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From the MOVEit exploit attacks to the chaotic hack on MGM, 2023 has seen some of the worst cyber attacks of our lifetime. And with new attacks happening every 39 seconds, there’s no doubt that even bigger and bolder attacks are still on the horizon.
Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that the global cost of cybercrime will reach $8 trillion by the end of 2023 – jumping from just $6 trillion in 2022. This includes the cost of data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other forms of cybercrime, which have continued to become more sophisticated as malicious actors develop new techniques to attack their targets.
Now that experiencing a cyber attack is no longer a question of if but when it might feel like you’re fighting a losing battle when it comes to protecting your valuable data from cybercrime.
Not only do you need to have a robust incident response procedure in place, but you also need to build up your defences long before attacks strike. You need to think like a hacker, find entry points into your systems before malicious actors do, and fix vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
That’s where Pentesting tools can help.
What are Pentesting tools?
Pentesting tools are software applications that help organisations identify and exploit vulnerabilities in their systems, networks, and web applications.
These tools can automate many of the tasks involved in security testing, such as scanning for vulnerabilities, exploiting vulnerabilities, and gathering evidence. This frees up pen-esters to focus on more complex tasks, such as analysing results and developing recommendations.
Pentesting tools are an essential part of the testing process. By using these tools to identify and fix vulnerabilities, you can reduce your risk of being attacked and protect your most valuable data and systems.
Pentesting tools can help your security team:
- Automate and streamline the testing process. This allows pentesters to find more vulnerabilities in less time.
- Identify vulnerabilities that they might miss on their own. For example, some tools can automatically identify vulnerabilities in code, while others can identify vulnerabilities in network configurations.
- Gather evidence of vulnerabilities. This evidence can be used to prioritize remediation efforts and to demonstrate to stakeholders the need for security improvements.
Types of pentesting tools
There are many different types of pentesting tools available today, each with its own specific purpose to help you keep your systems secure.
Here are some of the most common types of pentesting tools available today:
- Network pentesting tools: These tools are used to identify vulnerabilities in networks and devices. Examples include Nmap, Nessus, and Wireshark.
- Web application pentesting tools: These tools are used to identify vulnerabilities in web applications. Examples include Burp Suite, OWASP ZAP, and Netsparker.
- Database pentesting tools: These tools are used to identify vulnerabilities in databases. Examples include SQLMap and AppScan.
- Mobile pentesting tools: These tools are used to identify vulnerabilities in mobile applications. Examples include MobaXterm and Device Analyzer.
- Cloud pentesting tools: These tools are used to identify vulnerabilities in cloud environments. Examples include CloudSploit and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools.
Choosing the best Pentesting tool for your organisation
Choosing the best pentesting tools for your business is crucial to able to successfully keeping your critical assets secure. But it’s not an easy process.
For one, you’ll need to think about the types of systems and applications you need to be tested. Some pentesting tools are designed to test specific types of systems or applications, such as web applications, mobile applications, or databases, so choose the tool that best matches your needs.
You’ll also have to consider the size and expertise of your security team. Some pentesting tools are designed for experienced pentesters, while others are more user-friendly and can be used by less experienced employees.
Another important factor to consider is the features that each pentesting tool has on offer. Pentesting tools offer a wide range of features, such as automated vulnerability scanning, exploitation tools, and reporting capabilities.
Once organisations have considered these factors, they can start to explore specific pentesting tools. There are a number of ways to evaluate pentesting tools, such as reading reviews, participating in online forums, and attending product demonstrations.
Top Pentesting Tools
There are a variety of different pen testing tools on the market today, each with its own set of features, capabilities and price points. But, of course, not all of these tools are made the same.
Here are our picks for the top 10 pentesting tools available today based on their features, value for money, and effectiveness at identifying flaws in your security posture.
Astra’s Pentest is a powerful hacker-style pen testing tool with an intelligent automated vulnerability scanner that works hand-in-hand with manual testing. The platform emulates hackers' behaviour to proactively find vulnerabilities in your applications, making the typically tedious process of finding vulnerabilities simple and continuous. You can automatically inspect your system for over 8000+ test cases, develop detailed vulnerability scan reports, and prepare and keep reports to identify future vulnerabilities.
With Astra Pentest, you get a complete security solution for identifying and fixing vulnerabilities and security weaknesses in your systems. That’s thanks to its automated vulnerability scanner, which provides a seamless experience for the engineering and management teams to collaborate for their security objectives. Astra’s vulnerability scanner is also designed to scan pages behind the login, making it ideal for SaaS applications.
Invicti is an automated application security testing tool that helps organisations secure thousands of websites and dramatically reduce the risk of attack. Empowering security teams with the most unique DAST + IAST scanning capabilities on the market, the platform makes it easy for organisations with complicated environments to automate their web security with confidence. Companies can conduct automated and continuous tests on their web applications minus the expensive budgets and an army of skilled testers. You can repeatedly scan web applications within the SDLC, avoiding suffering any security breaches in live environments.
Invincti dramatically reduces your risk of attacks through accurate, scalable and automated security testing that keeps threat actors at bay. The platform makes sure no security vulnerability goes unnoticed, combining signature and behaviour-based testing to detect vulnerabilities quickly with comprehensive scanning that doesn’t sacrifice speed or accuracy.
Intruder Vulnerability Scanner
Intruder is a cloud-based vulnerability scanner that proactively scans for security threats through a unique threat interpretation system that makes vulnerability management a breeze. The platform keeps tabs on your attack surface 24/7, showing where and how your company may be vulnerable, then prioritising issues and filtering noise so you can fix the problems that matter most. It gives you a real view of your attack surface combining continuous network monitoring and automated vulnerability scanning with proactive threat response in a single, unified. platform.
With actionable results prioritized by context, Intruder helps you focus on fixing what matters, bringing easy effectiveness to vulnerability management. It gives you noise-filtered, concise and actionable results, providing audit-ready reports that easily show your security posture to auditors, stakeholders and customers.
Cobalt’s Pentest as a Service (PtaaS) platform delivers the real-time insights you need to remediate risk quickly and innovate securely. Combining a powerful SaaS tool suite with an exclusive community of testers, the platform delivers the real-time insights you need to remediate risk quickly and innovate securely. You can launch protests in days – not weeks – and accelerate find-to-fix cycles through technology integrations and real-time collaboration with expert pentesters at Cobalt.
Cobalt's unique PtaaS model combines data, technology, and talent to resolve security challenges for modern web applications, mobile applications, networks, and APIs. This new approach pairs with the company’s expert manual pentesting to ensure comprehensive coverage across major compliance frameworks and provide robust security that is tailored to your organisation’s needs.
Beagle Security is a one-stop solution to uncovering your security weaknesses and gaining actionable insights into how to fix them. The platform’s AI-driven testing tool overcomes the limitations that many other vulnerability scanners pose through intelligence and insights that elevate your app security and keep intruders out. It also makes staying compliant easy, helping you build trust with customers and mitigate the risk of penalties with thorough compliance-mapped reports.
With Beagle, you receive customised guidance from Beagle Security’s advanced Large Language Model (LLM), which provides constant, customised suggestions tailored specifically to your tech stack. You can also identify and compare vulnerabilities against an index of over 3000 vulnerabilities to ensure you have comprehensive coverage against threats at all times. The platform is incredibly scalable too, allowing you to execute multiple security tests simultaneously for faster and more efficient pentesting of multiple web apps or APIs
Scan by OnSecurity is a powerful pentesting tool that monitors your external estate to find and fix vulnerabilities before threat actors find them. The tool automatically detects and remediates vulnerabilities in your infrastructure through scans that check against over 20,000 common entry routes to drastically reduce the opportunity for attack. You can run these tests daily too. and get alerted in real-time when your attack surface changes so you can take action before hackers do. Scan will notify you as soon as a new port or service opens on your Internet-facing perimeter, so you can stay in the know and keep your business safe.
Getting started with OnSecurity is a breeze. The platform’s automatic target detention lets you start scanning within seconds, working in real-time to let you know as soon as a new vulnerability arises. All you have to do to get started is add the targets you want to protect or better yet let OnSecurity do all the work for you and detect your targets with its OSINT technology.
AppKnox App Security Testing
Highly rated by both G2 and Gartner platform’s AppKnox it is a powerful, ‘plug & play” application security solution that can detect threats in your apps within minutes. The platform’s holistic vulnerability assessment (VA) can perform a one-click static scan with your mobile app's binary, allowing you to see how hackers interact with your apps in real time with dynamic testing and secure all endpoints with an API scan. APPknowx’s automated security testing suite then makes it easy to find all the vulnerable endpoints of your mobile apps by analysing web servers, and databases, and providing a comprehensive VA report that tells you the gravity of your vulnerabilities, their business impact and the regulatory and compliance issues related to the flaw.
With Appknox, your business’s mobile app becomes impenetrable from threat actors of any sort. Just upload your app on your personalized dashboard, and run it through our Static, Dynamic, Manual and API tests and you get a full diagnosis of your mobile app’s security with suggestions on how to fix your threats or loopholes.
Portswigger’s Burp Suite is the ultimate go-to tool for testing web applications for hidden vulnerabilities and undercover threats. Incorporating full Proxy capturing and command injection opportunities, Burp Suite comes with everything businesses need to generate deeper insights into their systems. You gain unlimited access to a library of over 200+ pentesting extensions and tools that improve and accelerate your testing workflows and lead to faster brute-forcing and fuzzing and deeper manual testing. You can save configurations on a per-job basis and access tools that make it easy to automate and scale your web vulnerability scanning system too.
Burp Suite has one of the most vibrant communities of users ready to help you overcome challenges, find new vulnerabilities, and develop alongside the PortSwigger community. You can also develop your pen-testing skills by using Burp Suite’s free learning materials from world-class experts. in the Web Security Academy. Free learning materials from world-class experts.
vPenTest replicates manual internal and external network testing, making it easy and affordable for organisations of all sizes to evaluate real-time cybersecurity risks. The platform is essentially a hacker on a company’s network, using automated pen-testing to look for sensitive data, performing exploits, conducting man-in-the-middle attacks, cracking password hashes, and even impersonating users to find sensitive data. Unlike many other pentesting tools, It goes beyond identifying vulnerabilities by actively and continuously exploiting them to demonstrate what happens if an attacker gets access to the network.
What makes vPentest stand out is its simplicity. There are no delays, no lengthy setups, and no learning curves. You simply download an agent, run vPenTest as often as you’d like, and see your detailed report minutes after every assessment is complete. You control when assessments are launched, and how frequently this happens, and modify IP ranges as business requirements change and threats evolve. This level of control is rare with pentesting tools, making vPenTest a great choice for businesses who want complete real-time visibility into their systems but don’t have the time or money to invest in a pentesting team.
Metasploit by Rapid7
Powered by the world’s leading exploit testing framework, Rapid7’s Metasploit is a pentesting program created to find, exploit, and explore details about possible system vulnerabilities. It includes both Metasploit Pro and the Metasploit framework, which each contain a suite of tools that you can use to test security vulnerabilities, enumerate networks, execute attacks, and evade detection. Metasploit allows companies to use ready-made or custom code and introduce it into a network to probe for weak spots. Once flaws have been identified and documented, the information can be used to address systemic weaknesses and prioritise solutions across the organisation.
With plenty of guidance on the Metasploit website for beginners, it's easy to develop a deeper understanding of your security strategy and pinpoint any potential vulnerabilities. You can scan for issues in seconds, exploit unknown vulnerabilities, and collect important evidence for auditing purposes using the platform’s simple UI and easy-to-use dashboards. And with Metasploit’s community the over 100,000 contributors and users, you have one of the industry’s largest libraries of real-world exploits at your fingertips.
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