Information security keeps advancing but is also getting more complex. New threats can pop up anywhere and you need to be vigilant. Investing in a professional penetration testing solution might just be what you need. In this article, we introduce you to the world of penetration testing as well as list the seven best commercial tools you can purchase to get started.
You’ve probably heard this term before, but what’s it about? What does it include? How does it work? Penetration testing is a whole process where you try to find points of security failures in a network or system by attempting to exploit them in the first place. Whichever exploit works successfully, is then reported so you can go about patching your system.
This whole process can be done manually, however, that is hardly advisable for large networks and multiple systems. It ends up being quite tedious and time-consuming. Thankfully, several tools and scripts exist to automate this process.
What tools do penetration testers use?
Ethical hacking professionals mostly rely on commercial tools to get their job done. While there are some good open-source and free tools available, they often fail to include all the features one would require.
This is where commercial tools come in. They are often packed with features and cater to a wide range of needs, making life easier for penetration testers and businesses alike.
Types of tools
There are various types of commercial tools, but we’ll list the most common ones here. These include:
- vulnerability scanners
- exploit kits
- password crackers
- penetration testing frameworks
- proxy servers
- malicious file detection
Why use commercial penetration testing tools?
Simply put, because they work best. Commercial tools come with a price tag but are often created by teams of experts who know what they’re doing. They are also updated regularly with the latest security patches and features, so you can be sure that your systems are as safe as possible.
Are they worth the cost?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on many factors such as:
- the size of your network
- the type of systems you have
- the kind of data you handle
- the security needs of your company
- Are you doing this to meet compliance requirements?
That said, most commercial tools offer a good return on investment and are worth the cost.
Now that we know a little more about online penetration testing and why you might want to use commercial tools, let’s take a look at some of the best ones out there.
7 best commercial penetration testing tools
1) Astra Pentest:
This tool was developed by Astra Security. It includes:
- testing against 2500+ vulnerabilities
- risk scores and threat levels
- IP blocking
- remediation tips
- real-time threat alerts
Astra Security’s experts provide 24/7 support, manual testing, security audits, and compliance checks.
2) Burp Suite Pro:
Burp Suite Pro is a popular tool among ethical hackers and penetration testers. It includes vulnerability scanning, spidering, intruder detection and many more features.
3) Nessus Professional:
This vulnerability scanner is one of the most popular in the world. Nessus can be used to scan for vulnerabilities in systems and networks. It includes features such as scanning, reporting, compliance checks, remote access, asset management and many more.
4) HCL AppScan (formerly IBM AppScan) :
Another popular vulnerability scanner that may be used to check for security flaws in web applications. It includes features such as scanning, reporting, dashboard, collaborative scans and many more.
The SAINT tool can scan for flaws in websites, operating systems, applications and networks. It includes features such as scanning, reporting, asset management and many more.
6) CORE Impact:
CORE Impact is one of the best penetration testing tools that can be used to test the security of systems and networks. It includes features such as vulnerability scanning, exploit development, password cracking, social engineering and more.
7) WebInspect by HP:
Another great website scanner to hunt for threats, security flaws, insecure design, etc. It includes features such as scanning, reporting, fuzzing and code analysis, a dashboard and many more.
How to perform penetration testing?
Now that you know about some of the best commercial penetration testing tools available, how do you go about using them? Here’s are seven steps:
- First, identify the systems and networks that you want to scan.
- Download and install the relevant tool(s).
- Use tools to perform scans or perform reconnaissance manually.
- Review the results and determine a way to exploit security weaknesses found.
- Use tools to perform exploits or do it manually.
- Finally, fix the vulnerabilities that were found.
- Document everything in a concise report and perform a re-scan.
Penetration testing is an essential part of maintaining the security of your systems and data. While there are some good open-source and free tools available, they often lack the features required for professional use. Commercial tools offer a wider range of features and cater to all needs, making life easier for penetration testers and businesses alike. They are also updated regularly with the latest security patches and features, so you can be sure that your systems are as safe as possible. Most commercial tools offer a good return on investment and are worth the cost. So, if you’re searching for a secure method to check the security of your systems, consider using a professional penetration testing solution.