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10 Best Web Application Penetration Testing Tools In 2022

As the internet and World Wide Web continue to expand and evolve, it has become increasingly common for cyber attacks to occur within web and mobile applications. Testing the durability of your web application’s cyber security has never been more crucial. 

In this article, I will cover some of the best web application penetration testing tools so you can complete your application’s security testing, ensuring that your application is ready to withstand any attack.

Tool Shortlist

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

  1. AppTrana

    Best fully managed web application firewall (WAF) solution

  2. Invicti

    Configure pre-set scan profiles for less experienced users

  3. Amass

    Best for external asset discovery

  4. Burp Suite

    provides a passive scan feature

  5. Intruder

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

  6. NMap

    Lightweight solution to web application penetration testing

  7. Gobuster

    Best for developers

  8. Core Impact

    Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

  9. Nessus

    Easy to use credential and non credential scans

  10. Metasploit

    Automate manual tests and streamline your process

Comparison Criteria

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

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for a clean and organized user interface that any pen tester will find easy to use.
  2. Usability: I look for features that offer complete test coverage of your web applications.
  3. Integrations: I look for tools that integrate with project management tools and other penetration testing tools.
  4. Value for Pricing: I look for the tools with the most expansive features for the best price.

Web Application Penetration Testing Tools: Key Features

  1. Detection and exploitation: The tool must be able to detect vulnerabilities and exploit them.
  2. Results reports: The tool must deliver detailed results reports of executed scans and tests.
  3. Cross platform and device testing: The tool must cover testing across various operating systems and devices.

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Web Application Penetration Testing Tools

Here’s a brief description of each web application 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

Best fully managed web application firewall (WAF) 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

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 can set your scan profiles up in a way that is best for your web application. Invicti also has a 24/7 responsive support team.

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

Invicti provides customized pricing upon request.

3

Amass

Best for external asset discovery

Amass is a penetration testing tool that allows you to perform network mapping of cyber attack surfaces, known as Attack Surface Management (ASM). This feature provides continuous monitoring of your changing attack surface, allowing you to ensure your application is covered for various cyber attacks. The tool also provides reporting of the results of these penetration tests.

Amass provides features such as external asset discovery, which allows you to identify and locate active and inactive assets that are unknown to your organization. With the feature, you can monitor the security of your application round-the-clock, and improve your team’s vulnerability management.

Amass is fully open source and free to use.

4

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, which 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

5

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 as well as providing feedbackfind weaknesses within your web 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; plus, it provides feedback on actions needing to be taken to resolve issues. The tool also provides a notification system that alerts you to any new vulnerabilities within your web application.

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

6

NMap

Lightweight solution to web application penetration testing

NMap is a web application penetration testing tool that offers a comprehensive platform, allowing you to execute penetration tests and scan your network for vulnerabilities within your applications to the full extent. The tool allows you to configure your port ranges, IPs and protocols to your own needs, and also allows for scanning of multiple IPs for open ports.

NMap boasts a lightweight application that is easy to start up, which is ideal for a team that has less experienced members. The tool’s organized user interface allows you and your team to easily navigate your penetration tests and reporting, and runs on all operating systems and binary packages are available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

NMap is fully open source and free to use.

7

Gobuster

Best for developers

Gobuster is a penetration testing tool that is accessible via Github, which allows you to conduct scanning across your web application, and brute force your URIs, DNS subdomains and Virtual Host names on target web servers which allows you to identify unprotected scripts and old configuration files.

Gobuster is hosted on GitHub and can be installed using your terminal. The tool provides the ability to conduct recon tests, which allows you to delve into the depths of your web application and detect vulnerabilities. The tool then provides a thorough report so you can review your code effectively.

Gobuster is fully open source and free to use.

8

Core Impact

Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

Core Impact is a comprehensive web application 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

Nessus

Easy to use credential and non credential scans

Nessus is a web application penetration testing tool that allows you to complete vulnerability assessments of your web application. 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 credential and non credential scans, allowing you to find more depth vulnerabilities. This ensures that you have full test coverage, 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

10

Metasploit

Automate manual tests and streamline your process

Metasploit is a web application 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. Metaspolit 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 Web Application Penetration Testing Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
AppTrana

Best fully managed web application firewall (WAF) solution

14-day free trial

$99/month/app Check out AppTrana
2
Invicti

Configure pre-set scan profiles for less experienced users

Not available

Check out Invicti
3
Amass

Best for external asset discovery

Not available

Check out Amass
4
Burp Suite

provides a passive scan feature

Free Trial

Starts at $6,995/ year Check out Burp Suite
5
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
6
NMap

Lightweight solution to web application penetration testing

Not available

Check out NMap
7
Gobuster

Best for developers

Not available

Check out Gobuster
8
Core Impact

Best for replicating multi-staged attacks

Free Trial

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

Easy to use credential and non credential scans

7 Days Free Trials

Starts at $4,719.13 USD/year Check out Nessus
10
Metasploit

Automate manual tests and streamline your process

Free Version

Starts at $2,000/year Check out Metasploit

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Other Options

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

  1. Wireshark – a network protocol analyzer that is fully open source, and tracks your network and traffic for cyber security
  2. John the Ripper – a penetration testing tool and password cracker which allows you to test the strength of your passwords
  3. Medusa – an application-based penetration and data testing tool that allows you to execute pen tests for the data and signal integrity of your applications
  4. Wfuzz – a penetration testing tool specifically for brute-forcing your web applications
  5. SQLMap – an open-source penetration testing tool specifically for detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws

What Are The Top Penetration Testing Techniques?

There are various aspects of penetration testing that you can use to execute successful security testing.

Black-Box Test

Black-Box testing examines the functionality of an application without the need to delve into its internal structures, and can be applied to any stage of software testing.

White-Box Test

While Black-Box testing examines the functionality at a high level, a White-Box testing tests the internal structures of a web application including its code, infrastructure and integrations with external platforms.

Network Service Penetration Testing

A Network Service Penetration Test identifies security vulnerabilities in your network. The test simulates malicious cases to evaluate the network’s cyber security.

Web Application Penetration Testing

A Web Application Penetration Test, or pen test, simulates a cyber attack on your web application to identify vulnerabilities in your web application. It is often used to expand a web application’s firewall.

Wireless Penetration Testing

Wireless Penetration Testing identifies and examines connections between all operating devices on one business wifi network.

Social Engineering Penetration Testing

Social Engineering Penetration Testing is the attempt of typical social engineering scams on a business and its employees to determine the level of vulnerability of the organization.

Physical Penetration Testing

Physical Penetration Testing are tests that attempt to compromise the security of physical barriers such as locks, sensors, intrusion alarms and motion detectors.

What do you think about this list?

Penetration testing is a sure way to test the strength of your application security, and the penetration testing tools above could help streamline your processes and reduce the time spent on it while maintaining good quality results. I hope this article helped you decide which tool is right for you and your team so you are better able to manage your cyber security.

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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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