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What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration Testing is the process of evaluating a security system and exploiting vulnerabilities with the help of hacking tools.

There is a question that arises every time we refer to penetration testing. ‘Isn’t penetration testing similar to hacking?’ Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in a security system, intending to steal and access sensitive data or threaten the organisation to reveal the data they got their hands on. Alternatively, penetration testing helps to identify these vulnerabilities and helps the organisation to fix them to prevent hackers from gaining access to their sensitive information.

There are two ways to approach and expose vulnerabilities – manual and automated testing. As technology has advanced, people rely on automations for everyday activities. A misconception has been propagated online, influencing organisations and individuals to believe that automation is more reliable and accurate than manual procedures. This blog will help you understand that automation is less effective than manual penetration testing and help you understand how manual penetration testing can be efficient compared to automated penetration testing for mobile applications.

What is manual penetration testing?

Manual penetration testing is when security analysts manually perform penetration testing to expose the system’s security posture. They use hacking tools to find ways to break into the system or application and evaluate the exploited vulnerabilities and their impact. This helps them prepare a report on the process and to recommend remedies to fix the issues.

Process of manual penetration testing

There are a few steps in manual penetration testing of an application.

  • Prepare a running profile of the attack methods that can be used against an organisation.
  • Prepare test cases and execute them to detect software vulnerabilities without affecting the business.
  • Customise and execute attacks for specific applications while keeping an eye on the cyber landscape.
  • Analysing the data captured through the process applied for vulnerability patterns, interpreting the results, and recommending remedial plans to fix the issues.

Why is manual penetration testing important for mobile applications?

People have become dependent on mobile applications for their daily tasks. It has the advantage of easy use, resulting in productivity and convenience for business operations. Nevertheless, as the comfort of working with mobile applications is highly preferred, the risk of exploiting these applications is rising. To avoid the vulnerabilities from being exposed and exploited by hackers, it is vital for businesses to ensure that their applications are comprehensively tested for weak areas and to fix them before they are defrauded of money and reputation. Mobile application penetration testing is crucial in managing security across platforms. These applications are often targeted for the sensitive data that they carry. Hence, businesses must proactively ensure their applications are secure from modern-day cyber threats and reduce their exposure to malware, spyware, and other cybersecurity breaches.

How can manual penetration testing be beneficial to mobile applications?

In comparison to automated penetration testing for mobile applications, manual testing provides a lot of benefits, and a few of them are:

  • Zero false positives:

    Manual penetration testers ensure each vulnerability is tested to ensure the issue is genuine, resulting in zero false positives of vulnerabilities.

  • Deep & exhaustive testing:

    Automated testing skims through the surface for vulnerabilities, whereas manual testing allows the tester to report on definitive vulnerabilities like business logic errors that automated testing cannot detect.

  • A thorough penetration report:

    Manual penetration testing helps testers to provide a detailed step-by-step guide to reproduce and fix vulnerabilities. They also will be able to assist and interpret the report in simple terms making it easy to understand.

  • Compliance:

    Some regulatory compliance, like PCI-DSS, requires manual testing to be done on the applications.

How is manual penetration testing different from automated penetration testing?

  • Unlike automated penetration testing, manual penetration testing is a meticulous process to assess the security and infrastructure of your application.
  • Though it takes time compared to automated penetration testing, the results are reliable and accurate.
  • Manual penetration testing provides detailed insights into the nature of the vulnerabilities.
  • It helps detect pertinent flaws, loopholes, business logic errors and coding errors at a deeper level to fix the vulnerabilities before attack actors exploit them substantially.
  • Since manual penetration testing gives a great deal of insight into the application at its first run, it is not required to run a testing process often.
  • Compared to automated penetration testing, manual penetration testing requires proper planning.

Why choose StrongBox IT’s manual mobile application VAPT

  • Trusted by 150-plus clients:

    StrongBox IT has successfully helped 150-plus clients secure their mobile applications with our manual penetration testing.

  • OWASP Mobile Top 10 – standards:

    We at StrongBox IT test mobile applications for compliance with the OWASP Mobile Top 10 standards and regulations to ensure your application is secure from evolving cyber threats.

  • ISO certified – ISO27001:

    StrongBox IT is an ISO-certified organisation that helps you with trustworthy services and guidance in cybersecurity for your businesses.

  • Certified testers:

    Security analysts conducting penetration testing at StrongBox IT are certified experts in the field of cybersecurity.

  • Globally accepted reports:

    Certified testers and methods that meet the compliance standards according to OWASP mobile Top 10 regulations make the reports we produce valid and accepted globally.

  • Quick turnaround time:

    One of the most important reasons to choose us is the deadlines at which we work. Organisations prefer automated testing because of the speed at which it performs penetration testing and produces results. Nevertheless, automated penetration testing tools do not work to expose a vulnerability from its root cause. On the other hand, manual testing helps us gain a lot of control over the testing process, giving us 100% reliable results and zero false positives. We conduct penetration testing at a quicker deadline compared to penetration testing done by other cybersecurity service providers.


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