The process where a web server is checked or tested for security vulnerabilities, testing the best tips and tools to protect the website, can be described as pentesting.
Web server pentesting, moreover, can help you whenever required to discover and repair security problems before any danger or harm comes to them in unexpected ways, as it is a fact that web server pen testing defines the process of web server testing for security vulnerabilities.
The purpose of this article is to throw light on web server pentesting, the weight of its value, and how to move ahead with it. As we move forward, we will also familiarise you with some important web server pen testing and web protection tools and add some helpful tips.
What Is Web Server Pentesting?
Web server vulnerability is a dream for many hackers, and they might use this as an opportunity to use this to their advantage. That is when the Web server penetration test comes in the front. It runs a security check of servers that searches for vulnerabilities that hackers might use. It is versatile as it uses both manual and automated testing of the server’s configuration, architecture, and, mainly, its security.
When it is checked for flaws, protection is given by web server penetration testing against any possible attacks that could be taken advantage of by hardware, software, or configuration. It is not only limited to that; this test can also get the web server’s security along with the hosted data.
Web server penetration testing protects against possible attacks by testing for mistakes that could exploit software, hardware, or configuration. In addition, this testing can assess the web server’s security and the hosted data.
The main ideology of a web server pentest is to find new ways to detect security holes and provide different steps to make the server more secure than before.
Web Server Pentesting And Its Various Major Importance
Any organization that uses the internet is on the edge of falling off a cliff and landing straight to hackers. And organizations can only run properly with the use of the internet since the internet is something the organizations can not give up, web servers. Penetration testing can come to such organizations’ rescue.
A web server pentest should be run so that organizations can understand and help themselves to remove vulnerabilities in their web servers before any creepy hackers get in.
Grasping the organization’s systems risks and taking out plans for handling the extremities are some things a web server pentest can help enterprises with.
Tools Included For The Methodology Used For Website Penetration Testing
There are 3 primary phases in which web testing penetration is carried on.
Gathering of information: In the first phase of information gathering, the pentester tries to figure out any fingerprints in the backend website. Server OS and CMS versions are included in it. The tools which can be made familiar with to gather information are :
Network Mapper or NMAP: This tool can perform things almost no other tool can. Some features include opening ports on the server, doing fingerprints on the OS, scanning the stealthily healthy, and services exposed for running on the ports.
The harvester: This provides information about Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) which is the information available in the public domain about the target. This information can be essential when it comes to penetration testing.
Discovering: The next or the second phase is the vital phase, where automatic tools are instructed to expose any available security mistakes or CVEs in the searched services. Furthermore, engineers also perform a manual security scan which is mandatory to disclose business logic vulnerabilities, as these types of casual mistakes are usually overlooked by the scan done with automatic tools. Certain tools fall under the second phase; let us move ahead and get to know them :
Nikto: In about 270 types of servers, Nikto is particularly designed to scan such a large number of vulnerabilities. It can go as high as 6700 server misconfigurations.
Burp suite: It is a type of website that contests a framework built on java. The traffic between your browser and the website pentesting target is intercepted by a built-in proxy in the burp suite.
Open VAS: A complete vulnerability scan is made on the network infrastructure by the open VAS. It is a vulnerability scanner.
Exploitation: In the last and final step of exploitation, the main aim was to leverage the vulnerabilities revealed in the second phase of discovery. However, this is usually done manually to throw out untrue positives. This exploitation phase is also considered to get inside and take back out all the information from the target and maintain consistency.
Metasploit: It is a framework that is almost an industry standard for taking advantage of the target.
SQLMAP: The main work of the Sqlmap is to discover any injected vulnerabilities on your website and take advantage of them.
Vulnerabilities In A Web Server
- SQL Injection Attacks
All types of data are not easily accessible to an attacker. This is where SQL injection attacks come in. A successful attack can retrieve all sorts of confidential information, such as passwords and credit card information, and use user information, to name a few. Sometimes the attacker will continue at this and compromise the server or the backend infrastructure. The worse thing, however, is that it can go undetected for quite some time. This leads to a lot of damage to reputation and can make way for fines imposed on the company.
- Unauthorized administrative access
Authorized control or access control defines rules on who or want can perform specified actions or get resource access. Almost all web servers have an administration interface. If left unsecured or unchecked, hackers can easily gain access to the full authorization process and take control over the whole web server. The decisions of access controls are made by humans rather than technology, which results in errors or misjudgments. This can lead to loopholes or constraints in the security measures taken for administrative control. Attackers can take control if they find the smallest of vulnerabilities in the authorization access of a Web Development Company.
- Denial of Service (DoS)
A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is where the attacker attempts to shut down the whole network or servers by overwhelming it with too many requests. It can also be achieved by sending certain information triggering a crash. Although there is generally no fear of data theft or loss of information in such attacks, these attacks can cause a lot of pain in the form of time and money. Valid requests will not be able to be responded to, as the servers will be occupied. These attacks target the government, banking, commerce sectors, and media companies.
All types of businesses can receive a lot of benefits from web server pen testing. A secure web development company will always be pentesting, which proves to be beneficial to the user. The following are some essential advantages it provides:
- Security is an essential feature aimed to be achieved in today’s world. Any organization that conducts pentests is bound to be recognized and trusted. The reputation automatically increases.
- The vulnerabilities within can be identified, effectively increasing the overall security.
- Most compliance standards, such as the PCI DSS, require pentesting. Without fulfilling the compliance standards, a company would not be considered legitimate. These requirements can be met easily by performing a web server pentest.
- The company can get better insights into its host data and web servers. Getting good insights is very important for analytics purposes.
- Preparation is key for understanding attacks and finding remedies for them. Pentesting can help with such preparations to a greater degree.
- With the identification and solutions, one can ensure and improve the performance of web servers.
- Risks can be reduced, and the website’s protection can be increased by finding appropriate counters to vulnerabilities before they are even out.
- Customer trust is the way for a company to attain its peak. Trust is earned through better and more secure services. Performing
Web server pentests are the ultimate way for a company to gain its customer’s trust.
The tools mentioned above and tips are in-depth studies to identify hackers that may take advantage of web servers’ security. It possesses the importance of identifying and getting everything under their control before they get controlled by someone else. There are a huge number of advantages that an organization can collect by going through the process of web server pen testing, which includes improved security, prevention of stealing data, and the detection of vulnerabilities if any major damage is done.