Website Penetration Testing

Website Penetration Testing

In the previous tutorial, we had an overview of Website Security. So in this tutorial, we are providing you with the details of website penetration testing and why and how it is related to website security. Even though we say website penetration testing, it is not that simple as said as there are a lot of factors to be taken into account. We need to conduct regular website penetration testing in order to know the vulnerabilities present in the side and patch them before an attacker finds them and uses them. Thus website penetration testing helps us in securing the website.

Penetration Testing is done for quarterly/half-yearly/yearly security auditing or for compliance purposes like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS Penetration Testing) or before the official launch of the site to make sure that their web environment is secured.
As with any other testing process website penetration testing is also classified into three categories as follows:

  1. White Box Testing
  2. Grey Box Testing
  3. Black Box Testing

Black Box Testing:
As the name suggests this testing is exactly like blind testing. Only the URL or IP to be tested will be provided and no other information will be given to the tester. The tester should try to gather as much information as he could and should find the vulnerabilities present in the environment. Black box testing is time-consuming and also money-consuming. Because in black-box testing the tester is left on his own as a hacker does. Because a hacker doesn’t actually know a lot about a website’s infrastructure or about its environment. Usually, there are five phases of testing as shown below.

  1. Information Gathering or Reconnaissance
  2. Scanning
  3. Gaining Access
  4. Maintaining Access
  5. Covering Tracks

White Box Testing:
White box testing is a process which is also called Clear Box Testing where all the information is provided to the tester like the login credentials, underlying OS and Server and Web-related Technology and system information, etc. When the budget of a company is limited and when a company wants the test to be completed in a short span then they will opt for white box testing by providing all the Information that a tester needs.

Grey Box Testing:
Grey box testing is a combination of white box and black box testing as the name suggests. It is a process in which the tester is provided with partial information and the remaining is hidden. For example, the tester might be provided with Link/IP to be tested, login credentials for the environment, etc. without revealing the underlying technology and its type. The tester has to dig more (penetrate) for other information during the testing. This kind of testing is done to speed up the process. As part of the information is provided to the testers, it will not be time-consuming.

Usually, Website Penetration Testing is conducted in such a way that the testers will use all kinds of techniques that a real-world attacker does and will try to break past the security of the website. But the best part is everything is done in a controlled environment so that there will no serious damage to the website environment thus helping you to identify and secure the vulnerabilities present in your site.