Software Testing

Penetration Testing Framework

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Also referred to as a pen test, the penetration test contributes to being the simulated cyber attack against the computer system, which helps in recognizing different exploitable vulnerabilities.

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This type of testing is beneficial in augmenting the WAF or web application firewall. It involves the attempted breaching of a plethora of application systems that help reveal the vulnerabilities that are meant to code different injection attacks.

The penetration test and Vulnerability testing services offers insights, which is beneficial in fine-tuning other WAF security policies and different patch detected vulnerabilities.

Inspite of the security industry’s efforts to automate pen testing or penetration testing, no usable method is predominant, which might match the experience and the intuition of the malicious attacker.

Such tests offer valuable insights, which cannot be conferred by performing any risk assessment.

If you want to ensure the consistency of the penetration testing manual processes, you will find a plethora of penetration testing frameworks.

The penetration test comprises testing the security and safety of the information system by executing different attacks for recognizing different system vulnerabilities.

It offers the options to recommend different types of security corrections.

Penetration testing frameworks

The NIST SP 800-15 happens to be a popular risk assessment framework for performing penetration testing. It is recognized to be a type of vulnerability assessment that comes with a wide array of benefits.

Penetration testing plays an integral role in introducing different vulnerability verification aspects of the risk assessment.

This framework is useful in assessing how perfectly the system is tolerating the different attack patterns in the real world.

It is useful in checking the capabilities of the defender in finding various attacks and responding to them properly. Such outcomes are effective in ensuring the conclusions of the risk assessments are completed at the earliest.

Reasons for change

The inherent rigidity happens to be the common thread running across the frameworks. They are designed in a manner that every step is executed, each after another.

Some of the steps which are included in this framework are discovery, reconnaissance, planning, report, and exploit.

Such a process works. The security testing for web is capable of verifying different vulnerabilities, which are recognized for.

Besides this, it allows you to find different vulnerabilities, which are not present during the automated scanning and through various kinds of overall risk assessment.

However, such types of structured methodologies are capable of introducing the weaknesses into the testing process.

Methodologies rarely consider why the penetration tests are executed or the data which is vital to the test subject.

As you stick to the specific rigid methods, it might obstruct the pen testers’ creativity, primarily during the network’s exploitation. Also, it does not provide the opportunity for specificity into the processes.

Such types of methodologies cannot reflect the real-world attackers’ contemporary behavior as they try to change the different tactics.

It is not desirable or necessary to do away with different formal methodologies completely. Such inherent limitations are known to be addressed with the integration of such methodologies within a framework known to view the network from the modern attacker perspective.

The Cyber Kill Chain

The latest existing penetration test frameworks are enough to test different security controls and the verification of different vulnerabilities.

But, the penetration test’s ultimate objective is the replication of thermailicious actors in the real world.

It also offers the opportunity to discover how they will attempt to get access to the network, to find the prerequisite information in which they are highly interested in the exfiltrating.

 The prerequisite solution to such a conundrum is the incorporation of a different model. The Cyber Kill Chain is worth mentioning in this regard as it is integrated with various steps that the adversary takes as they try to attack the network.

Kill Chains are recognized to be the meta models of the behavior of the attacker.

As the kill chain is known to be meta model, it is possible to integrate the proprietary, commercial and regulatory penetration testing methodology. Also, this kill chain offers a strategic-level focus regarding how the attacker will approach the network.

Core functions of NIST penetration framework

Penetration testing offers a helping hand to the business enterprise in adhering to the framework, which NIST sets.

This specific framework is created to bring an improvement in the cyber security of the critical infrastructure after following the below five core functions:


Every business enterprise should develop a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the security environment, which helps manage different risks to the systems, capabilities, assets, and data.

Such knowledge provides the opportunity to prioritize the efforts as per the risk management strategy, which is tailored to the different business requirements.


After the recognition of different risks, it is a prerequisite to respond to them. With the development and implementation of the proper protections, it helps decrease and prevents the effect of the attack.

It can be achieved in a plethora of ways, such as recognizing the management, accessing the controls, data security, awareness and training, protective technology, information protection procedures and processes, to name a few.


It is a prerequisite to install different measures that detect the anomalous and attack activity.

It is essential that monitoring should be performed continuously. Thus, the business enterprise is capable of maintaining visibility on the networks, thereby responding to the attack. As you hunt the threats perpetually, you will be capable of guessing the efficiency of the system.


As a cyber breach occurs, the business enterprises will have plans in place to prevent it from severe damage.

The response plan will be in numerating the parties which are in charge of the system. Also, mitigating actions are necessary for stopping the event. It is also useful in preventing future exposure.


It is a prerequisite to have the recovery plan in place as it offers the prerequisite plan to restore different capabilities and activities.

It is based on the action points prioritized list, which serves as the guidelines to ensure a faster recovery.

The penetration test is recognized as an efficient technology, which is employed to take stock of the cyber security defenses of the business enterprise. It is also useful in bolstering the efforts that prevent hackers from getting access to the mission’s crucial data and systems.

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