VAPT Security Testing



With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks, organizations are more vulnerable to cyber threats than ever before. These attacks can have serious consequences, including data breaches, financial losses, and damage to the reputation of the organization. In response, organizations need to take proactive measures to protect their networks, systems, and applications. One such measure is Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT).

It's important to regularly test the cyber security of the organization because of the continuously increasing tools, techniques, and processes that hackers employ to access networks.

VAPT assists in protecting business by making security vulnerabilities visible and address them. VAPT becoming more and more important for organizations seeking to achieve compliance with regulations such as the GDPR, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS. 

What is VAPT?


Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) is a process of identifying and addressing potential security vulnerabilities in a Software System or Server or Network or Web Application. It involves two distinct processes: Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing. Each process performs different tasks, within the same area and produces different outputs.

Vulnerability Assessment


Vulnerability Assessment is the process of identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing security vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, or applications. The goal is to identify potential weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems.

Vulnerability Assessments are typically conducted using specialized software tools that scan systems and networks for known vulnerabilities. These tools identify vulnerabilities such as missing patches, weak passwords, or misconfigured systems. Once identified, the vulnerabilities are prioritized based on their severity, and prevention procedures were carried out.

Vulnerability scanners provide details on the existence and location of vulnerabilities in the code. The tools can identify the vulnerabilities but cannot differentiate the flaws that can be exploited to cause damage and those that cannot be harmed. It will be done in Pen Testing or Penetration Testing.  

Penetration Testing


Penetration testing, or pen testing, involves simulating the attack on a system to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in a controlled environment. The aim of penetration testing is to evaluate the security of a system and determine how well it can withstand an attack and test IT security breaches.

Penetration testing can be done either manually or using automated tools. During a pen test, ethical hackers attempt to gain access to a system using the same techniques that a real attacker might use. The pen testers then document their findings and provide recommendations for remediation.

The pen test can be carried out by the testers who have little to no prior knowledge of how the system is protected, since they may be able to reveal blind spots missed by the developers. Pen testers are referred to as “ethical hackers" because they are recruited to hack into a system with authorization and to increase security.

Types of VAPT


There are several types of VAPT, each with its own approach and goals. These include:

Web Application VAPT: Web application VAPT involves identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in Web Applications and Organization's websites. In web application VAPT, logical flaws presented in the web application are checked which might be the cause of authentication/authorization, injection attacks, data security, input validations, session management issues, etc. Web application security can be analyzed in a way that goes beyond the OWASP Top 10 and pushes the limits of application security.

Mobile Security Testing:Mobile security testing is the process of assessing the security of mobile applications and devices to identify vulnerabilities and potential security risks. It involves testing the software, hardware, and communication protocols of mobile devices to ensure that they are secure and sensitive information is protected.

Mobile security testing can be conducted in several ways, including manual testing, automated testing, and penetration testing. In Manual and Automation testing process security vulnerabilities will be found and Penetration testing involves attempting to hack into the app or device to identify vulnerabilities.

Application and API Security Review: Application and API security review is the process of assessing the security of an application and its associated APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). It is an essential part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). It involves analysing the application's architecture, design, and implementation to identify security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

The application and API security review process typically involves a combination of automated and manual testing. Automated tools are used to scan the application and its APIs for known vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and buffer overflow. Manual testing is then conducted by a security expert to identify additional vulnerabilities that may not have been detected by the automated tools.

Network VAPT: Network VAPT involves identifying weaknesses in an organization's network infrastructure which includes firewalls, routers, switches, and other network devices. It also Identifies vulnerabilities in Physical network Layers, Network Design, Missing Patches, Misconfigured applications, etc., Unauthorised access to sensitive data is detected during network penetration testing.

Wireless Network VAPT: Wireless network VAPT involves identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in an organization's wireless network infrastructure and penetrating a network by using wireless or evading WLAN access control measures. This includes wireless routers, access points, and other wireless devices. Wireless Penetration testing includes Identifying Wireless networks, including Wi-Fi fingerprinting, information leakage, and signal leakage, and Identifying encryption weaknesses, such as encryption cracking, wireless sniffing, and session hijacking.

Firewall Configuration Review:A Firewall is a network security device that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing traffic based on predetermined security rules. It acts as a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external networks, such as the Internet.

Firewall Configuration Review is a process of assessing the configuration of a firewall to identify potential security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.The goal of this review is to ensure that the firewall is configured correctly to provide effective security controls and protect against unauthorized access to the network.

Cloud VAPT: Cloud VAPT is a type of security testing that analyses vulnerabilities in a Cloud computing environment. This includes vulnerabilities in cloud-based services, applications, and data storage. The Cloud VAPT is usually 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.


List of VAPT Tools


There are several VAPT tools available in the market. Here are some of the popular ones:

Nessus: Nessus is a popular vulnerability scanner used for identifying vulnerabilities in networks, servers, and applications.

OpenVAS: OpenVAS is a free and open-source vulnerability scanner that can detect thousands of vulnerabilities in networks and applications.

Metasploit: Metasploit is a popular penetration testing framework that can be used for identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in networks and applications.

Nmap: Nmap is a free and open-source network scanner used for identifying hosts and services on a network

Burp Suite: Burp Suite is a popular web application security testing tool that can be used for identifying vulnerabilities in web applications.

Wireshark: Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer used for capturing and analyzing network traffic.

Acunetix:Acunetix is a web application security testing tool used for identifying vulnerabilities in web applications.

Kali Linux: Kali Linux is a popular Linux distribution used by security professionals for penetration testing and ethical hacking.

Aircrack-ng:Aircrack-ng is a network security testing tool used for testing the security of wireless networks.

Hydra: Hydra is a popular password-cracking tool used for brute-forcing passwords on various protocols such as SSH, FTP, Telnet, etc.

Sqlmap: Sqlmap is a tool used for identifying and exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications.

Cobalt Strike: Cobalt Strike is a commercial penetration testing tool used for simulating a real-world attack on a system or network.

John the Ripper: John the Ripper is a password-cracking tool used for brute-forcing passwords on various protocols such as SSH, FTP, Telnet, etc.


Why is VAPT important?


VAPT is an essential component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. It helps organizations understand their security posture, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately improve their overall security posture.

By conducting regular vulnerability assessments, organizations can proactively identify and address vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers. This can help prevent data breaches, financial losses, and damage to the reputation of the organization.

Penetration testing, on the other hand, provides a realistic assessment of the security of a system. It can help organizations identify weaknesses that may not have been detected through vulnerability scanning alone. Additionally, pen testing can help organizations identify the potential impact of a successful attack on their systems.

Together, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing provide a comprehensive view of an organization's security posture. By identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, organizations can significantly reduce their risk of a successful cyber-attack.