Types of Penetration Testing: A Deep Dive into Different Approaches

Serena Gray
3 min readSep 8, 2023

System, network and application-related vulnerabilities can be effectively identified by the penetration testing method. An ethical hacker will simulate an attack using the pen testing method so that those vulnerabilities that can be exploited can be identified with ease.

This tactic will in turn help in keeping ahead of scenarios wherein cyberattacks may take place by cyberattackers. illegal hacking techniques can be used by the pen testing method and hence the firm specialized in providing pentest services will sign a contract with the company to whom they will be providing the service, thereby detailing their goals, roles and responsibilities.

In order to scale up the activities of pen testing and thus make it a more productive platform, there are specific types of penetration testing methods that can be leveraged as and when required depending upon the project scope and requirements. In this article, you will get to know about the different types of penetration testing.

What is penetration testing?

It is a testing method wherein vulnerabilities are analyzed, detected and exploited within the security system of a cloud, network, web application or API. Through this, the impact of a successful attack is assessed, the vulnerabilities that have been found are mitigated and thus exploitation or breaches done by a hacker are avoided.

Following are the different types of penetration testing:

1. Web application penetration testing: It is a testing method that analyzes the possibility of a group of hackers or a hacker obtaining access to the web application. The web application’s vulnerabilities are exposed and data breaches are prevented, financial loss and theft are identified. The web application goes through a simulated attack by the penetration tester, so that vulnerabilities such as cross-site request forgery, cross-site scripting etc., are looked out.

2. Mobile penetration testing: This is also one of the important types of penetration testing. In this testing method, a mobile application is tested for security vulnerabilities. Weaknesses in mobile security are being found by this testing method and then reported to developers.

As there is a steady growth in mobile devices, Android and iOS penetration testing is carried out in a streamlined manner. The app’s functionality is disrupted or access to sensitive data is gained through this testing method.

3. Wireless network penetration testing: It is a specific security audit process through which the network’s security is checked. The technical details of a security audit are known accordingly. A network’s vulnerability to intrusion is properly assessed through this testing method. This vulnerability could be a malicious attack from a hacker or a flaw in a computer system.

An attack from a malicious hacker is simulated by a penetration test, so that the network’s vulnerabilities can be assessed and also ascertain if an actual attack can take place successfully.

4. Cloud penetration testing: This is one the types of penetration testing wherein a cloud computing environment is scrutinized for vulnerabilities that a hacker could exploit. It is an important component of a cloud security strategy because potential weaknesses are revealed in cloud security controls.

Penetration testing can be performed by a tool integrated with a CI/CD pipeline or a security testing tool can be used or even performed manually by a human tester.

5. Blockchain penetration testing: The security of a blockchain application or network is assessed by blockchain penetration testing. Known and unknown vulnerabilities are tested by this testing method in a blockchain application, network or smart contract.

Blockchain penetration testing is conducted to assess whether specific solutions can handle attacks that are in turn performed to compromise the network’s security. Security loopholes and vulnerabilities are uncovered using this testing method and also misconfiguration errors are identified.

Conclusion: If you are looking forward to implementing pen testing for your specific organization, then do get connected with a premium software testing services company that will provide professional consultation and support on developing a crystal-clear pen testing strategy.

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Serena Gray

I work as a Senior Testing Specialist at TestingXperts. I am a testing professional accustomed to working in a complex, project-based environment.