Security Audit

What, Why and How of VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing)?

Published on: October 25, 2021

What, Why and How of VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing)?

Technology has made our lives easy, but it has also increased security challenges for organizations that are moving towards digital transformation. Cybercriminals are always looking to exploit vulnerabilities in the system and trying to compromise the company’s assets and data. Most of the time, it gets too late for the companies to discover that they’ve been a target and hence they fail to defend themselves on time in event of data breaches or network compromise. 

The large number of cyberattacks worldwide is proof that companies need to adopt new ways to keep their business data and other information safe. Cyber attacks can be done in various ways and places, and there is no way to track the cybercriminals. The only way we can defend ourselves from hackers is to adopt a new way, and that way is to use network and application protection techniques.

Introduction

With the growing number of cyber-attacks and the increasing sophistication of malware and hacking techniques, organizations are adopting Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) as a means of identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities. Also known as penetration testing, VAPT involves a “hands-on” approach to testing the overall security of an IT infrastructure by simulating a hacker attack. 

VAPT could be effectively used to evaluate the vulnerabilities of a system and provide a detailed report of how a hacker can circumvent the existing security system.

What is Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)?

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) is a security testing method used by organizations to test their applications and IT networks. VAPT is designed to test the overall security of a system by performing an in-depth security analysis of its various elements.

The goal of VAPT is to identify the overall vulnerabilities present in the software, which hackers can exploit. VAPT is carried out through a systematic process involving various tools, techniques, and methodologies.

Why is VAPT important for your organization?

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing is a must regardless of any type of industry your organization belong to. It is about the verification and assessment of the security posture of your organization. 

In simple words, you can say that it is a method of checking whether your company is secure from outside attacks or not. In the present times, we hear a lot of hacking issues and cyber-attacks. We all need to secure our systems and networks. Doing vulnerability assessment and penetration testing will let you know the attacks and security loopholes and how to fix them.

In addition, doing a VAPT also enables data security compliance for storing customer data in networks and applications and protecting it against any compromise attempt by hackers.

Make your web app the safest place on the Internet

with our detailed and specially curated web app security checklist.

How Can Data Breach Affect Your Organization?

Data Breach is a nightmare for any company that believes in users’ trust. People can lose their money, but the data breach can also affect its credibility, and they may lose their customers. 

The company can lose a lot of revenues and suffer a complete loss of trust from their customers. When people use your product or service, they want to know they can trust you with their personal information and that you’ll keep it safe. And if a company is breached, then that trust is broken. This is the reason why security is a top priority for any company. 

A data breach can have a tangible impact on your company. It can cost you money in the form of legal fees and fines, your customers in terms of loss of trust, and reduced sales.

Data breaches are not always easy to prevent, even if you are very careful. Even with the most advanced security software, hackers are still able to get in. The best way to protect yourself is to conduct a vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT). 

Did you know?
Image: Did you know?

How does vulnerability assessment differ from penetration testing?

A vulnerability assessment (or vulnerability scan) is an information security process used to identify weaknesses or vulnerabilities in a computer system or network. The purpose of a vulnerability assessment is to determine the system’s vulnerabilities and help the system operator correct them. 

The assessment can be performed manually or automatically. If performed manually, the tester will follow an assessment procedure to identify the vulnerabilities. If the manual assessment is not sufficient or time-consuming, then an automated vulnerability assessment can be used. 

A penetration test (or pen test) is an authorized simulated attack on a computer system performed to evaluate the system’s security. It can be described as a form of “security audit” but often implies a level of aggressiveness beyond simple audit procedures. 

Penetration tests are performed with the consent and knowledge of the owner of the system. They are typically performed to find security weaknesses before criminals, or unethical hackers find and exploit them.

VAPT vs Penetration Testing
Image: Vulnerability Assessment vs Penetration Testing

How does VAPT defend against Data Breaches?

Data breaches are a huge problem and not just for companies and organizations that get hacked. Data breaches can result in identity theft, stolen funds, and damaged trust from a user’s perspective. The most vulnerable asset in any organization is its data. 

Organizations need to ensure that their data is protected and that it remains safe and secure. There needs to be a certain level of protection against data theft, where vulnerability assessments come in. Vulnerability assessments are one of the best ways to ensure the security of your network and data from possible attacks from malicious hackers.

Vulnerability assessment is a method for finding known security vulnerabilities in a system or network, and it’s a crucial step in the vulnerability management process.

What are the 5 significant types of penetration testing?

Penetration testing is a broad term and is classified into various types. Let’s understand some of them in detail:

1. Network Penetration Testing

Network penetration testing is a security audit by which you check the security of a network. It is one of the most effective ways to detect and prevent potential and actual cyber-attacks and hacks and protect your sensitive data and information that you store and transfer across the network. 

The idea is to simulate a cyber-attack and try to break into the system. Network penetration testing is the most effective way to detect potential and actual cyber-attacks and hacks and protect your sensitive data and information that you store and transfer across the network.

2. Web Application Penetration Testing

Web application penetration testing is a process that is used for analyzing the security of the website. It is used to find out the vulnerabilities of the website or its web applications. It can be used for a white hat or black hat purposes. 

The web application penetration testing is done to find out the loopholes of the website before malicious hackers can find it out. Penetration testing is generally done to find out the security weaknesses of the website, which are then reported to the concerned team.

3. Mobile Penetration Testing

Mobile penetration testing is a process of testing a mobile application for security vulnerabilities. This process is done to ensure that the applications are not leaking confidential information to the third party. It is a crucial step for a mobile application as a single minor flaw in the system can cost a company a lot of revenue.

Mobile application penetration includes testing all kinds of mobile applications such as:

  1. Android applications
  2. iOS applications
  3. Hybrid applications
  4. PWA

4. API Penetration Testing

API penetration testing is a vital part of any company’s security infrastructure. As a company’s data and infrastructure becomes increasingly exposed to the internet, the threat of a breach is a more significant concern than ever before. But more than just a single point of failure, APIs are a substantial risk to the integrity of a company’s internal infrastructure. 

Most companies have a variety of APIs that allow internal tools, data, and infrastructure to be used by employees and third-party applications. In the wrong hands, these APIs can be used to spread malware, steal data, and manipulate an organization’s infrastructure from the inside.

An API penetration test is a perfect way to assess the security of your API, which is increasingly becoming a tempting target for cyber attackers.

5. Cloud Penetration Testing

Cloud penetration testing is a type of security testing that analyzes a cloud computing environment for vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. 

Cloud penetration testing is used to test the security of cloud computing environments and determine if a cloud provider’s security measures and controls can resist attacks. These tests should be performed before a company moves applications and data to the cloud and on an ongoing basis as part of a cloud provider’s security maintenance. 

A third-party security firm will likely perform a cloud penetration test as part of a company’s cloud infrastructure security assessment.

Also Read: A Deep Dive into Different Types of Penetration Testing

Types of Penetration Testing
Image: Types of Penetration Testing

How often should you conduct VAPT?

VAPT is the process of finding vulnerabilities in your website’s security. The question of how often you should perform a VAPT is a tricky one because the answer depends on a lot of factors. 

Some of the most important factors include: 

  1. How many vulnerabilities a VAPT will find?
  2. How long the VAPT will take?
  3. How much a VAPT will cost? 
  4. What kind of data is being stored?
  5. Compliance requirements?

But, as a general rule of thumb, you should test your network and applications for vulnerabilities at least twice a year.

What are benefits of performing VAPT?

Enterprise system security is a significant concern for every company. This is because no business can afford a security breach that could cause a financial loss or a tarnished reputation. There are two ways to address a security vulnerability: a vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.

Let’s understand the benefits of VAPT:

  1. Uncover security vulnerability
  2. Avoid data breaches
  3. Protect customer data and trust
  4. Maintain the reputation of the company
  5. Achieve compliance

What are VAPT Tools?

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing is the combination of tools and techniques used to assess the security of a software application or a network. VAPT tools are a group of software tools used to test the security of a system, network, or application. 

Companies can use VAPT tools for auditing systems for vulnerabilities, checking the network’s security status, and ensuring the network’s security.

Top 3 Open Source tools to perform VAPT:

1. Wireshark

Wireshark is a network traffic analyzer, monitoring software that allows you to see what traffic flows through your system network. It is open-source and is the most popular network analyzer in the world. Network administrators and professionals mainly use it to troubleshoot network and system performance issues and monitor and filter different network protocols. 

Many security professionals and hackers also use it to test and hack into networks and network devices.

2. Nmap

Nmap is an open-source network administration tool for monitoring network connections. It is used to scan large networks and helps for auditing hosts and services and intrusion detection. It is used for both packet-level and scan-level analysis of network hosts. Nmap is free of cost and available to download.

3. Metasploit

Metasploit is a framework for developing and executing exploit code against a remote target machine. It was initially released in 2003 by H.D. Moore as an open-source project. 

Penetration testers use Metasploit to develop and validate the exploit code before using it in the real world. It can be used to test the security of a network or to hack into a remote computer. 

Make your web app the safest place on the Internet

with our detailed and specially curated web app security checklist.

Things to look for when choosing a VAPT solution/service provider

There are so many factors to consider when choosing the best service for you. It’s not just about price or features or anything else. You should think about the future, the present, the short term, and the long term. 

Most of the time, the best provider for you is the one you feel comfortable with, which you can trust. There are other factors, though. Take the time to find the best one for you.

To make things easier, here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a VAPT service.

  1. Price of VAPT solution
  2. Experience of third party VAPT service provider
  3. Trained Employees
  4. Plan to perform pentest

How Astra’s Pentest Solution helps you with VAPT?

Astra’s Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) service is designed to help you identify security vulnerabilities in your infrastructure and make a plan to fix them. 

Simply put, a VAPT scan is a comprehensive scan that checks your web application from a security standpoint. It’s a professional-grade scan that includes a thorough vulnerability scan and a penetration test. 

Astra’s VAPT scan analyzes the entire application and its underlying infrastructure, including all network devices, management systems, and other components. It’s a deep analysis that helps you find security weaknesses, so you can fix them before a hacker does.

Astra's VAPT Pentest Suite
Image: Astra’s VAPT Pentest Suite

Benefits of choosing Astra

Astra’s Pentest solution is a one-stop solution for all your security needs. Check out some cool features of Astra’s Pentest solution:

  1. Automated and Manual Scanning
  2. 2600+ tests to keep your infrastructure secure from hackers.
  3. Easy, accessible reports that you can interpret at a glance with the dashboard.
  4. Collaborate with developers from within the dashboard.
  5. Get detailed steps on bug fixing tailored to your issues and know exactly how to reproduce vulnerabilities with video Proof of Concepts (PoCs).
  6. Why keep your security status private? Showcase Astra’s Publicly verifiable certificate.
  7. Post pentest, Astra shows a potential loss in $$$ for each vulnerability, making it easier for everyone to understand the impact. 
  8. For each vulnerability, Astra gives an intelligently calculated risk score.
Why Choose Astra
Image: Why Choose Astra

Conclusion

With the number of data breaches on the rise, companies urgently look for new ways to protect their data. The internet is overflowing with information on how companies can protect their data. The truth is that businesses of all sizes need to utilize an excellent VAPT solution to safeguard the data. In this blog post, we’ve discussed the importance of a VAPT solution and how it can help protect your business from malicious attacks. The best part is that it’s affordable for all businesses.

Let experts find security gaps in your web application

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

Was this post helpful?

Keshav Malik

Keshav is a hacker by heart. He loves playing with fire (code) and loves discovering bugs. Not only in web applications but in all kinds of software. His first introduction to the world of Cyber Security was through bug bounty programs. He quickly made a name for himself as a bug hunter and now actively participates in bug bounty programs. Other than Infosec, he loves creating full stack web applications using cutting edge technologies.
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Psst! Hi there. We’re Astra.

We make security simple and hassle-free for thousands
of websites and businesses worldwide.

Our suite of security products include firewall, malware scanner and security audits to protect your site from the
evil forces on the internet, even when you sleep.

earth spiders cards bugs spiders

Made with ❤️ in USA France India Germany