Businesses turn toward automated penetration testing to identify security flaws to protect themselves against cybercriminals and a growing list of attack vectors.
A pen test is an integral part of a comprehensive security assessment program that enables businesses to run quick, effortless, and accurate simulated attacks to uncover internal and external security flaws in a web application and its components.
These simulated attacks or black-box tests involve the tester using automated tools without knowing the target systems configurations or what exposures may exist. This includes underlying vulnerabilities in components, including the backend network, database, and source code.
Through these tests, they can then devise and deploy appropriate remediation measures for the uncovered vulnerabilities. The ultimate goal of these tools is to reduce the web application’s attack surface considerably such that it becomes a significant challenge for a criminal to gain unauthorized access.
Web app penetration testing tools are specialized scanning and testing tools targeting web applications, excluding other business functions. Although numerous pen test tools are available today, not all are potent enough to keep your business’s web applications optimally protected.
This article aims to provide readers with an informative guide to the best web application penetration testing tools of 2023, each with its own unique offerings and niche capabilities that may benefit your web application.
Without further ado, here are our top picks for 2023:
SecureLayer7 is an international continuous web application penetration test service that combines the best in-house developed automated pen tests to identify known CVEs in application libraries with an extensive manual security testing methodology.
Its web app penetration testing methodology was carefully designed based on multiple industry-tested and case-specific solutions. SL7’s web app pen tests help customers spot security gaps and high-risk business vulnerabilities such as authentication, authorization, and logic vulnerabilities identified in web applications.
Its web application security checklist uncovers business logic vulnerabilities based on industry standards, including PCI Compliance, OWASP Top Ten, and NIST 800-53. SecureLayer7’s web application penetration tests follow a practical and comprehensive methodology for testing their clients’ web applications.
Once SL7 completes reconnaissance on the web application, it provides businesses with a description of each vulnerability, security exposure, and mitigation fixes. It involves scoping, mapping and service identification, reconnaissance and enumeration, scanning, vulnerability identification, penetration testing reporting, strategic mitigation, and verification fixing.
After completing the penetration test, SecureLayer7 generates robust reports, including an executive summary, test scope, approach and methodology, OWASP Top 10 Summary, critical findings summary, detailed web app findings, graphical representation of vulnerabilities, recommendations, deep insights, advised prioritization, security advice, and conclusion.
It also performs patch verification to address all compliance issues for businesses, showing their customers their dedication to upholding security and securing their critical assets.
SecureLayer7’s pricing options are available upon request, and they provide a free demo for new users.
Metasploit is a customizable web app penetration testing tool that can probe web applications to detect network and server vulnerabilities and weak spots.
One of its significant features is the ability to split its penetration test workflow into manageable sections allowing businesses to conduct manual and automated penetration testing on target applications simultaneously. Once the scanning is complete and Metasploit identifies the flaws, it provides businesses with a documented report on systemic weaknesses and prioritization solutions.
Metasploit works with an extensive database of known exploits with new threats updated periodically.
It is available to users as both a free and paid version. Although both versions have the same interface, several of its functions are available only to paid subscribers. Unfortunately, the starting price of the paid version is USD$2000 annually.
It is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.
Wireshark is an open-source network protocol analyzer that lets users monitor hundreds of protocols on a granular level and is popular amongst numerous enterprises. Its capabilities include decryption functionalities of protocols such as IPsec, Kerberos, SNMPv3, SSL/TLS, ISAKMP, WEP, and WPA/WPA2.
This tool can also track live data through Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, PPP/HDLC, FDDI, ATM, Frame Relay, Bluetooth, USB, and Token Ring. Wireshark’s capture filter can help effectively monitor web application network traffic to identify threats faster and completely ignore safe traffic set by the filter. However, the capture filter does not support protocol-specific filtering.
Since it is open-source, it is free to use and runs on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Solaris.
AppTrana is a web application security and penetration testing tool that leverages the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities to provide unlimited automated and paid manual penetration tests for continuous risk detection.
Its services include a managed web application firewall, a web app scanner, managed CDN, false positive scanning, a website accelerator, and integrated DDOS protection. AppTrana provides users with rich dashboards and graphical details of the vulnerabilities on the target web application.
AppTrana has three specific plans for new users. Their free or basic plan allows users to assess the security posture of web applications. Its advanced plan provides basic protection against detected vulnerabilities. Its premium plan provides users with one free premium scan every year and allows users to set unlimited customer rules.
Core impact is a web app pen test tool that allows users to discover and exploit vulnerabilities to increase web application security and productivity. Its replicative multi-stage feature enables users to configure and execute several customized penetration tests targeting different applications.
Core Impact’s web application pentesting checklist involves white box testing, allowing users to install a Core agent to simplify interactions with remote hosts through SSH and SMB. It has a simple and easily comprehensible user interface.
Although it does not have a free version, it does provide its users with a free trial of its tool. Should you wish to pay for its services, the basic version starts at USD$9,450 annually.
Nmap is a comprehensive web app penetration testing tool that scans and tests web applications, components, and networks to detect underlying vulnerabilities. It is an easy-to-use and portable application that is ideal for IT teams without significant experience in threat mitigation.
Nmap allows users to map out networks with firewalls, IP filters, routers, and other obstructions. However, it does not come with a warranty or adequate customer support and is primarily supported by a community of users and developers.
While Nmap is a free-to-use tool, its source code is fully available to users to modify and redistribute as long as they comply with its license terms. It supports most operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, IRIX, HP-UX, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, NetBSD, Sun OS, and Amiga.
It is automatically included with operating systems such as Redhat Linux, Debian Linux, Gentoo, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD.
Invicti is an easy-to-configure automated web application security testing tool that enables users to scan and detect vulnerabilities. Results are then presented to users through a dynamic dashboard alongside reports detailing individual vulnerabilities and application software versions.
Invicti’s pre-defined scan profile feature makes it easy for all team members to scan and execute penetration tests on web applications effectively. It has a round-the-clock support team that to its customers in need of assistance.
Although it does not have a free version, it provides users with a demo of its platform. Its paid version includes onboarding assistance, deep scanning, on-premises deployment, Flexible support, a manual scanning toolkit, free integrations, and unlimited scanning.
Burp Suite is a portable web application security scanning and penetration testing tool that offers users automated dynamic scanning and manual testing. In addition to providing businesses with its tool, it also provides training and research to its clients.
Its always-on scanning feature and configurable scan routines enable users to uncover vulnerabilities swiftly. The Burp scanner can also separate checks into active and passive scans configurable to target specific web application components.
The Burp Intruder feature helps isolate complex exploits such as SQL injections and also carry out brute-forcing login mechanism and enumerating subdomains. Burp Suite’s logger tool monitors the server responses to exploits made on the target web application to study its behaviors.
It offers a free trial for new users, and its premium Burp Suite Professional tool is priced at USD$5388 annually per user.
Intruder is an online cloud-based vulnerability scanner that finds cyber security weaknesses in your web applications’ digital infrastructure and flaws behind the login page to avoid data leaks and expensive breaches. It allows users to streamline web app security, identify risks across stacks, execute authenticated assessments, and meet compliance requirements.
Intruder enables businesses to review their websites and web applications, including single-page applications, to pinpoint any underlying flaws. The automated scanning and manual testing features can identify and mitigate complex issues.
Its vulnerability coverage includes the OWASP Top 10, SQL Injection, XSS, CWE/SANS Top 25, OS Command Injection, and Remote Code Execution.
Intruder integrates with platforms such as slack, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS. It does not have a free version but provides a free trial for new users. Its pro plan is priced at USD$1956 annually for a single target.
John the Ripper is a multi-language password security auditing and password retrieval tool. It is a robust tool that allows users to hack web applications’ passwords. John the Ripper also reviews the security measures of web applications, including comprehensive source code audits for vulnerabilities, examines cryptographic techniques, and checks custom communication protocols.
Once done, it provides detailed information on issues found, mitigative solutions, and automated patches when possible.
While John the Ripper is open-source and is available in multiple operating systems and Linux distributions such as Windows, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Gentoo Linux, Mandriva Linux, SUSE Linux, Debian GNU/Linux, Owl, and Fedora Linux.
Its premium product, John the Ripper Pro, supports only limited operating systems, such as Linux and macOS. The Pro version is available for Windows and Android through Hash Suite and Hash Suite Droid.
SecureLayer7’s PtaaS application testing service is renowned amongst enterprises and SME organizations that leverage our application to implement and act on continuous pen tests. We are a highly research-oriented organization that keeps our clients optimally protected against emerging Zero Day vulnerabilities.
Our hybrid approach to web application penetration testing leverages the strengths of both manual and automated scans to actively reduce false positives while uncovering vulnerabilities in resources, including web applications, mobile applications, cloud infrastructure, and servers.
Our cloud security assessments detect and quarantine vulnerabilities in AWS, Azure, and Kubernetes systems to ensure your corporate infrastructure complies with industry regulations. We achieve this by enforcing the best network security practices that reduce the risk of attacks on devices and servers.
SL7’s server hardening feature limits attacker entry points by blocking them from acquiring access through unsecured ports. We disable unnecessary services and block unutilized protocols and ports.
Contact us to find out how we may be the solution you need to keep your websites and web applications secure.
Businesses and their web applications are increasingly under siege by the growing sophistication of the modern-day cybercriminal, causing companies severe financial and reputational damage, which is why strengthening web application security has never been more critical. On the other hand, a robust web application pen test tool is a niche tool explicitly designed to enhance the security measures of web applications to mitigate these issues. This informative read aims to provide readers with the Top Ten Web Application Penetration Testing Tools of 2023 to help them decide which service provider is best equipped to beef up their web application security.