What is the Importance of Web App Pen Testing?

| Updated on March 27, 2024

With the changing landscape of the cybersecurity industry, new threats emerge every day.  Organizations use various tools and methods to detect, prevent, and mitigate these attacks to avoid any losses. Penetration testing is one such method that is quite popular these days. Web penetration testing or web app pen test is vital for most cybersecurity professionals. It helps test the vulnerability of web-based cyber systems. 

Penetration testing for web-based services has become necessary to identify the risks associated with the core vulnerabilities in the current cybersecurity measures. Despite the broad spectrum of benefits that web pen-testing provides, many fail to recognize its importance as a part of the security assessment for their IT Infrastructure management solutions.

What is Web App Pen Testing?

Web penetration testing is a procedure used by professionals for assessing vulnerabilities of the existing cybersecurity infrastructure of an organization. It has become a vital part of the comprehensive cybersecurity assessment for loopholes and threat management. 

While conducting web app pen testing, professionals recognize, scan, and assess the organization’s cyber systems to review vulnerabilities. Companies conduct simulated attacks on themselves and their cyberinfrastructure to check how well their existing measures nullify an attack. It is analogous to someone trying to test how strong their home lock is by actually trying to break in by themselves. Once they detect vulnerability through the same, they perform tests to check if they are exploitable with the help of professionals.

While conducting web penetration testing, the web-based applications are targeted by specialists. Owing to the widespread use of web-based applications, web penetration testing plays a significant role in all modern-day cybersecurity installations. Web-based applications can give hackers access to personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property (IP), protected health information, and undesired access to sensitive systems. This is why countering an attack against a web-based client is significant, and web app pen testing can help. 

Dissimilar to physical systems, web-based applications are particularly vulnerable to attacks from the outside. This vulnerability makes it very important to regularly assess the implementation of cybersecurity measures. The way an organization tackles and deals with a successful penetration can surface various organizational and operational deficiencies that can be corrected before a real attack occurs.

Why Do Penetration Tests?

Organizations perform penetration tests not only to level up their cybersecurity but also to improve their application and site performance. While penetration tests help check vulnerabilities, they can also collect data to target delays in application loading or response times simultaneously. It can even verify cross-browser compatibility for applications. Pen tests do a lot more than intrusion assessments. Following are some benefits of web application pen-testing.

Also Read: Get Started With AWS Penetration Testing

● Recognize Vulnerabilities.

● Verify Security Policies.

● Test The Infrastructure.

● Enhance System Performance.

● Meet the Requirements of Compliance.

#Recognize Vulnerabilities

Web application penetration testing helps recognize vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure systems. It can also determine routes through the infrastructure that a hacker might use to break into the system. Additionally, it can pinpoint loopholes in applications’ codes. Many organizations don’t have adequate protection to prevent sensitive data from an attacked. Cybersecurity professionals use their experience and can identify a range of problems in the existing IT system.  

#Verify Security Policies

Organizations need up-to-date security procedures, and many of these relate to user authentication and password management. Others may include methodologies to react to any security incident. So, policies need to be in place to identify and mitigate any possible threats. Cybersecurity professionals need to stay updated with these policies. The web is an ever-changing and evolving environment. Deciding what to do in the middle of an attack may increase the chaos and the probability of an error. These designated policies, upon implementation, can help the organization reduce the chance of any errors in case of an attack.

#Test the Infrastructure

The public-facing infrastructure of an organization like firewalls, DNS, and routers are not static. There are a lot of changes made repeatedly to make room for new connections or to adjust traffic filters. However, the designated personnel make these changes in isolation, which might increase the probability of an unintended breach. While carrying out the penetration test, cybersecurity professionals go through the complete system and test the IT infrastructure lifecycle management alongside. Cyberinfrastructure needs regular tests to eliminate any vulnerabilities.

#Enhance System Performance

When using the right methods, pen tests can recognize the reasons behind the delays in application response and load times. Checking the application’s performance across various browsers enables the staff to adjust it accordingly or the infrastructure to perform better. The primary factor which ruins the user experience is the application loading or running times and delays. Hence, enhancing the system’s performance through pen tests becomes very important.

#Meet the Requirements of Compliance

Businesses may have requirements of compliance that might include pen-testing. For instance, when a company stores financial or other sensitive personal information, they need to follow the PCI_DSS. Companies that play a part in power grids must follow the standards of NERC, which also include penetration testing. Web app pen testing can do much more for your organization than meeting compliance requirements. It not only helps your system perform better but also adds to the performance of your infrastructure.

The Takeaway

Cybersecurity professionals use various tools to detect, prevent, and mitigate threats. Penetration testing is one such tool that provides many benefits, including evaluation of the infrastructure, spotting mistakes by coders, discovering bugs, and a lot more. With the ever-changing landscape of the tech industry, web app pen tests are crucial in safeguarding organizations from any cyberattack. 

Chitra Joshi

Content Writer & Marketer

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