In today’s Digital world, we must secure the data that we share over the internet on different web applications and mobile based applications.
For example, we upload credit card information, PAN details, Aadhar card information and other such digital information on websites for paying bills and for online shopping. If these websites are vulnerable, then hackers can use them to get user’s confidential information (like Credit cards, social ID’s, PAN number) etc. This is a grave threat to the users. Here, web app penetration testing comes into the picture.
What is web application penetration testing?
It is the process to find vulnerabilities and loopholes in the web application or system. To improve the security of web platform and web services, web security testing is imperative. A web application is a program that is stored on a remote web server which runs over the internet to perform a specific function by the client browser. Web pages in web applications are vulnerable to cross-site scripting, SQL injection or URL manipulation – attacks that are performed by the client side.
The web applications that are either hosted in a public cloud server or any other local server are vulnerable to some exploits. Hackers can use that exploit to hack the server or system to get sensitive information that may be affecting the company’s reputation or financial performance.
What is the process of web application penetration testing?
In testing, we perform realistic potential attacks on the web application or system. For performing this kind of realistic attacks, we must use the same tools and attacking methods which are used by the hackers to exploit the web application or system. Using these methods, we can identify and improve the security of web application thus avoid hacking attacks.
In a web application, a request is sent by the user’s browser, the user then gets a response from a web server. During penetration testing, the request and responses’ traffic are intercepted by pentesters to find and understand the flow of web application elements and pages to further try and manipulate values into the fields.
Pentesters can check abnormal responses by the web server. These abnormal responses are database errors, enumerated document details, and software version information. These are used to host the remote server, bypass restrictions, crashing services etc.
There are different stages of web application penetration testing.
- Information Gathering
- Scanning and Enumeration
- Vulnerability Assessment
Information Gathering: – Information Gathering testers gather as much target information as possible – this includes server information, host information, hosting OS information, IP address and URL information. This information helps the tester to perform different attacks like social engineering attacks server-based attacks etc.
Scanning and Enumeration: – Scanning and Enumeration testers use different automated tools to find vulnerabilities using different commands and parameters. This automated tool scans the whole website or web application and displays common information or vulnerability that is available in the system. The tester also identifies the structure of the web application framework in a scanning process, so that he/she can perform the next attack based on that framework or related to that web technology. During scanning the tester also enumerates useful information about the web application.
Exploitation: – An Exploitation tester performs different client-side attacks, server-side attacks, system attacks, and tries to gain unauthorized access to the system or sensitive information and confidential files, which may harm the company’s reputation. User’s data breach is also a huge risk to the company.
Vulnerability Assessment: – A Vulnerability Assessment tester creates a report of vulnerabilities that affect a system or web application and defines the risk of the vulnerability that impacts the system or web application that affect users.
Improve User data security and confidentiality for better user experience!
Security testing finds the loopholes and vulnerabilities of the web application and helps to fix the loopholes and vulnerabilities to prevent hackers web-based attacks.