Security Audit

7 Best API Penetration Testing Tools to Use in 2024

Updated on: May 13, 2024

7 Best API Penetration Testing Tools to Use in 2024

Nearly 80% of IT administrators desire more authority over their API security tools. Yet existing tools prioritize dev observability, leaving CTOs & CISOs with complex and jargon-laden interfaces as user-friendly as a DIY IKEA user manual. 

So, the real question is, which API penetration tool gives your CXO & engineers the least worry while securing your APIs? As such, we have curated the top 7 API pentesting tools based on your needs, like test cases scanned, authenticated API scans, actionable reports, compliance, timelines, and budget-friendliness.

Top 7 API Pentest Tools

  1. Astra API Pentest
  2. Probely
  3. FireTail
  4. APISec
  5. Akto (Open Source Option Available)
  6. ZAP (Open Source)
  7. Burp Suite Community Edition

Factors To Consider When Choosing an API Penetration Testing Tool

Essentials of a good API penetration testing tool

1. Test for OWASP API Top 10, Known CVEs & Beyond

Prioritize API penetration testing tools that test for known, emerging, and new CVEs, aka zero-day vulnerabilities. The ideal tool has access to an extensive database of known CVEs, such as OWASP, CIS, and CERT, along with built-in threat intelligence capabilities.

A. Identify Business Logic Errors 

Automated scans miss hidden business logic vulnerabilities. Look for tools that analyze API logic, injection flaws, and data flows to model potential bugs and attack paths within business logic and workflows. Pair them with expert “hacker-style” API Pentest by security experts.

B. Detect Identity Access Management (IAM) & Broken Authentication Flaws

IAM flaws risk data breaches and account takeovers. Prioritize API pentest tools that combine AI and manual testing to pinpoint insecure password storage, broken authentication, and access management issues.

C. Broken Access Control Scanning

False positive fatigue can make broken access control scans (BAC) difficult. Your API pentesting platform should offer BAC scanning to identify vulnerabilities that allow unauthorized access, including privilege escalation attacks, without triggering the above.

2. Comprehensive API Vulnerability Scanning

APIs are ever-evolving and dynamic. Since the API penetration test is a point-in-time exercise, the ideal API Pentest Platform includes continuous vulnerability scanning features. This will ensure that as your APIs evolve, they’re continuously being tested for vulnerabilities.

A. Support for Key API Specification Formats

Every organization uses various formats of API specification files, from OpenAPI (formerly known as Swagger) and RAML to API Blueprint, Postman Collection, or something else. Choose an API vulnerability scanning tool that provides native support for your format.

B. Scanning Authenticated APIs: 

Not every API is open to the public, and not every API vulnerability scanner supports scanning for authentication-enabled APIs. The best API pentest scanning tool automatically authenticates and scans your APIs after one-time authentication details are provided to it.

C. Discovering & Scanning Undocumented Shadow APIs

Developers often build APIs without documenting them, creating “shadow APIs” often missed by automated API pentesters. A comprehensive pentest scouts for such un-documented shadow APIs during the reconnaissance phase and includes them in the pentest scope.

3. Compliance Scanning

Compliance regulations (SOC 2, HIPAA, ISO 27001, and GDPR) of digital assets are often jargon-heavy. Prioritize API penetration testing companies that offer built-in continuous monitoring solutions, compliance-specific reports, and remediation steps.

A. Generate Audit Certifications

Compliance auditors need third-party security certifications. The best API pentesting tools help identify and mitigate compliance-specific vulnerabilities to deliver clean bills of digital health.

B. Integrate Tech Stacks Flawlessly

Avoid compliance fines and production risks. Partner with a platform that offers end-to-end integration with your tech stack to facilitate vulnerability management in staging environments. Ideally, CI/CD integrations should be preferred.

C. Employ Qualified Pentesters  

Often, compliances require at least an annual pentest by external auditors. Choose an API Pentest tool that offers both vulnerability scanning and penetration testing to serve multiple purposes. 

Note: Partner with a platform with qualified pentesters with expertise in API pentesting to leverage their expertise and simplify audits.

4. Exhaustive Reporting

You can’t fix what you don’t understand. Your API pentesting platform should offer industrially-acceptable reports with executive summaries and detailed vulnerability descriptions on impact, steps to reproduce the vulnerability, risk scoring, and remediation assistance.

A. Avoid False Positives

Stop draining your budget over false alarms. The best API penetration testing tools weed out false positives to save time and resource wastage.

B. Gain a Competitive Edge 

Reputations are built on trust. Partner for tools that offer publicly verifiable scan certificates that foster trust and give you a competitive advantage.

Why Astra is the best in pentesting?

  • We’re the only company that combines automated & manual pentest to create a one-of-a-kind pentest platform
  • Our automated scanner scans for 9300+ vulnerabilities
  • Vetted scans ensure zero false positives
  • Our intelligent vulnerability scanner emulates hacker behavior & evolves with every pentest
  • Astra’s scanner helps you shift left by integrating with your CI/CD
  • Our platform helps you uncover, manage & fix vulnerabilities in one place
  • Trusted by the brands you trust like Agora, Spicejet, Muthoot, Dream11, etc.

Comparing The Top 3 API Pentesting Tools Worldwide In 2024

FeaturesAstra API PentestProbelyAkto
Pentest CapabilitiesRun 9300+ tests to uncover API vulnerabilitiesCredit-based vulnerability scanner for APIs to detect 100+ bug typesInstant API penetration testing scanner with 150+ built-in test cases
API Vulnerability ScannerYes
Access Control ScanningYes
Compliance ScanningGDPR, ISO 27001, SOC2, PCI-DSS, Owasp Top 10 API, and HIPAAGDPR, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, Owasp Top 10 API, and HIPAAOwasp Top 10 API
Pentest ReportsYesYesNo
Publicly Verifiable CertificatesYesNoNo
Workflow IntegrationsSlack, GitLab, GitHub, Jira, Jenkins, and moreSlack, Jira, Azure DevOps, and moreBurp, Postman, and Har
Expert RemediationYesYesNo
Pricing PlanStarts at $1999/yrOpen source with paid plans starting at $1,180/yrOpen-source

Best 7 API Penetration Testing Tools (2024)

1. Astra API Pentest

Astra - Best API Penetration Testing Tool in 2024

Key Features:

  • Pentest Capacity: Run 9300+ tests to uncover vulnerabilities with expert manual pentesting 
  • API Vulnerability Scanner: Yes
  • Access Control Scanning: Yes
  • Compliance: GDPR, ISO 27001, SOC2, PCI-DSS, and HIPAA
  • Price: Starts at $1999 per annum
  • Best Suited For: Holistic API pentesting services

Astra Security is one of the best API pentesting tools that combines continuous automated API penetration testing with AI-powered test cases and manual vetting. We run 9300+ tests to map all endpoints and ensure holistic security.

With customers across various industries and countries, our industry-specific AI test cases, seamless tech stack integrations, and personalized reports guarantee a smooth experience while saving you millions of dollars proactively. 

With automatic API detection (with manual spec file uploading options), a formidable GPT-powered chatbot, and quick expert support, we strive to make API pentesting simple, effective, and hassle-free. 

API Penetration Testing Tools - Astra Pentest


  • Automate API discovery
  • Seamlessly integrates with your CI/CD pipeline. 
  • Generate compliance-specific reports
  • Comprehensive scanning and pentesting process. 


  • Only 1-week trial, available at $7.

2. Probely

Probely - API security testing tool

Key Features

  • Pentest Capacity: Credit-based vulnerability scanner for APIs to detect 100+ bug types 
  • API Vulnerability Scanner: Yes
  • Access Control Scanning: No
  • Compliance: GDPR, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, and HIPAA
  • Price: Starts at $1180 per annum
  • Best Suited For: Automated API pentesting services

As an automated API security scanning tool, Probely helps automate and scale API pentesting abilities. Its simple UI and seamless CI/CD pipeline integration offer comprehensive testing opportunities even in its open-source plan.

Probely has earned a name through its API-first approach to maximize security with dynamic authentication support. 


  • Offers a generous free security testing plan for APIs
  •  User-friendly interface


  • Limited customization options for advanced testing
  • No manual pentesting or vetting is available

3. FireTail

FireTail API penetration testing tool

Key Features:

  • Pentest Capacity: Subscription-based automated pentester for APIs
  • API Vulnerability Scanner: Yes
  • Access Control Scanning: No
  • Compliance: GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2
  • Price: Enterprise plan at $48,000 per annum
  • Best Suited For: Bug-bounty API security researchers

Built on modern API standards, FireTail aims to offer a one-stop API pen test solution to identify, analyze, and secure sensitive data across all APIs. It offers multiple features, such as PII scrubbing, response validation, and sanitization. 

Firetail’s triggers allow for highly personalized and automated notifications. They offer integrations with email, messaging, ticketing, and SIEM platforms. 


  • Easy to set up
  • Comprehensive open-source resource repository


  • The enterprise version can be a bit expensive

4. APISec

APISec API vulnerability scanning tool

Key Features:

  • Pentest Capacity: Subscription-based scanner for APIs with 100+ test categories
  • API Vulnerability Scanner: Yes
  • Access Control Scanning: Yes
  • Compliance: PCI, SOC 2, and CCPA
  • Price: Starting at $500/month
  • Best Suited For: Continuous API penetration testing services

As a popular API vulnerability scanning tool, APISec combines automated and AI-powered penetration testing to offer continuous security capabilities. The platform generates and runs customized attack vectors based on the unique structure of each API.

Its quick turnaround time on API scans and easy navigation offer a smooth experience. Efficient customer success executives also help improve the user experience. 


  • Expert assistance to customers. 
  • Easy to navigate


  • High alert fatigue due to false positive
  • Limited customization toggles due to automation

Astra Pentest is built by the team of experts that secured Microsoft, Adobe, Facebook, and Buffer

We are also available on weekends 😊

5. Akto (Open-Source)

Akto open-source API security testing tool

Key Features:

  • Pentest Capacity: Instant API penetration testing scanner with 150+ built-in test cases 
  • API Vulnerability Scanner: Yes
  • Access Control Scanning: Yes
  • Compliance: Owasp Top 10 API
  • Price: Open-source
  • Best Suited For: Open-source API security testing 

With 100+ built-in tests, Akto is a leading open-source API security testing tool that offers API discovery and automated testing facilities. Fueled by traffic data analysis, the platform runs several business logic tests to identify OWASP and HackerOne’s Top 10 bugs.

Akto’s frictionless integration with Burpsuite, AWS, postman, GCP, and gateways and simple navigation capabilities make it an ideal choice for startups and SMEs.


  • Create custom test cases
  • Simple integration extensions to facilitate team and task management


  • Documentation for Akto is a little thin
  • Some features are not available in the open-source plan 

6. ZAP (Open-Source)

ZAP automated API pentesting solution

Key Features:

  • Pentest Capacity: Continuous API penetration testing tool with customization options
  • API Vulnerability Scanner: Yes
  • Access Control Scanning: Yes
  • Compliance: No
  • Price: Open-source
  • Best Suited For: Open-source API security testing 

ZAP or Zed Attack Proxy is an open-source automated API pentesting tool that allows security analysts to automate and fine-tune security regression pentesting of the application in the CI/CD pipeline.

The platform offers continuous crawling and vulnerability scanning services for APIs defined by OpenAPI, SOAP, or GraphQL with active and passive scans.


  • Supports multiple languages
  • User-friendly interface, especially for beginners


  • Not reliable for detecting application logic errors

7. Burp Suite Community Edition

Burp Suite Community Edition API pentest tool

Key Features:

  • Pentest Capacity: Automated API penetration testing tool with a manual pentest toolbox
  • API Vulnerability Scanner: Yes
  • Access Control Scanning: Yes
  • Compliance: GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS
  • Price: Open-source
  • Best Suited For: Open-source API security testing 

As a comprehensive API penetration testing tool kit, Burp Suite is the ideal choice for security analysts to design and run manual security tests on endpoints. It can be pre-configured and embedded in the Chromium browser to crawl and audit APIs. 

With a strong community support approach, it is the go-to tool for developers. However, the advanced understanding of coding makes it inaccessible to non–technical personnel.


  • Can carry out performance tests for both static and dynamic resources
  • Open-source with strong community support


  • Burp Crawler occasionally misses out on end-points
  • Not reliable for scanning logically dependent APIs

How To Choose The Best API Penetration Testing Tool?

1. Prioritize Your Needs

Drowning in options for the ‘best’ API penetration testing tools? You’re not alone. Start with this ultimate API Security checklist to gain a better understanding of your current posture. Then, answer the following questions:

  1. Why do I need the API penetration testing tool?
  2. What is my budget and ideal pricing?
  3. What does my ideal timeline look like?
  4. Which compliances do I need to test for?

These questions help you create a blueprint of your primary goals, non-negotiables, and final cutoffs. Most importantly, they help differentiate between needs and good-to-haves!

2. Analyze Professional Track Records

Websites showcasing happy customers are standard in today’s marketing landscape. Every API pentesting tool has a page dedicated to glowing customer reports, testimonials, and case studies. 

Go through independent expert reviews and customer reviews on G2 to understand and get a glimpse of the real picture.

Pro-Tip: Find vendors with experience in your industry or niche to reduce the learning curve. Experience with your tech stack is even better!

3. Evaluate the Quality of Pentesters

Hacking is far from a rigid process but as creative and unique as the hackers themselves. As such, your pentesters need to emulate the same ingenuity. 

While choosing your API pentesting tool, evaluate the quality of automated pentesting and the team. Some key metrics include test cases, API discoverability, false positives, methodology, approach, and familiarity with compliance standards.

Pro-Tip: AI-assisted modeling can also help bridge the gap to generate new attack vectors.

Make your Website / Web Application the safest place on the Internet.

With our detailed and specially curated SaaS security checklist.

Final Thoughts

With this article, we aimed not only to view the best API penetration testing tools through a comparative lens but to help you better understand your needs and non-negotiables of API pentesting.

We have included open-source and paid tools, but key factors such as timeline, cost, and purpose of pentesting will help you narrow down the best choice. Expert reviews, comprehensive reports, and responsive customer support will also help simplify the choice.

Lastly, planning and executing an API pentest is far from easy or simple, but the security upsides make it worth the time and effort!


How to test API Security?

Testing API security involves multiple steps: understanding endpoints, validating data, and testing authentication/authorization. Employ tools and manual testing to uncover vulnerabilities.

What is API vulnerability?

An API vulnerability is a weakness in an application programming interface (API) that attackers can exploit. This weakness can allow them to gain unauthorized access to data, functionality, or resources of the application. These vulnerabilities can arise due to flaws in the design, implementation, or configuration of the API.

How do I secure my REST API?

Securing a REST API involves multiple layers such as:
1. Firstly, enforce HTTPS (TLS) for encrypted communication.
2. Utilize strong authentication like OAuth2/OpenID Connect or API keys for access control.
3. Validate all user inputs to prevent injection attacks and sanitize data.
4. Finally, keep your API updated and monitor for suspicious activity.

Jinson Varghese

Jinson Varghese Behanan is an Information Security Analyst at Astra. Passionate about Cybersecurity from a young age, Jinson completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer Security from Northumbria University. When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he spends his time reading InfoSec materials, playing basketball, learning French and traveling. You can follow him on Medium or visit his Website for more stories about the various Security Audits he does and the crazy vulnerabilities he finds.
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