Manual vs Automated Penetration Testing

Both automated and manual penetration testing can be used for the same purpose. They are both conducted in the same way. Manual penetration testing, as the name implies, is performed by humans (experts in this field), while automated penetration testing can be done by machines.

This chapter will explain the meanings, differences, and application of each term.

What is manual penetration testing?

Manual penetration testing refers to testing that is performed by humans. An expert engineer tests vulnerability and risks of machines in this type of testing.

The following are the most common methods that testing engineers use:

  • Data Collection Testing is a crucial part of . You can either manually collect the data or use tools (such as webpage source codes analysis technique etc.). Online access is available. These tools allow you to gather information such as table names, DB versions and database.
  • Vulnerability Assessment– After the data has been collected, the testers can identify security weaknesses and take preventative steps.
  • Actual Exploit This is a common method used by an expert tester to launch an attack against a target system. It also reduces the chance of an attack.
  • Report Preparation After the penetration has been completed, the tester will prepare a final report detailing everything about the system. The final report is then analyzed in order to determine the best way to protect the target system.

Different types of manual penetration testing

Two types of manual penetration testing are common:

  • Focused Manual Penetrating Testing This is a more focused approach that tests specific vulnerabilities. This testing is not possible with automated penetration testing. It is performed only by human experts who analyze specific vulnerabilities within those domains.
  • Comprehensive Manual Penetrating Testing – This is the testing of entire systems that are connected to each other in order to determine all kinds of vulnerability and risk. This testing can also be used to determine if multiple faults with lower risk could lead to a more vulnerable attack scenario.

What is Automated Penetration Testing (APT)?

Automated penetration testing can be performed much more quickly, efficiently, easily, and reliably. It automatically tests for vulnerabilities and risks of machines. This technology doesn’t require an expert engineer; rather, it can be used by anyone with a minimal knowledge of the field.

Automated penetration testing tools include Metasploit and Nessus. These tools are extremely efficient and have changed the meaning and efficiency of penetration testing.

The following table demonstrates the fundamental differences between manual and automated penetration testing.

Manual Penetration TestingAutomated penetration testing
To perform the test, you will need to be an engineer.The test is fully automated, so even a beginner can take it.
Different tools are needed for testing.It integrates tools and does not require anything from the outside.
These types of tests can produce results that vary from one test to the next.It has a fixed result.
The tester must remember to clean up the memory.It doesn’t.
It is extensive and takes a lot of time.It’s more efficient and faster.
There are additional benefits, e.g. It has additional advantages, such as: He can then put security in place accordingly.It can’t analyze the situation.
An expert can perform multiple tests depending on the requirements.It is impossible.
It is more reliable in critical conditions.It’s not.

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