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Introduction to White Hat Security Testing

The purpose of a penetration testing procedure is to help you identify the security gaps and associated risks in your application and network framework. It’s a vital activity in today’s global scenario where every other organization’s defenses are constantly tested by cyber-attacks and hacking attempts.

Procedures like white hat security testing will help in providing a clear picture of these security vulnerabilities within the context of real conditions and that helps one in analyzing the system and exploiting it ethically to bring out these loopholes in security.


VAPT security testing involves security experts armed with the tools of hackers and other modern cyber forces, utilizing these tools to help organizations discover their weak points and help make it better. They do this through various kinds of testing procedures, suited for each organization and the unique security needs of their network infrastructure.

What are the different types of white hat security testing?

More often than not, minor flaws in coding bring out security vulnerabilities that can be later exploited by hackers online or could be used to open up further backdoors for placing malicious content or malware on the network, improperly installed configurations, or other gaps that will allow illegal and forced access.

This is where the penetration testing procedure steps in and allows an insight into the system in the form of a simulated hacking attempt, within various parameters of knowledge, and targeting different aspects of the system such as the wireless networks, servers, user access, other points of access from electronic appliances, etc.

Here are the different types of penetration testing methods that make the above possible:

1. White box penetration testing

In this situation, the ethical hacker is completely aware of the system they are entering, including the source code used, the parts of the network available for public access, the IP addresses used for access, etc.

Whitehat security audit & pentesting is usually used to test the impact of internal attacks from employees of the organizations and/or when new features are included within the network and need to be tested for potential loopholes and backdoors that will allow hackers to gain entry, thus necessitating a comprehensive testing procedure.

2. Gray box penetration testing

Gray box procedure usually involves the kind of testing that lies between the white and black penetration testing procedures, with some prior information about the network they’re trying to breach into but in a limited manner to imitate a hacker stepping into the network and prodding in the dark to find out the security loopholes that can be manipulated.


3. Black box penetration testing

The ethical hacker in this situation closely resembles a random hacker discovering the network for the first time and finding out security vulnerabilities to compromise the system. These are more revealing tests and take more time as third-party testers involved in this scenario usually need to comb through every nook and corner of the network and test every possible situation to find out hidden security risks.

They also rely plenty on both automated and manual techniques driven by experience and multiple trial and error possibilities for maximum outreach.

Under these categories, there are also different areas of testing, designed for each format so as to find out the maximum number of issues that may arise.

Wireless devices and networks – Devices such as smartphones and laptops are tested under this category, including those devices connected on the wireless network. All wireless configurations and management of available access points will undergo this testing process to identify security issues.

Social engineering tests – This testing process is focused on finding the human error behind network infrastructure and other facilities, like gaps in coding and leak of sensitive information that helps to access the system through illegal means.

This will cover the vulnerabilities uncovered through such errors, such as remote access for phishing attacks against the employees operating the system, physical components of the system like devices that collect intelligence and information about the company for safekeeping, records that haven’t been used for long, etc.

Web application testing – this will cover the testing of web applications, browsers, and other related components that may showcase exploitable vulnerabilities.

Network testing – network infrastructure is always the first point of attempted access by hackers, both in the remote and local sense, so testing of firewall configurations, DNS tests, are important parts of network service testing.

Client-side testing – as the name suggests, testing will happen from the client’s side, or the local aspect, covering software flaws on any employee’s workspace and other commonly used third-party software applications, code created for local uses, open-source software, etc.

There are various other aspects that need to be tested during a white hat security testing process since one can never be too cautious when dealing with flaws in the system. The best step you can follow is to make sure to hire security experts who are aware of the situation and are experienced to deal with it – contact Astra Security today!

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