Software Penetration Testing Services: What, Why, and How

Are you interested in learning more about software penetration testing services? This article will tell you what they are, as well as why and how they are used.

Businesses have an obligation to ensure the safety of their customers’ data. Software penetration testing services are one approach to accomplish this.

What Are Software Penetration Testing Services?

Software penetration testing services are a way to test the security of your software. The goal is to discover security flaws that are exploitable by attackers. This method of penetration testing can be done on-premises or remotely. However, there are other positives to this as well, like finding:

  • Session management controls and broken authentication
  • Insecure direct object references
  • Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities
  • Security misconfiguration issues
  • Insufficient logging and monitoring

The results of such a test can help you fix these issues before an attacker exploits them.

Why Are Software Penetration Testing Services Important?

Any organization that creates, uses, or stores sensitive data should have its software tested for vulnerabilities. A breach can result in customer data being stolen, which can lead to financial and reputational damage.

Cyber security

How Can I Get Started With Software Penetration Testing Services?

Your interest in getting started with software penetration testing services should be followed by a few things that should be known. First, you’ll need to identify what systems and applications need to be tested. You’ll also need to find a qualified penetration testing provider. Tools are available to help you with this, such as the OWASP Top Ten Project and the Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM).

Penetration testing of your organization’s data is critical to assuring the safety of your customers’ information.

You may assist in minimizing the chance of a breach by detecting and fixing vulnerabilities early. Be sure to check out the resources below.

What Is OWASP Top Ten Project?

The OWASP Top Ten Project is a list of the most prevalent online attacks. The project includes a list of the top ten risks, as well as resources to help you protect against them. You can find more information at The top ten risks are:

  • Injection

Sending untrusted data to an application is the definition of an injection attack. This can allow attackers to execute malicious code or access data.

  • Broken authentication and session management

These attacks involve exploiting vulnerabilities in the authentication and session management mechanisms of an application. This is an attack vector that a hacker or malware can exploit. It can then be used to gain entry to resources or data.

  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)

The aim of XSS attacks is to inject hazardous code into websites. When the page is loaded, the code is executed by the browser. Cookies, session ID numbers, and other important data may all be stolen using this method.

  • Insecure direct object references

Sensitive data can be exposed by insecure direct object references, which allow attackers to access private information by changing the URL. This may be used to steal data or gain unlawful entry to systems.

Hacker hands stealing data

  • Security misconfiguration issues

Security misconfiguration issues occur when incorrect settings are applied to a system. These can leave systems open to attack.

  • Insufficient logging and monitoring

Outages, attacks, and data breaches can go unnoticed until it is too late if overdetection isn’t sufficient due to a lack of logging and monitoring. Logs and alerts should be reviewed regularly to identify any suspicious activity.

  • Lack of resource access controls

Lack of resource access controls can allow unauthorized users access to sensitive data or systems. Resources such as files, databases, and applications should be restricted to authorized users only.

  • Tampering with information

Tampering with information can involve changing or deleting data. This can be used to disrupt operations or to cover up malicious activity.

  • Unexpected input leading to privilege escalation

This happens when an attacker can input data into a system that is used to make a decision, such as running commands as an administrator.

  • Cross-site request forgery

This occurs when an attacker tricks a user into performing an action on behalf of the attacker.


The OSSTMM (Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual) is a how-to book for performing security testing. It covers both offensive and defensive testing techniques. You can find out more at

Colleagues working on computers

Techniques under OSSTMM for performing security tests include:

  • Intelligence gathering – this is the process of collecting information about the target system. This can include information about the organization, systems, and users.
  • Scanning – scanning is used to identify systems and vulnerabilities. It can be used to check for open ports, services, and software versions on the local system.
  • Enumeration – enumeration is used to get more information about a system by querying it for specific data. Sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information may be stolen.
  • Vulnerability assessment – this involves identifying vulnerabilities in systems and applications. Vulnerabilities in the network infrastructure provide attackers with a means to get access or to misuse information.
  • Penetration testing – the term “penetration test” comes from the practice of inserting a tool into an application to determine how much harm a hacker could do.
  • Exploitation – exploitation is the use of a vulnerability to gain control of a system or to access data.
  • System hacking – system hacking is the process of taking control of a system. This can include gaining root access or installing backdoors.
  • Web application assessment – a web application assessment is a process of assessing the security of a web application. This can include identifying vulnerabilities and testing for exploits.
  • Wireless security assessment – a wireless security assessment is a process of assessing the security of a wireless network.
  • Physical security assessment – the term physical security assessment refers to a facility or property’s security evaluation.
  • Social engineering assessment – social engineering assessments involve trying to exploit weaknesses in people rather than systems. This can include phishing attacks, baiting, and pretexting.
  • Mobile device assessment – mobile device assessments involve assessing the security of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
  • Cloud computing security assessment – cloud computing security assessments involve assessing the security of cloud deployments.
  • Mitigation – mitigation is the process of reducing the risk of an attack. This can include deploying countermeasures or changing processes and procedures.
  • Reporting – reporting includes documenting the findings of a security test and providing recommendations to reduce risk.

Tools Available For Software Penetration Services

These tools can help you identify vulnerabilities in your software.

Worried woman looks at laptop

A variety of open-source and commercial tools may be utilized in software penetration testing. Some of these include:

  1. Astra’s Pentest – Astra’s Pentest is a web application vulnerability scanner that can be used to identify vulnerabilities in websites and web applications.
  2. Nmap – Nmap is a free and open-source tool for network exploration, management, and dynamic application security testing. It can be used to scan networks for vulnerabilities and exploits.
  3. Metasploit – This tool for developing and executing exploit code also includes modules for attacking a wide range of systems and applications.
  4. Wireshark – This free and open-source network traffic analyzer can be downloaded.
  5. Burp Suite – Burp Suite is a cloud-based application that allows researchers to perform security evaluations of web apps. It includes a range of tools for identifying vulnerabilities and exploiting them.
  6. John the Ripper – John the Ripper is a password cracking tool that can be used to attack passwords stored in files or hashes.


Software penetration testing services are an important part of securing your systems and applications. Vulnerabilities may be reduced by detecting them. With a number of tools available for software penetration testing services, be sure to check them out. Don’t forget to write down your findings and recommendations!

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Published on February 11, 2022 by Peter Hughes; modified on February 14, 2022. Filed under: , .

Peter Hughes is a digital marketing consultant and author. Peter has more than 10 years of experience in SEO and Internet marketing.

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