5 Software Penetration Testing Tools to Prevent Attacks on Servers and Sites

As a software owner, you’re undoubtedly aware of the importance of keeping your data safe. You may have invested in firewalls and antivirus software, but do you know how to protect your software from potential attacks? In this article, we will discuss 5 software penetration testing tools that can help you prevent attacks on your servers and websites. We will also talk about why hackers may target your software and how penetration testing can help protect you.

Why may hackers target your software?

There are many reasons why hackers may target your software. They may be looking for sensitive data that they can use for financial gain or, try to harm your business. They might be seeking ways to exploit your software to get access to it.

Security issues with servers

Servers are vulnerable to attacks in multiple ways:

Open network ports: Hackers can exploit any vulnerability present on the server, such as default settings or open ports.

Weak passwords: They may also brute force login attempts by guessing passwords (if they know the username) or even decrypting encrypted protocols to gain access into an administrative account and take control of the entire system.

Old software: Old software can be exploited since it may have already been patched by the vendor but not updated on your server.

Physical security: Servers that are physically accessible to unauthorized individuals may be at risk of being compromised.

Sometimes even a firewall may fail to do its job. All it takes is a few misconfigurations and no amount of fancy security measures will prevent bad things from happening when someone gains entry through one door after another because there’s more than just firewalls protecting against intrusions.

Security issues with websites

Like servers, websites are also vulnerable to attacks. 

Cross-site scripting/ code injection: Hackers can exploit flaws in the code or inject malicious code into the website, which is then executed by the victim when they visit the site.

Malware: Websites can also be infected with malware, which can steal sensitive data such as user credentials and credit card details or harm the visitor’s computer.

SQL injection: This is done to manipulate the website’s SQL database. By exploiting a vulnerability in the website’s code, they can insert their own SQL commands and get access to sensitive data.

How penetration testing protects your software, server, and websites?

Penetration testing is a process of simulating real-world attacks on your software, server, and websites. It aids you in detecting and addressing security flaws before they can be utilized by intruders.

There are many advantages to conducting a penetration test, including:

  • It helps you identify weak points in your software, server, or website.
  • It helps fix vulnerabilities early on.
  • It gives you peace of mind knowing that your software, server, or website is protected from hackers.
  • Reduces risk of data theft or loss.

Although penetration testing has many benefits, it takes weeks to months and can also be costly. Before deciding if you should do one, it’s crucial to consider the benefits and drawbacks.

5 stages of penetration testing

The five stages of penetration testing are:

  1. Planning and reconnaissance – This phase includes gathering information about the target system and identifying potential weaknesses that can be exploited.
  2. Scanning and enumeration – In this phase, the tester scans for open ports and tries to access sensitive information by brute force or other methods.
  3. Gaining access – This phase involves getting unauthorised access to accounts perhaps by means of password cracking or escalating privileges.
  4. Maintaining access – In this phase, the tester attempts to maintain control of the target system by installing backdoors or rootkits.
  5. Exfiltration – This is the last step in our process, where data is extracted from the victim’s system.

There is no requirement that all of these five phases must be completed. It’s possible to skip one or more stages depending on the type of penetration testing you need. For instance, if you’re only testing for direct access vulnerabilities then it might make sense to skip the “Gaining Access” stage altogether.

Best 5 software penetration testing tools

The five best software penetration testing tools that we will be discussing are:

1. Astra Pentest: This is an automated penetration testing tool that scans websites, servers, etc. for more than 3000 known vulnerabilities. Other features include:

  • Risk scores
  • IP blocking
  • Remediation suggestions
  • 24/7 support from Astra Security
  • Hacker-style penetration testing
  • Real-time threat updates
  • Manual testing by experts

2. Nikto: This tool scans web servers for malicious files on the server as well as unpatched server software.  

3. Wireshark: This is a network protocol analyzer that may be utilised to record and interpret packets transmitted and received by the target system. Use this to monitor your network.

4. ZAP: This tool scans web applications to detect flaws. Just insert a URL to start scanning or use the proxy to intercept requests and responses.

5. Burp Suite Pro: This is a comprehensive dynamic application security testing tool. Its features include:

  • Proxy server
  • Spider
  • Scanner
  • Intruder
  • Extractor

In conclusion,

Software, servers, and websites are constantly under attack from hackers, so it’s important to have measures in place to protect them. You can never be too careful. Penetration testing is one of the best ways to do this, and using the right tools can make it a lot easier. It allows you to see possible dangers before they are discovered by a malicious individual. By using the five stages of penetration testing, you can ensure that your software, server, and websites are as secure as possible. Regular penetration testing is essential to keep up with the latest security threats. The five software penetration testing tools mentioned in this article can help you get started.

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