Penetration Testing Vs Vulnerability Scanning: How They Differ

Penetration testing and vulnerability scanning are both important tools for assessing the security of a computer system. But what exactly do these terms mean? And how do they differ from one another?

Penetration testing

Penetration testing, also known as pen testing, is a security test in which evaluators try to exploit vulnerabilities in a system. The goal is to gain access to sensitive data or systems, or to cause denial of service. Pen testers are usually ethical hackers who use their skills to identify weaknesses in a system before malicious actors can find and exploit them.

Pen tests can be either manual or automated. Manual pen testing is done by actual humans who try to find and exploit vulnerabilities. Automated pen testing is done using software that scans for vulnerabilities and then attempts to exploit them.

Pen tests are often used to test the security of networks, web applications, and computer systems. They can be used to test both internal and external networks.

Vulnerability scanning

Vulnerability scanning is a type of security test that involves scanning for vulnerabilities in a system. Vulnerability scanners are usually automated tools that scan for known vulnerabilities in systems and software. They do not attempt to exploit vulnerabilities, but they can identify them so that they can be fixed.

Vulnerability scanners are often used to scan websites and web applications for vulnerabilities. They can also be used to scan network infrastructure, such as routers and switches.

Differences between penetration testing and vulnerability scanning

Penetration testing and vulnerability scanning are both security tests that can be used to assess the security of networks, web applications, and computer systems. However, there are some key differences between the two:

Penetration testing is done by humans who try to exploit vulnerabilities, while vulnerability scanning is done by automated tools that scan for known vulnerabilities.

Penetration testing can be used to test internal and external networks, while vulnerability scanning is typically used to scan external networks.

Both are Important

Both types of testing are important for keeping your system secure. Vulnerability scanning can help you identify potential security risks, while penetration testing can help you confirm these risks and assess the impact of an attack.