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Penetration testing online. Website penetration testing.

Updated: Aug 3, 2022

The goal of a penetration test is to test the security of a computer system by simulating an attack on it. A penetration tester uses the same tools, techniques, and processes as an attacker to detect weaknesses in an organization’s systems and demonstrate their impact.


It is a type of Security Testing designed to identify vulnerabilities, threats and risks that an attacker might exploit in software, a network, or a web application. Penetration testing examines all possible weaknesses in a software application to identify and fix them. Pen tests are also known as penetration testing.

Any system or any data contained within it may be vulnerable to attack by an attacker who can disrupt the system or gain access to its data. During software development and implementation, vulnerabilities are often introduced by accident. These comprise design errors, configuration errors, and bugs in software. Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) are two mechanisms used in Penetration Analysis.


During penetration testing, a system is tested for its ability to safeguard its networks, applications, endpoints, and users from internal and external threats. Additionally, it aims to protect the system’s controls and prevent unauthorized access to them. Penetration testing is essential for a number of reasons.

  • We can use it to determine the environment in which an attacker can exploit a system’s security.

  • In performing penetration tests, testers can learn which areas of the application are vulnerable to attack.

  • It safeguards the original data and prevents black hat attacks.

  • Cyberattacks can damage critical data, which, in turn, results in revenue loss.

  • Therefore, one of the rewards you’ll receive is the ability to predict the business’ potential loss.

  • Penetrating helps improve existing security standards by informing investment decisions.


Penetration tests are typically selected based on scope and whether an internal employee, network administrator or external source is to simulate an attack. Penetration testing can be bifurcated into three categories:

  1. Black Box Penetration Testing

  2. White Box Penetration Testing

  3. Grey Box Penetration Testing

Black Box Penetration Testing:

When a penetration tester conducts black-box testing, he or she will not have any knowledge about the systems being tested. They are responsible for collecting background details on the target systems.

Pros of Black Box Testing

  • Before starting, little information is required.

  • It behaves in a similar way to an actual attacker. Therefore, it is likely to identify actual issues.

Cons of Black Box Testing

  • As a tester, you will not have the same amount of time to plan an attack as a real attacker would

  • The test wouldn’t cover all aspects.

  • Implementation would be expensive.

  • This is not a PCI compliance tool.

While Box Penetration Testing:

A white-box penetration test involves providing the tester with detailed information about the network or system under test, including IP addresses, source code, and OS information.

Pros of White Box Testing

  • The black box approach is much less accurate and detailed.

  • It is easy to plan with this method.

  • Implementation is faster.

Cons of White Box Testing

  • Understanding the system and preparing the data for analysis would require considerable time.

  • Advanced tool execution would incur additional costs.

Grey Box Penetration Testing:

The tester of grey box penetration tests has partial knowledge of the system. As a result, it can be considered an attack by an external hacker who had accessed the network infrastructure documents of an organization illegitimately.

Pros of Grey Box Testing

  • Tests are less expensive than other types.

  • Pen testers can reach the same level of coverage as white box testers

Cons of Grey Box Testing

  • Pen testing cannot begin until the customer provides information.


Penetration testing allows you to proactively identify possible vulnerabilities in security before others do. Despite this, it’s not just about infiltration. Penetration testing involves the following activities:

  1. Planning and Preparation Phase

  2. Discovery Phase

  3. Penetration Attempt & Attack Phase

  4. Reporting and Analysis Phase