Types of Penetration Testing – Security Boulevard

In the world of cybersecurity, there are different types of penetration testing, but before exploring the different types, what is a penetration test? A penetration test aims to identify vulnerabilities in an organization’s network, system or applications. These shortcomings are then shared with decision-makers, who choose whether or not to fix them.

A penetration tester submits a report sharing detailed information about the process and suggesting corrective actions. These recommendations are generally mentioned in descending order of importance. Thus, leaders can decide how to deal with them appropriately.

With so many penetration testing methodsit can be a bit confusing to know which is the right option for your business.

In this blog, we discuss different types of penetration testing according to styles, fields, methods and techniques.

Penetration test areas

Here is a quick overview of six main areas with different Objectives of Penetration Testing.

  • Network: Right here, penetration testing experts focus on cloud-based and on-premises network security testing. This is done by identifying internal and external vulnerabilities on different servers, routers, switches and network hosts.
  • Web application: Where the penetration tester tries to locate entry points and security gaps in databases, source coding, backbones, etc. which may interfere with the safe operation of the web application.
  • Mobile app: Automated and extensive manual testing is used to identify any issues with session management, cryptography, authentication, and authorization.
  • Client side: Usually, “client side” refers to everything that happens on the user’s side of the application (it doesn’t matter if the “client” is a paying customer or an employee who uses a proprietary web application). This penetration test area finds vulnerabilities there.
  • Wireless: Examining aspects such as configuration, APIs, encryption, storage and security controls are part of this penetration testing exercise.
  • Social engineering: Penetration testers impersonate hackers to break into a company’s system through a social engineering attack. This verifies the detect and react approach of staff members. Testing is usually done in addition to verifying security measures that require modification or improvement.

Penetration Testing Styles

Awareness how to do penetration testing step by step largely depends on the style of penetration testing that suits your organization. Some considerations include your goals, risk, tolerance, budget, and other factors.

Commonly there is Three penetration test approaches: black box, white box and gray box.

  • Black Box: No useful information is provided to the tester. Thus, they are placed in an unprivileged position similar to bad actors trying to break into your systems. It is useful to know how an adversary without any prior information can breach your IT infrastructure.
  • white box: In the white box penetration testing style, the company provides all the necessary information related to its network and system. Because this test takes a long time to complete, companies typically focus their resources on a specific component, rather than testing the entire system.
  • Gray: The gray box test is also called the translucent box test. Only limited information, such as credentials, is shared with the tester. This is done to mimic the actions of an attacker privileged enough to locate an insider threat. A gray box penetration test is also deployed to spot vulnerabilities within a circumference of the network.

Penetration Testing Techniques

For businesses, the purpose of penetration testing is to know and take steps to improve the security of their system. Depending on who performs the test, the structure, the budget and the risk assessment, the types of penetration tests are the following: Manual, automatedor a combination.


It is a reliable method in which the tester validates the overall performance of the system structure. The manual process begins by collecting data such as table names, database versions, device configuration, and third-party plugins (if any).

After a thorough search to find possible flaws, an attack simulation is launched. This reveals how badly the system can be affected in the event of an actual breach.


Manual testing reveals more fundamental issues. However, they do not find everything vulnerabilities. Companies are using automated techniques to fill in the gaps left open by a manual penetration test.

Automated penetration testing helps eradicate threats by regularly scanning all sensitive elements. Another advantage of this technique is that it does not require any additional software. A single automated penetration testing tool supports the entire process.

automatique penetration testing is fast, complete and profitable.


Combine manual and automated penetration testing methods is a global and reactive approach to the security of your company’s assets.

Although working differently, manual and automatic penetration testing fill various cracks left by each other. Although this type of test can be more expensive than any of the individual tests taken separately, it is worth the investment.

Penetration Testing Methods

Penetration testers normally use one or more of five methods of attacking a system to identify vulnerabilities.


In external penetration test, a tester locates and assesses weaknesses to check the likelihood of a remote criminal attacking your system. They do this by finding information available and accessible to an outsider.


A internal penetration test takes place after the external penetration test. Here, experts uncover what could be stolen, altered, deleted, or modified by an internal staff member or third-party vendor with access to your system. the penetration testing steps include checking open ports and detecting active hosts.


In the blind penetration test method, no information is given to ethical hackers for breaking into a system. In most cases, they only know the name of the organization. This is done to gauge how far an unprivileged attacker can penetrate your system.

double blind

In double blind penetration test, employees are unaware of an ongoing penetration testing exercise. This is done to verify employee responses and gauge their level of readiness. If the response is not as expected, employees receive training on how to manage and react in such situations.


At the end penetration test method, hackers, and security teams consistently check everyone’s skills, attention, and scope for improvement. Targeted Penetration Testing provides real-time insight into a hacker’s potential exploits.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are many types of penetration tests techniques. Choosing one or the other depends on your business needs and resources. First choose the area you want to test, then browse our list to determine the style, technique and method that would work best for your business. Keep it benefits and risks of penetration testing in mind too.

The post office Types of Penetration Tests appeared first on EasyDMARC.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of EasyDMARC written by Knarik Petrosyan. Read the original post at: https://easydmarc.com/blog/types-of-penetration-testing/

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