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Strengthen Your Web Application Security: A Guide to Effective Penetration Testing for Web Applications

icon Posted by: Hasan Sameer
icon April 14, 2023

In Brief

What is Web Application Pentesting?

Web application pen testing is an offensive cyber security procedure to test the resilience of websites against potential attack vectors. Testing teams simulate real-world attacks against the target application. The process involves targeting identified vulnerabilities and escalating them to the maximum extent possible. It helps the security teams to determine the impact of specific vulnerabilities. Plus, you get to know how your current security systems will respond when a real attack hits. Eventually, pen testing tells you about the current state of the security posture of your web applications. Along with that, you get recommendations to improve it as well.


of organizations are operating without adequate cyber security measures deployed to protect their web infrastructure


of companies have automated almost one-third of their security testing.


is the estimated CAGR penetration testing software market between 2021 and 2028.


of businesses hire a third-party penetration testing team to conduct pen testing on their web applications.

Need for Web Application Penetration Testing

Web applications are the face of multiple businesses online. They represent various industries such as e-commerce, education, healthcare, etc. While they offer a high utility. Security is always a concern with these applications.

Web applications are prone to vulnerabilities that might be exploited by threat actors online. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to leverage them as an entry point into your infrastructure.

As businesses are growing, the demand for web applications and other such resources is also increasing. Along with all this, security issues will also rise. So, we need a formidable solution to tackle these issues.

However, companies deploy foundational security protocols to guard their infrastructure against potential threats. But these initial security controls cannot prepare your infrastructure against the attacks initiated through the exploitation of internal vulnerabilities.

Penetration testing perhaps comes along as the ideal solution in such cases.

Characteristics of Web Applications Pen Testing

The following are the basic characteristics you need to know about:

  • It is a systematic stepwise process where we detect vulnerabilities to target, exploit, and escalate them to the maximum limit.
  • Here we intelligently attack the security flaws to dynamically analyze the presence of real threats.
  • Pen testing for web apps includes both automated and manual techniques. This ensures that no corner is left unattended.
  • Along with protecting your infrastructure and data against prevailing cyberattacks, pen testing also helps you with compliance management.

Types of Web Applications Penetration Testing

We can categorize web pentesting into the following two categories:

  1. External Penetration Testing: External pen testing on web applications involves initiating the attack simulation from outside the network perimeter of the organization. The business owners only provide the IP address to the testers/ethical hackers to execute the testing on the web infrastructure. They do not have access to any other information related to the application. External pen testing involves the testing of the security resilience of the organization’s firewalls, servers, and IDS.
  2. Internal Penetration Testing: This type of pen testing is executed inside the organization through a LAN (local area network). The process involves the testing of websites that are hosted on the internal network. It helps to detect vulnerabilities within the corporate firewall. Some common internal attacks include:
  • Malicious Employee Attacks
  • Social Engineering Attacks
  • Phishing Attacks
  • Attacks using User Privileges

How is Web Pentesting Done?

Web application penetration testing involves the following steps:

  1. Information Gathering: It is the first phase of penetration testing. Here the testing teams map out all the information related to the web app they are going to test. Active and passive reconnaissance are the two key processes in this phase. Active reconnaissance is the process of gathering information directly from the systems. On the other hand, passive reconnaissance involves procuring information from other sources without any direct interaction with the target systems.
  2. Research and Exploitation: In this phase, an attack is simulated on the target systems using the information gathered in the reconnaissance phase. Here the testing teams identify the weak points within your systems that need to be reconditioned.
  3. Reporting and Recommendation: This is the post-exploitation phase where the testing teams submit a comprehensive report featuring all the vulnerabilities and their impacts. Plus, it also contains recommendations from security experts to remediate loopholes before hackers exploit them.

Before You Go!

  • Penetration testing is certainly the best move to strengthen your web application security.
  • However, it is recommended to involve expert cyber security consultation to get the best outcomes from the process.


  • Cyber security consultation
  • Penetration Testing
  • web application pen testing
  • Web application penetration testing

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