The role of the cybersecurity professional has never been more critical. Mass digitization has made every company a tech business, and cybercriminals have taken full advantage of this movement. New threats arise every day, but there’s also an abundance of cybersecurity testing tools at your disposal.
Today’s threat landscape moves too quickly and too often for cybersecurity to be a one-and-done venture. A secure network one day may be vulnerable the next, so cybersecurity professionals need to monitor and adjust their security infrastructure continually. This need for ongoing change has led to the development of a wealth of penetration testing tools.
Since cybersecurity is such a broad category, there are multiple types of vulnerability assessments you can perform. Similarly, there’s a wide range of available solutions and tools, each addressing different needs. Here are seven of the best cybersecurity testing tools to look for and fix vulnerabilities in any application.
Some solutions come at a price, but some, like NMAP, are free and open-source. NMAP is a network mapping tool, giving users an overview of their networks and all of the ports on them. For each host, it’ll highlight characteristics like what OS they’re running, any firewalls they have and so on.
NMAP also comes with a debugging tool and a user-friendly interface called ZenMap, which is especially useful for entry-level users. It also runs on all major operating systems, as well as some more obscure ones too.
One of the most popular penetration testing tools is Metasploit, another open-source solution. The free version of Metasploit doesn’t offer all of the information that NMAP does, but it comes with more security evaluation tools. It tests for more than 1,500 known exploits, including brute forcing credentials.
There’s also a Pro version that comes with automation features and more in-depth exploitation testing. It’s an ideal tool for seasoned cybersecurity professionals looking for a versatile penetration testing solution.
According to their website, Wireshark is the world’s most widely used network protocol analyzer. It scans your network to inspect hundreds of protocols across multiple device types, looking for vulnerabilities and usage data. Wireshark can read data from ethernet connections, Bluetooth, USB and more, covering virtually any device or network an office would have.
While many solutions focus on computers, mobile devices present security risks as well. Wireshark can reveal if any employee’s phone or tablet could present a vulnerability to the network.
4. Burp Suite
When it comes to testing web security, Burp Suite is among the best. In addition to vulnerability scanning, Burp Suite also enables users to intercept all requests, convert data between encoding formats and more. It comes in three levels, each offering more features than the last.
With upper levels of Burp Suite, users can create custom scans and tests, even setting them to run on a schedule. While the free version may not be as feature-rich as some other solutions, the Burp Suite’s paid tiers are some of the best web testing tools available.
For those looking for a free web application tester, W3af may be the way to go. It’s an open-source solution that offers an impressive range of features for a free tool. W3af can find more than 200 different security vulnerabilities, including bling SQL injection and CSRF attacks.
W3af also comes with a user-friendly interface, letting users get started in as few as five clicks. It’s an ideal solution for workers who may be new to penetration testing.
SQL injection is one of the most prominent attack types facing cybersecurity professionals today. If these are your primary concern, SQLMap might be the right solution for you. It’s free, open-source and automated the penetration testing process.
SQLMap looks at six types of SQL injection attacks, covering a wide range of vulnerabilities. It also supports dozens of databases, making it one of the most versatile tools available.
Rounding out the list is Hydra, a password-cracking tool. There are plenty of password penetration tools on the market, but Hydra is unique in that it can support multiple protocols at once. Penetration testers can use it to crack multiple passwords on various systems at once.
Since it only looks at password vulnerabilities, Hydra isn’t the most versatile cybersecurity testing tool. Weak passwords are some of the most common vulnerabilities, though, so it’s an essential step in the pen testing process.
Find the Cybersecurity Testing Tool That’s Best for You
Every network is different, so no two cybersecurity professionals will need the same thing out of a penetration testing solution. As a result, it’s impossible to name one program as the single best testing tool. What constitutes the best solution depends on your company’s unique cybersecurity needs and budget.
Most of the tools on this list are open-source, and the same is true of many other penetration testing solutions. No matter what a company’s budget is, they can acquire a range of tools to assess their network security strengths and weaknesses. For those with larger cybersecurity budgets, the number of options is even wider.
Many penetration testers will find that it’s best to use various tools. By testing networks with more than one of these solutions, security professionals can discover and fix a wide range of vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals may have many tricks up their sleeves, but there are jus