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10 Top Automated Penetration Testing Tools

Updated on: October 3, 2022

10 Top Automated Penetration Testing Tools

Article Summary

This article explains the pros and cons of the top 10 automated penetration testing software. It also mentions the factors to consider when choosing the right tool for your needs.

Automated Penetration Testing Software

With newer vulnerabilities rising around the very corner relentlessly, it is up to oneself to safeguard your online assets and boost their security thoroughly. This is why automated penetration testing software comes as the solution to all your security concerns.  

Here are 10 Best Automated Penetration Testing Tools

  1. Astra Pentest
  2. Acunetix
  3. BurpSuite
  4. Intruder
  5. Indusface
  6. AppKnox
  7. Veracode
  8. Detectify
  9. OpenVAS
  10. Wireshark

Here are some of the brief factors to consider while choosing an automated pen testing tools: 

  1. Cost: Make sure that the cost of the automated penetration testing software stays well within your budget.
  2. Features: Consider the features offered by the tool and compare them to the services needed by your organization.
  3. Requirements: List out the requirements and goals of your organization with regard to the penetration test. 
  4. Compliances: Consider the compliances that need to be achieved or maintained and see if scans for them are provided by the pentest tools. 
  5. Customer Service: Customer service reviews are an important factor to consider since you’ll want quick assistance and remediation services. 
  6. Reports: Detailed reports are a necessity for easy remediation and documentation.
  7. Regular Pentest: Consider the capacity of the automated penetration testing tool to provide your security with regular penetration tests and scans.

Introduction

The benefits of automated penetration testing are numerous! Need convincing? Well for starters, it helps you find any and every minute vulnerability that could be plaguing your system. Secondly, it can help fulfill the compliance requirements for your organization. Thirdly, you get a well-rounded security system that your customers will without a doubt find reliable and trustworthy!

What’s not to like right? Well, this article will tell you much more about the field of penetration testing software and provide you with the pros and cons of some of the major tools that could help your journey to holistic security! 

Choosing A Good Automated Penetration Testing Software

1. Budget

Consider the budget that can be allocated by your organization for the penetration testing of its assets like web applications and networks. Make a list of the automated penetration testing software tools that fit well within this budget so that later based on the quotes provided by them according to your needs, you can make a decision that won’t drain your finances. 

2. Cost

Comparison of cost and features is extremely important before coming to a decision according to the resource your organization has set aside for the penetration testing software. For example, Astra Pentest provides its services for pocket-friendly pricing of $2,388 per year or a fully comprehensive package of $4,500 per year. 

Also Read: Penetration Testing Quote | Penetration Testing Cost On Average: 5 Things That Determines

3. Features

Consider the features of the automated penetration testing software tools before purchasing them as this is largely based on the needs of your company. It is important because every penetration testing tool will have varied specifications and so they need to be compared to choose the best among the options. 

4. Requirements

Consider the requirements your company needs to fulfill from conducting this automated penetration test. From compliances to just periodic penetration tests, ensure that you and the pentesting company you choose are clearly aware of your needs as this can change and affect the scope of testing and expense as well. 

5. Compliance

Provision of compliance-specific checks for various important compliance standards like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and ISO 27001, is important. Ensure that they provide a dedicated compliance report with a dashboard specifically for compliance monitoring.

Compliance checks are a must for any organization to avoid hefty fines and to stay on the right of legality and compliance. Hence this is an important feature to keep in mind when making a choice. 

Also Read: Penetration testing compliance: An easy to follow guide

6. Customer Service

The hallmark of good penetration testing software lies in the customer care provided to them. Timely clarification of any doubts and queries by the customers, and provision of 24*7 assistance on any security matter are some of the qualities of good customer care. 

7. Detailed Reports

A detailed analysis of the penetration test conducted with the methods of exploitation deployed for various vulnerabilities can make it easy for you to understand the problem within your security. Ensure that vulnerabilities are listed according to their CVSS scores and provided with actionable risk scores for easy prioritization. 

All known information about the vulnerabilities and the impact their exploitation could have on the security system should be mentioned in the detailed report. Along with this detailed measures for remediation should be present and easy to follow. Request for a sample report to help you with the decision. 

8. Remediation Assistance

Provision of POC videos once the vulnerabilities are identified can greatly help with remediation.  They help provide easy-to-follow steps for remediation of the vulnerabilities. Understanding these services ensures that your organization will have the right guidance throughout the process of penetration testing and remediation. 

9. Regular Scans and Pentests

Options for regular quarterly or bi-annual vulnerability scans and pentest can help stick on to the same penetration testing service. Also, ensure that their services are scalable. Keep this factor in mind since regular vulnerability scans and pentests are crucial for a healthy security system. 

Top 10 Automated Penetration Testing Software

1. Astra Pentest

Astra Pentest is an automated penetration testing software that is a one stop destination to meet all of the VAPT requirements one could have. Be it for cloud infrastructure, web applications, networks, APIs, or even mobile applications, Astra Pentest has it covered. 

  • Comprehensive Scanner

Astra provides a powerful comprehensive scanner capable of detecting vulnerabilities based on a large vulnerability database collected from known CVEs, intel, OWASP Top 10, and SANS 25. 

This vulnerability scanner follows the NIST, and OWASP frameworks to ensure a smooth scanning experience. It is also capable of scanning behind logins and detecting any business logic errors that may be hindering your processes and revenue.  

  • Continuous Penetration Tests

Regular pentest can help understand the exact amount of damage that would be caused by the vulnerabilities detected during the vulnerability scans. These can then be prioritized and fixed accordingly.

Related Read: What is Continuous Penetration Testing? The Best Tools You Should Know

  • Compliance Specific Scans

Once compliance like ISO 27001, SOC2, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or GDPR is chosen from the compliance-specific dashboard, the scan combs through the asset to find areas of non-compliance. These areas are then shown in the dashboard with detailed remediation measures. A compliance report is also generated. 

  • Detailed Reports

The tool boasts an extremely user-friendly easy to navigate interface that displays the vulnerabilities found in real-time. Once the pentest is completed a report has generated that lists and explains all the vulnerabilities found with their CVSS scores, actionable risk scores, and steps for remediation. 

  • Expert Assistance

Astra’s expert assistance is provided by seasoned pentesters who are available to clarify any doubts and queries via email, chatbox, or call. This is made easier with the comment facility within the dashboard itself. 

  • Pentest Certificate

After the scanning, remediation, and re-scanning are complete and all the patches have been verified, Astra provides customers with publicly verifiable certificates that show the company’s security is trustworthy and reliable. This can be displayed as an enticing feature by the companies to increase the clientele and sales.

  • Budget Friendly

Astra provides people with budget-friendly, customizable packages for penetration tests (cloud, web, and mobile applications, networks, and APIs). The packages start from $99 per month to a fully comprehensive yearly package of $4,500. 

  • Integrations

Astra helps their customer organizations to successfully make the move from DevOps to DevSecOps thus allowing the integration of vulnerability scanning and penetration testing into each phase of the development of projects. This helps in the reduction of vulnerabilities after development and allows the fixing during development. 

Pros 

  • Carries out scans-behind-logins, and detects business logic errors. 
  • Has a comprehensive vulnerability scanner with an option to rescan once vulnerabilities are fixed. 
  • Zero false positive assurance through vetted scans. 
  • Provides gap analysis for companies to find out the gaps in their security measures. 
  • Astra Pentest Certificate provided upon remediation of found vulnerabilities.

Cons

  • Does not provide a free trial.
  • Has more scope for integrations. 

Let experts find security gaps in your cloud infrastructure

Pen-testing results that comes without a 100 emails, 250 google searches and painstaking PDFs.

2. Acunetix

This is software that provides vulnerability assessments and automated penetration tests provided by Invicti. Acunetix help reduces vulnerabilities across various kinds of web applications. 

Pros 

  • Time release of updates
  • Can find a wide array of vulnerabilities.
  • Agile testing with detailed reports

Cons

  • Pricing not mentioned. 
  • Dated user interface with scope for improvement.
  • POC videos are not easy to understand.

3. BurpSuite

Provided by Portswigger, Burp Suite is an evolving vulnerability scanning tool that provides numerous integrations. It has a free version called the community edition as well as an advanced commercial solution, Professional Edition.  

Pros

  • Provides manual and advanced automated pentesting services.
  • Provides step-by-step advice for every vulnerability found.
  • Can crawl through complex targets with ease based on URLs and content.

Cons

  • Advanced solutions are commercialized and can be expensive.
  • Does not provide expert customer service and assistance. 

4. Intruder

Intruder is a comprehensive security scanner that is capable of detecting flaws across a whole large infrastructure. Lots of tests are available to check for even historic vulnerabilities and new ones.

Pros

  • Its interface is easy-to-use with a powerful scanner.
  • Focuses on the cloud, web applications, and networks. 
  • Provides integration opportunities with Jira, Slack, and more. 

Cons

  • Does not provide a zero false positive assurance.
  • Difficult to understand penetration testing reports.

Check Out: Best Intruder Alternative

5. Indusface

Indusface is a security company that is trusted by clients worldwide. 

Pros

  • Assured zero false positives through zero-day protection. 
  • Helps achieve compliance with regulations like PCI-DSS and ISO 27001. 
  • Vulnerability detection is not limited to OWASP Top 10. 
  • It has an executive dashboard that provides necessary information.

Cons

  • Not available for mobile applications.
  • Reports are difficult to understand.

6. AppKnox

Provides mobile application penetration testing to find and fix vulnerabilities that may plague it during development. 

Pros 

  • Provides scans for API and mobile applications
  • Has both manual and automated scanning

Cons

  • Reporting is only available in pdf format. 
  • No assurance of zero false positives. 

7. Veracode

Veracode is a dynamic solution that helps in the analysis of web applications to find vulnerabilities. It has the capacity to run thousands of tests with a less than 1% false positive assurance rate. 

Pros 

  • Offers DAST, SAST, and penetration testing services.
  • Provides detailed and comprehensive reports.
  • Provides automated remediation assistance.

Cons

  • Zero false positives are not assured. 
  • Could improve its user interface 
  • Can be difficult for beginners. 

8. Detectify

Detectify provides surface monitoring and application scanning options for a company’s growing attack surface. Its Application Scanning option scan and detect vulnerabilities automatically. 

Pros

  • Real-time alerts for the vulnerabilities detected. 
  • Continuous scan that can be integrated into the development pipeline. 
  • Surface monitoring provided by Detectify can detect a lot of vulnerabilities in the internet-facing assets that organizations have.

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other options.
  • Reported performance issues with the interface.

Check Out: Best Detectify Alternative | Detectify vs Intruder

9. OpenVAS

OpenVAS is an open-source penetration testing software that is comprehensive and powerful. It is supported and updated constantly with help of expert pentesters all around the world thus making it up to date. 

Pros

  • Free of cost
  • Efficient and fast automation
  • Updated on a recurring basis. 

Cons 

  • Can be difficult to use for beginners
  • Some basic vulnerabilities are missed. 
  • False positives

10. Wireshark

Wireshark is predominantly used for network penetration testing, and protocol analyzer. It’s a highly useful efficient open-source tool. 

Pros 

  • Easy to install
  • Freely available

Cons

  • Can be difficult for beginners to navigate. 
  • Could improve its user interface. 

Steps In An Automated Pentest

1. Scoping 

This is the initial step before an automated pentest where the scoping is conducted with the help of a scoping questionnaire. This is designed to find the motives of the customer for wanting to conduct a vulnerability scan. 

Knowing the client’s requirements can help formulate a well round scope with clear rules of engagement that also helps avoid scope creeps or any legal trouble due to an imperfectly set test scope. 

2. Scanning

This is the phase where the actual pentest takes place. Based on the scope decided on and the reconnaissance is done, specific assets are scanned thoroughly for any chinks in security that could lead to various risks like a data breach, deletion, or theft. 

3. Exploitation

The vulnerabilities found through scanning are exploited manually or through automated means by making use of various exploits that specifically target each high-risk vulnerability. This helps understand the extent of the impact of the vulnerabilities exploited by hackers. 

4. Reporting

All the vulnerabilities found are mentioned in a detailed report after the completion of the pentest and exploitation. This includes all the information regarding the vulnerability such as the CVSS scores, actionable risk scores, and easy-to-follow remediation steps to aid the customer. 

5. Remediation

Upon generation of the penetration testing report, it is made available to the client who can remediate and patch the vulnerabilities found during the automated pentest. This is made easier with the help of the remediation measures and continued assistance by the vulnerability scanning team, thus making the whole remediation process go seamlessly. 

6. Rescanning

Upon fixing all the vulnerabilities found in the report, a re-scan is carried out to ensure that none of the patches have opened up additional vulnerabilities and to make sure that their assets are completely safe and sound. Once this scan a publicly verifiable pentest certificate is issued by tools like Astra Pentest that can be displayed on your websites to promote your security safety. 

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Conclusion

This article has provided detailed information on best-automated penetration testing software like Astra Pentest and more. Besides this, the article has also explained the factors involved in making a decision regarding choosing the right pentest tool. Additionally, the steps taken in a penetration test have also been discussed.

FAQs

1. What is the best open source automated penetration testing software?

Some of the best open source automated penetration testing software include OpenVAS, Wireshark, and Burp Suite.

2. What are the top 3 penetration testing methodologies?

The top three penetration testing methodologies are: 
–  Black box penetration testing: the pentester has no knowledge regarding the target. 
– White box penetration testing: The pentester has all the relevant information regarding the target.
– Graybox penetration testing: In this scenario, the tester has partial information regarding the target. 

3. What are the various stages of automated penetration testing? 

The initial step of automated penetration testing is scoping which is followed by scanning, exploitation of vulnerabilities, reporting, remediation, and finally, a rescan. 

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Nivedita James

Nivedita is a technical writer with Astra who has a deep love for knowledge and all things curious in nature. An avid reader at heart she found her calling writing about SEO, robotics, and currently cybersecurity.
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