What is a Vulnerability Assessment? Testing Process, VAPT Scan Tool

Software TestingAutomation TestingTesting Tools

Vulnerability Testing

Vulnerability Testing, also known as Vulnerability Assessment, is a method of assessing security risks in software systems in order to decrease the likelihood of attacks. Vulnerability testing is used to reduce the chances of intruders/hackers gaining unauthorized access to systems. It is based on the Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) or VAPT testing technique.

Other error or weakness in the system's security processes, design, implementation, or any internal control that might lead to a violation of the system's security policy is referred to as a vulnerability.

Process of Vulnerability Testing

To detect system vulnerabilities, use this step-by-step Vulnerability Assessment Process.

VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing)

Step 1) Vulnerability Analysis Goals and Objectives − Define the Vulnerability Analysis goals and objectives.

Step 2) Scope − The scope of the assignment must be clearly specified while completing the assessment and test.

The three scopes that are available are as follows −

  • Testing from an external network with no prior knowledge of the internal network and systems is known as black-box testing.

  • Grey Box Testing − Using knowledge of the internal network and system to test from either external or internal networks. It's a hybrid of Black Box and White Box testing.

  • Testing within the internal network with knowledge of the internal network and system is known as white box testing. Internal testing is another name for it.

Step 3) Gathering Information – Obtaining as much information as possible on the IT environment, including networks, IP addresses, and operating system versions, among other things. It works with all three types of scopes: Black Box Testing, Grey Box Testing, and White Box Testing.

Step 4) Vulnerability Detection − Vulnerability scanners are used to scan the IT environment and find vulnerabilities in this step.

Step 5) Information Analysis and Planning (Step 5) −It will assess the detected flaws and create a strategy for breaking into the network and systems.

What is the Purpose of Vulnerability Assessment?

It is critical for the organization's security.

The process of identifying and reporting vulnerabilities, which allows for the detection and resolution of security issues by rating vulnerabilities before they are exploited by someone or something.

Operating systems, application software, and networks are examined in this procedure to detect vulnerabilities such as improper program design, insecure authentication, and so on.

How to Evaluate Vulnerability

The following is a step-by-step procedure for doing a vulnerability assessment −

Methodology/ Technique for Vulnerability Assessment in Steps

Step 1 – Setup

  • Begin the documentation process.
  • Permissions that are secure
  • Tools should be updated
  • Setup the Tools

Step 2 – Test Execution

Execute the Tools. Run the data packet that was captured (A packet is a data unit that is routed between an origin and a destination.)

When a file, such as an e-mail message, an HTML file, or a Uniform Resource Locator(URL) request, is sent across the internet, the TCP layer of TCP/IP divides it into a number of "chunks" for efficient routing, with each of these chunks being uniquely numbered and including the destination's Internet address. Packets are the name for these pieces.

When all of the packets have arrived, the TCP layer at the receiving end will reassemble them into the original file while the evaluation tools are operating.

Step 3 – Vulnerability Analysis: 

  • Identifying and categorizing network and system resources.

  • Prioritizing resources (for example, High, Medium, Low)

  • Identifying the dangers that each resource may face.

  • Creating a strategy for dealing with the most pressing issues first.

  • Defining and implementing strategies to reduce the impact of an assault.

Step 4 – Submitting a report

Step 5 – Remediation

  • The procedure for repairing the flaws.

  • Every vulnerability was tested.

Types of a Vulnerability Scanner

Based on the host

  • Identifies problems with the host or system.

  • The procedure is completed by employing host-based scanners to identify and diagnose vulnerabilities.

  • The host-based tools will install a mediator program on the target machine, which will track the incident and alert the security analyst.


  • It will discover open ports and identify any unfamiliar services that are using them. It will then reveal any potential vulnerabilities connected with these services.

  • Network-based Scanners are used in this procedure.


It will use tools and techniques to discover security vulnerabilities in database systems and prevent SQL Injections. (SQL Injections: - Malicious users inject SQL statements into a database, allowing them to access sensitive data from the database and alter the data in the database.)

Vulnerability Scanning Tools


Acunetix by Invicti is a simple and easy-to-use tool that helps small and medium-sized businesses protect their online applications against costly data breaches. It accomplishes this by identifying a wide range of online security vulnerabilities and assisting security and development experts in resolving them quickly.


  • Scanning for over 7,000 online vulnerabilities, including OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities like SQLi and XSS.

  • Automated online asset discovery can help you find websites that have been abandoned or forgotten.

  • Advanced web crawler with multi-form and password-protected sections for the most complicated online applications.

  • Using a combination of interactive and dynamic application security testing to find flaws that other technologies overlook

  • For a variety of vulnerabilities, proof of exploit is provided.

  • Integrations with common issue tracking and CI/CD technologies enable DevOps automation.

  • PCI DSS, NIST, HIPAA, ISO 27001, and other regulatory standards require compliance reporting.


Intruder is a sophisticated online vulnerability scanner that detects security flaws throughout your IT infrastructure. Intruder protects companies of all sizes secure from hackers by providing industry-leading security tests, ongoing monitoring, and an easy-to-use platform.


  • Over 10,000 security tests provide best-in-class threat coverage.

  • Checks for configuration flaws, fixes that aren't installed, application flaws (including SQL injection and cross-site scripting), and more.

  • Scan findings are automatically analyzed and prioritized.

  • Easy to set up and perform your initial scans because of the intuitive UI.

  • Security monitoring that is proactive in nature and keeps an eye out for the most recent flaws

  • API connectivity with your CI/CD workflow using AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud connectors

Host BasedSTATScan the network for numerous systems.
TARAResearch Assistant for Tiger Analytical.
Cain & AbelBy sniffing the network and cracking HTTP passwords, you may recover your password.
MetasploitOpen-source code development, testing, and exploitation platform.
Network-BasedCisco Secure ScannerSecurity Issues Diagnosis and Repair
WiresharkFor Linux and Windows, an open-source network protocol analyzer.
NmapSecurity auditing tool that is open-source and free.
NessusAuditing without agents, reporting, and patch management integration
Database-BasedSQL dietSQL server door with the Dictionary Attack tool.
Secure AuditorEnable enumeration, scanning, auditing, penetration testing, and forensics on the operating system.
DB-scanDatabase Trojan detection, including hidden Trojan detection via baseline scanning.

Vulnerability Assessment's Benefits

  • There are open-source tools accessible.

  • Almost all vulnerabilities are detected.

  • Scanning has been automated.

  • It's simple to use on a regular basis.

Vulnerability Assessment's Drawbacks

  • A high proportion of false positives

  • Intrusion Detection System Firewall can readily detect it.

  • Frequently, the most recent vulnerabilities go unnoticed.

Methods of Vulnerability Assessment

Active testing

A tester adds fresh test data and evaluates the findings during active testing.

The testers build a mental model of the process during the testing process, which will expand as they interact with the product under test.

The tester will actively participate in the process of discovering new test cases and ideas while doing the test. It's called Active Testing for a reason.

Passive Testing

Monitoring the results of running software under test without providing fresh test cases or data is known as passive testing.

Network Testing

The practice of monitoring and recording the present condition of network operation over a period of time is known as network testing.

Testing is mostly used to forecast how a network will perform under stress or to identify issues caused by new services.

The following network characteristics must be tested −

  • Utilization levels
  • Number of Users
  • Application Utilization

Distributed Testing

Distributed tests are used to test distributed applications, which are those that interact with numerous clients at the same time. Essentially, testing a distributed application entails evaluating its client and server components individually, but we may test them all together using a distributed testing technique.

During the Test Run, the test components will interact with one another. As a result, they are appropriately synced. One of the most important aspects of distributed testing is synchronization.


Vulnerability Testing in Software Engineering is based on two mechanisms: vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. Both of these exams are different in terms of their strength and the jobs they accomplish. However, combining both techniques to provide a thorough report on Vulnerability Testing is advised.

Updated on 30-Oct-2021 06:28:03