Security Audit

7 Best Penetration Testing Tools of 2022

Updated on: June 30, 2022

7 Best Penetration Testing Tools of 2022

The annual cost of cybercrime will be $10.5 trillion for companies worldwide by the year 2025. Add the 125% increment in the global incident volume of cyberattacks to that and the cyber threat landscape starts to look really bleak.

You need security experts at the top of their game, using the best penetration testing tools to find and remove security vulnerabilities in your systems.

Best Penetration Testing Tools

Introduction

Amidst the evolution of work environments, rapid changes in technology, and the adoption of new processes, cyber security often takes a back seat.

It needs to change. Companies need more focused efforts in the information security space. It has to become more than just an IT issue – part of the business culture. Security loopholes can exist anywhere across your digital platforms, making getting hacked just a matter of time for you.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a security exercise where security experts search your systems for vulnerabilities using the processes a hacker would. And then attempt to exploit some of those vulnerabilities in order to find out their severity, and the risk they pose to the organization.

With the right pentesting team and the best penetration testing tools, it can be an incredible measure to assess and strengthen an organization’s security posture.

Related: A Curated List of Top Pentest Tools in US

What Sets a Penetration Test Apart From a Vulnerability Assessment? 

Vulnerability Assessment is an essential part of penetration testing. It is usually an automated procedure that unearths the possible vulnerabilities in a website, network, or application. It is a fast, accurate, and machine learning-driven exercise, that gives you a surface-level understanding of your security posture.

Penetration testing takes it further. Pen testers use a hacker-like approach to manually find hidden vulnerabilities and exploit certain vulnerabilities to learn more about them – how easy it was to exploit, whether the attacker was able to attain a privilege escalation, whether it allows a persistent backdoor, etc.

What Makes Penetration Testing Important?

  • You get a comprehensive understanding of your organization’s security posture which is simply not possible with just a Vulnerability Scan.
  • You come to truly understand the risk posed by the vulnerabilities. It helps you appreciate the ROI of security exercises.
  • Security experts who conduct a pen test of your systems are the best people to help you fix the vulnerabilities.
  • It becomes easier for the management to spend on security when they have a clearer understanding of the threat scenario.
  • The hacker-like approach of a pen tester helps you understand how your current security measures would fare against a potent threat.
  • There are multiple security regulations that require you to conduct frequent penetration testing, so the matter of compliance is always there.

Penetration Testing is a repetitive procedure. You have to make it a practice, ideally, a part of your software development life cycle if that is part of your business. A pentest certificate is only valid until your next feature update, or a new vulnerability is found. It is frustrating in that way, but with the right people wielding the best pentesting tools, it becomes a breeze.

 Enough of testing your patience! Here it is.

Top 6 Best Penetration Testing Tools

Name of the toolServicesKey features
Astra's PentestVulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing3000+ Tests, Continuous scanning, CI/CD integration, zero false positives, compliance monitoring.
NMAPNetwork ScanningCreate inventory of network devices, port scanning, mapping large networks
MetasploitVulnerability probing and weakness detection1677 exploits organized over 25 platforms, 500+ payloads, Encoders, post-exploit code
WireSharkProtocol analysis, network monitoringCapture and analyze network traffic, capture live data from Ethernet, LAN, USB, etc. Inspect protocols
Burp SuiteWeb application security testingWeb crawler, proxy, repeater, sequencer, and a wide set of tools.
NessusVulnerability AssessmentTests for more than 65K vulnerabilities, Integrates with Tenable products, regularly updated for new threats

Let’s learn a bit more about the best penetration testing tools.

1. Astra Pentest

Astra Security’s product, the Astra Pentest is guided by one principle – making the pentest process simple for the users. Astra’s constant efforts towards making the solutions self-serving and yet being always available and on point with support is quite surprising. Astra has made visualizing, navigating, and remediating vulnerabilities as simple as running a search on Google.

The user gets a dedicated dashboard to visualize the vulnerabilities, read the CVSS scores, get in touch with the security personnel, and access remediation support.

penetration testing compliance by Astra

Features That Put Astra on top of the list of the best Penetration Testing Tools

  • 3000+ tests to uncover all vulnerabilities along with free re-scans.
  • Comprehensive remediation guidance with video POCs in-call assistance.
  • Interactive dashboard making it super easy to navigate through vulnerability reports.
  • Round-the-clock chat support.
  • Login recorder to make scanner authentication simpler for users.
  • Globally acknowledged certification.

Over the past year, Astra has added names like ICICI, UN, and Dream 11, to their already impressive roster of clients which included Ford, Gillette, and GoDaddy, among others.

It is one small security loophole v/s your entire website or web application

Get your web app audited with Astra’s Continuous Pentest Solution
See Pricing
Starting from $99/month

2. NMAP

NMAP is short for Network Mapper. It helps you map a network by scanning ports, discovering operating systems, and creating an inventory of devices and the services running on them. 

NMAP sends differently structured packets for different transport layer protocols which return with IP addresses and other information. You can use this information for host discovery, OS fingerprinting, service discovery, and security auditing. 

NMAP is a powerful tool with the capability of mapping a very large network with thousands of ports connected to it.

How does NMAP help in Security Audits?

NMAP allows security administrators to create an inventory of all devices, operating systems, and applications connected to a network, it makes it possible for them to point out the probable vulnerabilities.

For instance, if an application running on a network is deemed vulnerable, the network administrators can spot it using NMAP and take the needful steps to update or replace the application.

3. Metasploit

Metasploit is used by both hackers and security professionals to detect systematic vulnerabilities. It is a powerful framework that also contains portions of fuzzing, anti-forensic, and evasion tools.

It is easy to install, works on a range of platforms, and is quite popular among hackers. That is part of the reason why it is an important tool for pentesters as well.

Metasploit currently includes nearly 1677 exploits along with almost 500 payloads that include Command shell payloads, Dynamic payloads, Meterpreter payloads, and Static payloads.

With listeners, encoders, and post-exploit code, Metasploit is a very powerful tool for ethical hacking.

Read also: 16 Pentest Tools To Help You Find Security Vulnerabilities in a Website 

4. WireShark

WireShark is a famous open-source tool primarily used for protocol analysis. You can monitor network activities at a microscopic level using this tool. What makes it one of the best pentest tools is the fact that thousands of security engineers across the world contribute to its improvement.

What WireShark allows you to do

  • Capture and analyze network traffic
  • Inspect protocols
  • Troubleshoot network performance issues.
  • Decrypt protocols
  • Capture live data from Ethernet, LAN, USB, etc.
  • Export output to XML, PostScript, CSV, or plain text

It is important to note that WireShark is not an Intrusion Detection System or IDS. As a protocol analyzer, it can help you visualize malformed packets but it cannot raise an alarm if there is any malicious activity on the network.

5. Burp Suite

Burp Suite comes with a range of tools that are very useful for ethical hackers, pentesters, and security engineers. Let us explore some of the tools included in Burp Suite.

  • Spider: It is a web crawler used for mapping the target application. You can create an inventory of all the endpoints, monitor their functionalities, and look for vulnerabilities with Spider.
  • Proxy: A proxy is placed between the browser and the internet to monitor, and modify the in transit requests and responses.
  • Intruder: It runs a set of values through an input point and lets you analyze the output for success, failure, and content length.

These aside the suite includes Repeater, Sequencer, Decoder, Extender, and some other add-on tools.

Burp Suite has both a free community edition and a commercial edition.

6. Nessus

Nessus aims to simplify vulnerability assessments and make remediation more efficient. It works on a variety of platforms and comes with a range of features.

  • You can test your systems for 65k vulnerabilities with Nessus.
  • Allows efficient vulnerability assessment.
  • Nessus keeps adding new plugins to protect you from new threats.
  • Integrates easily with the rest of the Tenable product portfolio. 

You have gone through the list of the best penetration testing tools. How about learning a bit about the different categories of tools that a pentester uses to conduct a test?

Categories of Penetration Testing Tools

Each step of the pentest process requires a specific category of tools. Be it gathering information about the target website, scanning for vulnerabilities, or exploiting those vulnerabilities, every task requires certain capabilities. Here are the most important ones.

Read also: Breaking Down the Pentest Process – A 5 Step Guide

Port Scanners

Ports help you distinguish between different sources of traffic on a network. Port scanners send packets to identify open ports and thus uncover vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability Scanners

A vulnerability scanner, as we have already discussed, is usually an automated tool that searches your website, application, or network for known vulnerabilities. The scanner reports the vulnerabilities along with their CVSS score.

Network Sniffers

Network administrators can use Network sniffers to monitor network traffic and find vulnerabilities. It is used by hackers too in a similar capacity.

Intercept Proxy

An intercepting proxy lies between the client-side browser and the internet and intercepts the traffic. It can monitor, modify, or alter the requests and responses.

Now, that you have a fair understanding of the various kinds of tools used by pentesters and also an idea of the best penetration testing tools, let us look back at the top of our list for a bit.

Astra Pentest – Making Security Super Simple

Astra has had a pretty impeccable record so far as a pentest tool. Astra’s focus on user experience and speed of support is phenomenal, to say the least.

You get a comprehensive penetration test within 10 days or even sooner depending on the scope of the test. And the quality of remediation support they provide while maintaining that sort of speed of delivery is pretty hard to match. 

Astra’s Pentest report comes with detailed guidelines for developers and includes video POCs to help them reproduce and fix the vulnerabilities. And you get free rescans after the remediation, so, that too is pretty neat.  

best penetration testing tools

Also Read: Top Penetration Testing Services & Providers – Comparison with Reviews

To Conclude

It is time for you to act. You have browsed through a list of the best penetration testing tools. That means you are a step closer to creating a secure environment for your business as well as your customers. Take this forward. Talk to a security expert. Learn what your organization lacks in terms of cyber security and take the necessary measures.

Want to know more or have a quick question? Talk with our engineers!

We are always online! 😊

FAQs

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a security exercise where security experts search your systems for vulnerabilities using the processes a hacker would. And then attempt to exploit some of those vulnerabilities in order to find out their severity, and the risk they pose to the organization. Learn about the pentest tools that you should try!

Which are the Best Penetration Testing Tools?

Some of the best penetration testing tools are Astra’s Pentest, Metasploit, NMap, Burp Suite, and Nessus.

Why choose Astra pentest?

1250+ tests, adherence to global security standards, an intuitive dashboard with dynamic visualization of vulnerabilities and their severity, security audit with simultaneous remediation assistance, and multiple rescans, are the features that give Astra an edge over all competitors.

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Saumick Basu

Saumick is a Technical Writer at Astra Security. He loves to write about technology and has deep interest in its evolution. Having written about spearheading disruptive technology like AI, and Machine Learning, and code reviews for a while, Information Security is his newfound love. He's ready to bring you along as he dives deeper.
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