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10 Best Penetration Testing Tools For QA In 2022

Tool Shortlist

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

  1. Astra

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

  2. Acunetix

    Best for continuous scanning

  3. W3af

    Open source web application cyber security scanner that is used primarily for web applications

  4. BreachLock

    Tool that provides full-stack penetration testing

  5. Aircrack-ng

    Best for simulated cyber security attacks on wireless networks

  6. Metasploit

    Automate manual tests and streamline your process

  7. Nessus

    Easy to use credential and non credential scans

  8. Core Impact

    Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

  9. Intruder

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

  10. Kali Linux

    Provides live USB mode for portable use

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.

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

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.

2

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.

Pricing upon request

3

W3af

Open source web application cyber security scanner that is used primarily for web applications

W3af is an open source cyber security scanner that specializes in web application security. The tool also allows you to audit your security issues, and is flexible, making it easy for novice users to navigate the tool. W3af allows you to automate your vulnerability scanning within any part of your web application from the security of your backend development, to the security of your SQL databases. W3af provides many extensions such as GZip and Keep-Alive which allows you to send specially customized HTTP requests quickly. The feature offers proxy support and UserAgent faking, and allows you to export your results in csv, text and HTML formats. W3af also provides a fuzzing engine feature, which allows you to inject your payloads into almost any part of your HTTP request. W3af is fully open source and free to use.

Free To Use

4

BreachLock

Tool that provides full-stack penetration testing

BreachLock is a penetration testing tool that offers on-demand, continuous and scalable security testing. The tool can be used both for modern cloud and DevOps businesses. BreachLock allows for detection of vulnerabilities, and provides your contextualized reports of the findings, allowing you to act quickly to secure your systems. BreachLock provides an abundance of features, such as the ability to schedule monthly or quarterly manual penetrations tests. The tests are conducted manually to experience the process of hackers, allowing you to determine the robustness of your security network. BreachLock also issues consistent alerts for new vulnerabilities, allowing you to stay updated. BreachLock provides integrations with platforms such as Slack, Jira and Trello. BreachLock offers customized pricing upon request.

Pricing upon request

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

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

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

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

9

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

10

Kali Linux

Provides live USB mode for portable use

Kali Linux is a penetration testing tool that boasts a full suite of features without the need to install them separately. The tool provides a high level of security and stability, as well as a clean and user friendly interface so you can better organize your tasks. You can use Kali Linux for both offensive security and defensive security.

Kali Linux provides a live USB mode that allows you to plug your USB into any machine and run the application. The USB live mode makes no changes to your system’s hard drive and is customizable, allowing you to run your own Kali Linux ISO image. You can also configure the feature to have persistent storage, allowing you to save the data you collect across various reboots.

Kali Linux is fully open source and free to use.

The 10 Best Penetration Testing Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
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. Visit Website
2
Acunetix

Best for continuous scanning

Not available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
3
W3af

Open source web application cyber security scanner that is used primarily for web applications

Free To Use

Visit Website
4
BreachLock

Tool that provides full-stack penetration testing

Not available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
5
Aircrack-ng

Best for simulated cyber security attacks on wireless networks

Not available

Visit Website
6
Metasploit

Automate manual tests and streamline your process

Free Version

Starts at $2,000/year Visit Website
7
Nessus

Easy to use credential and non credential scans

7 Days Free Trials

Starts at $4,719.13 USD/year Visit Website
8
Core Impact

Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

Free Trial

Starts at $9,450 USD/year for the Basic package Visit Website
9
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 Visit Website
10
Kali Linux

Provides live USB mode for portable use

Not available

Visit Website

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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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Related List of Tools:

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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