnerabilities.


If you’re a high-value target with consumer PII or use agile development, best practices suggest weekly/bi-monthly tests to synch with your product release cycles and re-test to ensure vulnerabilities were all patched.

Vulnerability scanning and penetration both play a vital role in comprehensive security strategy. There are certain vulnerabilities can only be identified with manual app testing, such as Authentication Bypass, Password Management & Privilege Escalation, logout functionality and token handling. Some of these vulnerabilities don’t require any user interaction, they can result in the takeover of accounts and stealing of data or funds, very serious breaches in today’s business climate.

Manual testing of vulnerabilities together gives a company a clear picture of the true severity of vulnerabilities, some low severity vulnerabilities when combined with others can become critical.

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