Different Types & Approaches of Penetration Testing

What Are The Different Types & Approaches of Penetration Testing?

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is an ethical cybersecurity assessment designed to identify, investigate, and remediate vulnerabilities in a company’s network or applications. It employs similar tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) as cybercriminals to simulate actual attacks and determine the effectiveness of existing security controls against different threats.

The scope of a pen test varies based on whether it is conducted externally or internally. The goals and outcomes of each test are tailored to the organization’s specific requirements. The level of information provided to the penetration tester about the environment or systems being tested depends on the type of assessment. In white box penetration testing, the tester has complete network and system information. Grey box penetration testing provides the tester with limited information, while black box penetration testing simulates a real-life attacker by withholding any information from the tester.

How to Determine the Right Penetration Testing Approach?

  1. Assess your requirements: Identify the specific areas and systems within your organization that require assessment. Determine if you need testing for applications, network infrastructure, cloud services, or physical security.
  2. Consider internal or external testing: Decide whether you require an assessment focused on the external perimeter of your network or an internal evaluation of your systems and infrastructure.
  3. Evaluate testing styles: Understand the differences between black box, white box, and grey box testing styles. Consider the level of information disclosure that aligns with your testing objectives and the realism you seek in the assessment.
  4. Engage a qualified pen testing provider: Collaborate with a reputable, experienced penetration testing provider who can tailor the assessment to your needs. Ensure they have expertise in the relevant areas and can deliver comprehensive and actionable reports.

What are the Types of Penetration Testing?

1. Network Penetration Testing:

Network penetration testing involves evaluating the security of a computer network. By conducting a thorough security audit, this type of testing aims to identify vulnerabilities and potential entry points that external parties could exploit. It focuses on assessing the network infrastructure, which serves as the backbone of the entire system.

2. Web Application Penetration Testing:

Web application penetration testing assesses the security of web applications. By simulating attacks and identifying vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and cross-site request forgery, organizations can proactively protect their web applications from data breaches and other negative consequences.

3. Mobile Penetration Testing:

Mobile penetration testing scrutinizes the security of mobile applications. With the increasing use of mobile devices, it has become crucial to assess the vulnerabilities in mobile apps. By evaluating the functionality and security measures, organizations can identify weaknesses and provide developers with actionable feedback to enhance the overall security of the applications.

4. API Penetration Testing:

API penetration testing focuses on assessing the security of application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs enable communication between different software systems, and their security is paramount. By identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses in APIs, organizations can ensure the integrity and resilience of their systems, safeguarding sensitive data.

5. Cloud Penetration Testing:

Cloud penetration testing analyzes cloud computing environments for vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. It is a critical component of a comprehensive cloud security strategy, as it helps identify potential weaknesses in cloud security controls. By conducting cloud penetration testing, organizations can fortify their cloud infrastructure and protect against potential threats.

6. Blockchain Penetration Testing:

Blockchain penetration testing assesses the security of blockchain networks, applications, and smart contracts. As blockchain technology gains prominence across industries, it becomes essential to evaluate its vulnerabilities. By identifying weaknesses and misconfigurations, organizations can ensure the integrity and security of their blockchain solutions.

7. Social Engineering Penetration Testing:

Social engineering penetration testing focuses on testing the security of employees in an organization. By creating scenarios in which attackers attempt to deceive employees into divulging sensitive information or granting access to systems, organizations can assess their employees’ awareness and vulnerability to social engineering attacks. This type of testing helps organizations enhance employee education and implement preventive measures against social engineering threats.

What Are The Different Approaches To Conduct Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is an essential practice to evaluate system security and unearth vulnerabilities. There are three distinct approaches to penetration testing: black box, white box, and gray box. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into each approach, highlighting their unique characteristics and the advantages they offer. By understanding these approaches, you can conduct thorough security assessments and fortify your system against potential threats.

1. Black Box Testing:

Black box testing involves evaluating the security of an application or system without prior knowledge. Penetration testers emulate external attackers, utilizing sophisticated tools and techniques to simulate real-world attacks. This approach provides an authentic assessment of overall security readiness.
Black box testing, although challenging, unveils vulnerabilities and weaknesses, offering valuable insights for enhancing system security. By employing advanced skills and leveraging attacker perspectives, penetration testers identify potential entry points and recommend effective safeguards.

2. White Box Testing:

White box testing, also known as clear box or transparent box testing, grants penetration testers complete knowledge of the source code and application environment. This approach focuses on understanding the application’s inner workings rather than exploiting code vulnerabilities.

By examining the source code, penetration testers gain an in-depth understanding of the application’s security. This empowers them to pinpoint potential weaknesses that might be overlooked from an external standpoint. White box testing facilitates robust security assessments, enabling organizations to implement targeted security measures.

3. Gray Box Testing:

Gray box testing strikes a balance between black box and white box approaches. Penetration testers possess partial knowledge of the target environment, including network diagrams, documentation, or limited internal network access. This level of information exceeds what an external attacker would have.

Gray box testing, often conducted during the early stages of a program or system, identifies vulnerabilities and gauges potential attacker access to sensitive information. By employing this approach, organizations can proactively address security gaps and fortify their defenses.

How often should Pen Testing be conducted?

In the fast-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, Invesics understands the importance of maintaining robust security measures. This topic delves into the recommended frequency and approach for conducting penetration testing, aligning it with Invesics’ commitment to safeguarding your organization’s digital assets. By employing strategic security assessments and adopting agile pen testing, Invesics ensures your systems are fortified against emerging threats while minimizing disruption to your product release cycles.

1. Recommended Frequency:

To uphold stringent security standards, Invesics recommends conducting comprehensive security testing at least once a year as a baseline. This regular assessment helps identify vulnerabilities and address them promptly. However, Invesics recognizes that certain circumstances warrant heightened vigilance. Significant infrastructure changes, impending product launches, mergers, acquisitions, or adherence to strict compliance requirements necessitate more frequent pen testing to ensure comprehensive security coverage tailored to your organization’s unique needs.

2. Agile Pen Testing:

At Invesics, we go beyond traditional pen testing methods by implementing agile pen testing—an innovative approach that integrates security assessments seamlessly into your software development lifecycle (SDLC). This proactive strategy enables early detection of vulnerabilities, ensuring that potential risks are addressed in real time without compromising development timelines.

The advantages of Agile Pen Testing offered by Invesics include:

a. Early Detection and Mitigation: By incorporating security testing from the inception of your projects, Invesics helps identify and mitigate vulnerabilities at an early stage, minimizing potential risks and enhancing overall security.

b. Continuous Security Enhancements: Agile pen testing allows for ongoing security assessments throughout the SDLC, enabling Invesics to implement timely enhancements and fortify your applications and systems against evolving threats.

c. Streamlined Product Releases: Invesics understands the importance of delivering products on schedule. With agile pen testing, we ensure that your release cycles remain efficient and uninterrupted while maintaining a robust security posture.

Why Invesics Pentest is a perfect fit?

When it comes to safeguarding your organization’s digital assets, selecting the right penetration testing (pen test) provider is of paramount importance. Invesics understands the critical need for expertise in detecting a wide range of vulnerabilities and providing timely assistance to remediate them effectively. With our experienced team of pen testers, Invesics offers comprehensive testing programs tailored to meet your specific business needs. Our expertise spans industries, enabling us to uncover and address complex vulnerabilities across internal and external infrastructure, wireless networks, web apps, mobile apps, network builds, configurations, and more.

1. Comprehensive Testing Programs:

At Invesics, we recognize that every organization has unique requirements. Our tailored testing programs cover a wide range of areas, including internal and external infrastructure, wireless networks, web apps, mobile apps, network builds, configurations, and more. With our comprehensive approach, we ensure that all potential vulnerabilities are diligently assessed and addressed.

2. Post-Test Care and Actionable Outputs:

Invesics goes beyond conducting pen tests; we provide complete post-test care. Our services include actionable outputs that offer clear and concise insights into identified vulnerabilities. These outputs serve as a roadmap for prioritized remediation, enabling you to address critical issues promptly and effectively.

3. Strategic Security Advice:

At Invesics, we understand that cybersecurity is an ongoing journey. As part of our commitment to your organization’s long-term improvements, we provide strategic security advice. Our experts offer guidance on enhancing your cybersecurity posture, ensuring that you have a proactive and resilient defense against evolving threats.


Invesics stands as a trusted partner in the realm of penetration testing. With our experienced team of pen testers and comprehensive testing programs, we equip your organization with the insights and tools needed to strengthen your cybersecurity defenses. By choosing Invesics, you gain access to actionable outputs, prioritized remediation guidance, and strategic security advice that empowers you to make informed decisions and achieve long-term improvements in your cybersecurity posture.