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10 Best Penetration Testing Tools For QA In 2022

As we continue to move further into a digital world, cyber security has never been more important. With cyber attacks expected to increase dramatically in the coming years, it is imperative for organizations to step up their cyber security. 

In this article, I will present the best penetration testing tools that will help ensure your company is armed with the best tools possible to better your organization’s security.

Tool Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best penetration testing tools that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. AppTrana

    Fully managed web application firewall (WAF) and risk-based security solution

  2. Astra

    Provides a Progressive Web App so you can track your dashboard on the go

  3. Acunetix

    Best for continuous scanning

  4. Intruder

    Provides a clear, detailed user interface making it easy for less experienced users to navigate

  5. Aircrack-ng

    Best for simulated cyber security attacks on wireless networks

  6. Invicti

    Configure pre-set scan profiles for less experienced users

  7. Nessus

    Easy to use credential and non credential scans

  8. Burp Suite

    provides a passive scan feature

  9. Core Impact

    Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

  10. Metasploit

    Automate manual tests and streamline your process

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best penetration testing tools? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for a simple, easy to use user interface benefiting a team of varying skill levels.
  2. Usability: I look for features that offer full test coverage of your operating systems.
  3. Integrations: I look for integrations with project management tools and bug trackers.
  4. Value for Pricing: I look for the tools with the most expansive features for the best price.

Penetration Testing Tools: Key Features

  1. Scanning and exploitation: The tool must be able to scan for vulnerabilities and return a detailed report with minimal false positives.
  2. Comprehensive suites: The tool must have a comprehensive suite of features to allow you to test every aspect of your operating system.
  3. Customizable dashboard: The tool must provide a dashboard that suits every type of user, from inexperienced to technical. 

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Penetration Testing Tools

Here’s a brief description of each penetration testing tool to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.

1

AppTrana

Fully managed web application firewall (WAF) and risk-based security solution

AppTrana is a web application firewall (WAF) used for penetration testing, behavioral-based DDoS protection, mitigating bot attacks, and defending against the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities. AppTrana is employed by security-conscious companies across myriad industries, such as Axis Bank, Jet Aviation, Niva Health Insurance, and TRL Transport. 

AppTrana is a fully managed security solution, which means that their web security expert team takes on the analyzing and updating of security policies so you don’t have to. Higher-level accounts will get a named account manager to assist them; the highest subscription level comes with quarterly service reviews (highly recommended!). 

Key features include unlimited application security scanning, manual pen-testing of applications, managed CDN, false positive monitoring, custom SSL certificates, and risk-based API protection. Their website is packed full of detailed feature explanations as well as a blog, learning center, whitepapers, infographics, and datasheets, so I highly recommend you take a look around for yourself.

AppTrana costs from $99/month/app and comes with a free 14-day trial. 

14-day free trial

$99/month/app

2

Astra

Provides a Progressive Web App so you can track your dashboard on the go

Astra is a penetration testing tool that offers a comprehensive suite, allowing you to protect internet facing applications and your network infrastructure. The tool provides a clean and organized dashboard, from which you can manage your automated and manual pen tests. Astra allows you to carry out more than 3000 security tests.

Astra provides a Progressive Web App which allows you to access and manage your dashboard from anywhere. Through the app, you can organize and execute penetration tests from any device, which offers you and your team flexibility. You can also gain access to your detailed reports following the scans you have executed.

Astra integrates with platforms such as Jira, Slack and Github.

The cost of Astra starts at $99.00 USD per month for the Scanner package.

Starts at $99.00 USD/month for the Scanner package.

3

Acunetix

Best for continuous scanning

Acunetix is a penetration testing tool that is easy to use, and provides an array of features accessible to any level of a development team. Acunetix provides a quick analysis that can identify high risk vulnerabilities, as well as the ability to send different types of reports to various levels from board member to developer, tailored especially for the recipient.

Acunetix provides the ability for continuous scanning, allowing you to schedule regular scans of targets which checks for vulnerabilities in your infrastructure repeatedly. This allows you to have continuous security awareness of your organization’s vulnerability level. The feature also allows you to pause the scan at any time.

Acunetix integrates with issue trackers such as Jira, Bugzilla and Mantis.

Acunetix offers customized pricing upon request.

4

Intruder

Provides a clear, detailed user interface making it easy for less experienced users to navigate

Intruder is a cloud-based vulnerability testing tool and scanner that allows you to find weaknesses within your operating systems and applications. The tool cuts down on work time by proactively scanning for new threats, and offering a threat prioritization solution. Intruder provides you stable and reliable security testing without complexity, allowing less experienced team members to execute pen tests.

Intruder boasts a clear, easy to use and detailed user interface, which allows you to efficiently organize your tasks and tests in an orderly fashion. The user interface allows you to easily set up internal and external scans and generate reports, as well as providing feedback on action needing to be taken to resolve issues. The tool also provides a notification system that alerts you to any new vulnerabilities within your system.

Intruder integrates with platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

The cost of Intruder starts at $113 USD per month for the Essential package of 5 targets to scan. The tool also has a 30-day free trial.

30 Days Free Trials

Starts at $113 USD/month for the Essential package of 5 targets to scan

5

Aircrack-ng

Best for simulated cyber security attacks on wireless networks

Aircrack-ng is a security testing tool that allows you to complete WiFi auditing and security assessments of your wireless network. The tool allows you to carry out security testing such as checking WiFi cards and driver capabilities. Aircrack-ng also allows you to packet capture and export the data to text files so you can process further using third party tools.

Aircrack-ng provides a robust attacking feature that allows you to simulate attacks on your wireless network. The tool allows you to perform replay attacks and de-authentication, as well as set up fake access points. Aircrack-ng also allows you to perform attacks on WEP and WPA PSK.

Aircrack-ng is fully open source and free to use.

6

Invicti

Configure pre-set scan profiles for less experienced users

Invicti is an automated security testing tool that allows you and your organization to secure all your web applications and reduce the risk of a cyber attack. Invicti is easy to configure, allows you to scan your websites and web applications for security flaws, and generates results reports. The tool also provides a technology dashboard that shows information about software versions used in your applications.

Invicti allows you to configure pre-set scan profiles, making it easy for anyone in your team to run scans and penetration tests. The feature is entirely customizable so you are able to set your scan profiles up in a way that is best for your web application and operating systems. Invicti also has a 24/7 responsive support team, which provides you assurance that you and your team have help at your disposal.

Inviciti integrates with tools such as Bugzilla, BitBucket and Asana.

Invicti provides customized pricing upon request.

7

Nessus

Easy to use credential and non credential scans

Nessus is a penetration testing tool that allows you to complete vulnerability assessments of your web application and operating systems. The tool allows you to easily identify and fix vulnerabilities, including software flaws, malware and missing patches. Nessus can operate across a variety of systems and devices.

Nessus provides the ability to perform both credential and non credentialed scans, allowing you to find more depth vulnerabilities. This ensures that you have full test coverage of your operating system, and are catching every security flaw within your application. The tool also covers network devices such as endpoints, servers and virtualization platforms.

Nessus integrates with tools such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and ServiceNow.

The cost of Nessus starts at $4,719.13 USD per year. The tool also offers a 7-day free trial.

7 Days Free Trials

Starts at $4,719.13 USD/year

8

Burp Suite

provides a passive scan feature

Burp Suite is a penetration testing tool that allows you to improve your cyber security protocols with the use of a fully fleshed out toolkit. The tool boasts an array of features such as the Burp Intruder which allows you to automate customized cyber attacks against your applications, and Burp Repeater which allows you to manipulate and reissue individual HTTP requests manually.

Burp Scanner also has a passive scanning feature that allows you to divide the checks performed into active and passive checks. This allows you to set the targets and scopes, and cover areas that are easily missed. The tool also allows you to conduct active scans, ensuring that the entirety of your application is covered.

Burp Suite integrates with tools such as Jenkins and TeamCity.

The cost of Burp Suite starts at $6,995 per year. The tool also offers a free trial.

Free Trial

Starts at $6,995/ year

9

Core Impact

Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

Core Impact is a comprehensive penetration testing tool that allows you to exploit weaknesses in the security of your applications, and increase productivity. The tool provides an easy and clean user interface, as well as the ability to execute rapid penetration tests. This allows you to discover, test and report more efficiently.

Core Impact provides a feature for replicating multi-staged attacks, which allows you to pivot your pen tests across various systems, devices and applications. The feature allows you to configure various tests and execute them all at once. Another feature of Core Impact is the ability to install an agent on the server through SSH and SMB, making white box testing more effective.

The cost of Core Impact starts at $9,450 USD per year for the Basic package. The tool also offers a free trial.

Free Trial

Starts at $9,450 USD/year for the Basic package

10

Metasploit

Automate manual tests and streamline your process

Metasploit is a penetration testing tool that identifies system weaknesses and attempts to exploit them, allowing you to isolate and demonstrate the weakness, and allow for remediations. The tool also works across multiple computer systems such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and can be used across devices.

Metasploit provides the ability to automate manual tests and exploits, allowing you to minimize your team’s time spent on creating manual tests and scans. The tool boasts a large exploit database with new additions regularly, and is extremely intuitive, making it easy for you and your team to implement. Metasploit also has a large community support system.

Metasploit integrates with tools such as Kali Linux and Dradis.

The cost of Metasploit starts at $2,000 per year. The tool also offers a free version.

Free Version

Starts at $2,000/year

The 10 Best Penetration Testing Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
AppTrana

Fully managed web application firewall (WAF) and risk-based security solution

14-day free trial

$99/month/app Check out AppTrana
2
Astra

Provides a Progressive Web App so you can track your dashboard on the go

Not available

Starts at $99.00 USD/month for the Scanner package. Check out Astra
3
Acunetix

Best for continuous scanning

Not available

Check out Acunetix
4
Intruder

Provides a clear, detailed user interface making it easy for less experienced users to navigate

30 Days Free Trials

Starts at $113 USD/month for the Essential package of 5 targets to scan Check out Intruder
5
Aircrack-ng

Best for simulated cyber security attacks on wireless networks

Not available

Check out Aircrack-ng
6
Invicti

Configure pre-set scan profiles for less experienced users

Not available

Check out Invicti
7
Nessus

Easy to use credential and non credential scans

7 Days Free Trials

Starts at $4,719.13 USD/year Check out Nessus
8
Burp Suite

provides a passive scan feature

Free Trial

Starts at $6,995/ year Check out Burp Suite
9
Core Impact

Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

Free Trial

Starts at $9,450 USD/year for the Basic package Check out Core Impact
10
Metasploit

Automate manual tests and streamline your process

Free Version

Starts at $2,000/year Check out Metasploit

Need expert help selecting the right Testing Software?

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It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:

Other Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Indusface WAS Free Website Security Check – a tool that provides you comprehensive vulnerability protection with on demand manual testing
  2. BreachLock – a tool that provides full-stack penetration testing that covers all attack surfaces
  3. W3af – an open source web application cyber security scanner that is used primarily for web applications
  4. Cain & Abel – a free password cracking tool that uses brute force to assess the strength of your passwords
  5. Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) – an open source tool used for web application security scanning, ideal for both inexperienced and experienced users
  6. John The Ripper – a free password cracking tool that monitors your password security and operates also as a password recovery tool
  7. Sqlmap – an open source testing tool used to detect and exploit SQL injection flaws
  8. Canvas – a penetration testing tool that provides automated exploitation of the flaws within your operating system

What do you think about this list?

Cyber crime continues to spike worldwide due to the increased accessibility of online resources and the increase of the amount of companies moving their businesses into remote working. I hope the tools that I have covered in this article will help you make an informed decision about the best route to take for your team and your business in ensuring your cyber security is locked up.

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By Jess Charlton

My name is Jess, and I am a writer and Digital Marketing Technician specializing in quality assurance testing of Content Management Systems for Corporations. My expertise lies in frontend and backend software testing using a variety of QA testing tools. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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