Penetration Testing 101: How To Make Sure Your App Is Secure

Hackers and their tactics are always developing. With the evolving cybersecurity environment, hackers have been pushed to devise different cyber strike techniques. As a result, cybersecurity issues are now more common and sophisticated than they were years ago. 

Security On The Digital Battlefield 

When hackers utilize advanced tools to cause chaos on your app, you must respond and take appropriate action. App creators and users need a method for ensuring the effectiveness of their security in the digital battlefield. Here’s where security testing comes in. 

Security testing is the strategy of guaranteeing the defense of an application. Penetration testing is just a component of this procedure. Security testing spans throughout the app development process, from design to testing the end product. This procedure includes the following: 

  • Assessment of risks 
  • Vulnerability scanning 
  • Review and control of the code 
  • Stress Testing 
  • Penetration Testing 

What Is Penetration Testing 

Penetration testing or ‘pen testing’ is the process of assessing programs and applications for vulnerabilities, hazards, and dangers that a hacker may gain access to. It’s essentially a mock hacking assault that demonstrates how a system may be infiltrated or breached.  

Its main objective is to identify any potential security flaw in a program or system. But, be aware that penetration testing isn’t limited to digital dangers alone. It also looks for direct and physical entry points into the system, like close physical contact with the server. 

Vulnerabilities In The System 

Vulnerabilities may manifest themselves at any stage of the app development. It’s the reason applications are updated frequently. Not updating the app may pose a risk of disclosing data. These are few common errors that result in vulnerabilities, which penetration testing often identifies: 

  • Design errors 
  • Configuration errors 
  • Software bugs 
  • Weak passwords 
  • Poor connection setup 

Penetration testing could detect all of these flaws, enabling you to discover them first before attackers do.

Methods Of Penetration Testing 

Penetration testing is often performed in one of three ways. These include the following: 

  1. Black Box 

This kind of pen testing simulates an actual digital intrusion in which the hacker doesn’t have any access to your network architecture, systems, or source code. Testers will employ automated methods over an extended length of time to conduct a hit or miss quest for vulnerabilities. 

An example of this approach is called ‘fuzzing’ or fuzz testing. It pertains to the automated technique of identifying app security flaws by sending altered data to a system and examining the outputs till one of the entries reveals a vulnerability. 

Fuzzing involves flooding a target program with enormous volumes of data, known as fuzz, in an attempt to destroy it. Understanding fuzz testing may help you enhance your app’s cybersecurity defenses. 

  1. White Box 

Unlike the first one, this method is conducted with the tester having the complete familiarity of the system design and source code. The tester could utilize this information to expedite the testing process by conducting a comprehensive assessment in less time. 

This approach is often quicker to do than black box testing since the expert doesn’t have to collect information or develop a network diagram. The primary benefit of this strategy is that it completely covers the system. The problem, however, is this approach is often inaccurate since attackers don’t really know all of the info. 

  1. Gray Box 

This method is a hybrid of the two strategies. The expert generally uses the black box technique, but may sometimes seek extra information to expedite the testing process. Nevertheless, it’s the frequently used approach since it enables efficient testing of a program without requiring excessive time. 

Because the gray box technique is still somewhat similar to an actual scenario, its findings are reliable, thus, enabling the programmers to safeguard their system against external attacks. 

Why Is Pen Testing Important 

Penetration testing is viewed as an essential component of app security. Here’s why: 

  • Handle Vulnerabilities Smartly 

Penetration tests produce extensive reports on real-world, actionable security issues. By doing a pen test, you may determine in advance whether vulnerabilities are serious or minor. This enables you to manage repair more wisely and install necessary software updates. 

  • Better Risk Identification 

Pen testing provides intelligence about which pathways inside your application are most vulnerable, indicating which new safety technologies or procedures to engage in. In addition, this procedure may assist in identifying various significant system flaws that you may have overlooked. 

  • Reduce Errors 

Penetration testing results may help developers make lesser mistakes. For example, when they comprehend how a dangerous hacker executed an exploit on an app, they’ll be more committed to knowing more about cybersecurity and will be unlikely to repeat past errors. 

  • Preparation For An Attack 

Pen testing teaches you how to deal with any form of hacking incident. Penetration tests may be used to determine the effectiveness of their security strategy. It may also offer answers that’ll assist firms in preventing and detecting intruders and efficiently removing such intruders from the network. 

How Frequently Do You Need To Pen Test 

Malicious entities are always advancing. Thus, testing any application only at the start of its existence is insufficient to assure its protection. Pen testing should be conducted frequently, particularly if updates in the app entail saving and transferring valuable customer information. Pen testing your application once to thrice a year is advised.


Penetration testing may be the most critical component of app development. It enables you to see the app through the eyes of a hacker to develop ways to secure it. 

The most effective method to test an application is the gray box method that mixes both automated and manual evaluations. This will assist you in obtaining the greatest outcome in the least period of time.  

Finally, you must keep in mind that you’re not limited to a single kind of testing process. Instead, you may use a variety of strategies and methodologies, and conduct a variety of pen tests. Additionally, you may build a continuing security patch and experiment with alternative vulnerability scanning techniques.

When combined, these tests may give an in-depth look at the security capabilities and shortcomings. You may then utilize this information to strengthen its future digital defense capabilities.