Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (or VAPT) is a security testing methodology that is composed of two, more specific methods. Vulnerability Assessment is the first stage. Our team identifies all vulnerabilities in an application or network. While this method is great for identifying vulnerabilities, it can not differentiate between exploitable and non-exploitable vulnerabilities. This is where the second stage, Penetration Testing (PT) comes in. Penetration Testing takes the vulnerabilities identified in the first step, identifies exploitable vulnerabilities, and attempts to exploit them. Using these two methods together in VAPT helps organizations paint a more cohesive picture of their current security vulnerabilities, how exploitable they are, and how large the impact could be on them.
How does it work?
Let’s say that you hired a robber to try and break into your business (in this universe, let’s pretend ethical robbers exist). Any skilled robber would do some investigation prior to the actual break-in. They would identify any obvious vulnerabilities, like in VA, initially like…
Security codes posted in a visible place
… and figure out how to exploit them, like in PT. Next comes the main event, the actual robbery! The robber would identify exploitable vulnerabilities and continue onward in an effort to exploit them.
In their first attempt, they try to get in through an unlocked door. Congrats! You have a security system enabled so the bad guy gets caught before they can get access to your data. This is a good example of having an effective security protocol in place to protect your data and network.
In their second attempt, let’s say they spotted a sheet of paper taped behind the register with your door security code written on it. They gain entrance to your storefront and enter the security code. Sadly, the robber broke into your business and got access to your payment information, credit card data, customer data, and inventory data. This, obviously, is an example of having a poor security protocol in place because while you may have a security system, the credentials to disable them might as well have been plastered on a billboard.
The ethical robber would report their findings to you and provide insight on how to solve the issues they identified and ultimately improve how secure your business would be against an attack in the future.
Why is it important?
VAPT helps organizations of any size gain insight into multiple parts of their software development lifecycle (SDLC). By becoming aware of what vulnerabilities exist in live products, weaknesses in different steps in the SDLC become apparent. Things like undertrained staff, current lack of security protocol, and overall lack of awareness can detract from your organization’s security posture as a whole. However, even without the mentioned weakness points, vulnerabilities occur. No development staff is perfect, and so there will always be overlooked vulnerabilities. Luckily, at WeSecureApp, we actively pair automated tools and our team of highly skilled ethical hackers to provide you with a thorough VAPT report. With regular VAPT audits and testing, you can rest assured knowing that your data and your reputation is safe.