Educating your business on the importance of cybersecurity

Benefits Of Application Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking

Posted by ProCircular Team on Apr 28, 2022 8:59:20 AM

How does a new application transition from being theoretically secure to real-world secure? Security controls are necessary, but it’s even more important to ensure they are implemented, enforced, and hardened correctly before the application is exposed to the internet. Start with an Application Penetration Test to reveal the most critical areas for improvement and outline a clear path to securing those vulnerabilities. This assessment is performed similarly to an External & Internal Network Penetration Test; an ethical (white hat) hacker scours your site (or network) for low-hanging fruit and hidden weaknesses, so you can put up the right defenses before the hackers in the wild have a chance to attack!


What Is Application Penetration Testing?

ProCircular’s application penetration testing is a professional assessment that uses the perspective of an attacker to find application security vulnerabilities or misconfigurations in an application and its underlying infrastructure. During the application penetration testing process, our team of ethical hacking experts aim to break into the application using methods a real-world hacker might use. After a penetration test, technicians can use insights to fix errors and prevent cyber attackers from accessing private systems and sensitive data.

 When you purchase an application penetration test, you’ll meet with your designated project manager and security engineers to set the goals and scope of the project. Once expectations are established, the assessment begins with the engineers completing the tasks on the following list:

  • Browse the application as an authenticated user to locate unintentional vulnerabilities or access points
  • Isolate sensitive items and begin automated scans
  • Evaluate and manually verify the results of the automated scans
  • Use fuzzing of application functions and additional manual testing to find hidden vulnerabilities
  • Confirm all discovered vulnerabilities and leverage them to gain control over the system or access restricted data

ProCircular’s robust combination of automated and manual exploration methods mimics attackers in the wild. Each step follows what real cybercriminals would do if they wanted to corrupt your site. After the application penetration test, it is critical that the client apply the remediation recommendations to secure their site against malicious actors online. 

Benefits of Application Penetration Testing

Application penetration testing engineers and ethical hackers leverage time-tested attack strategies and the most common vulnerabilities to check the security of your system. The following sections will provide more detail about the specific benefits of application penetration testing.

Identify Cybersecurity Weaknesses

Cybersecurity weaknesses can range from outdated software to weak admin passwords. They can create unauthorized entry points for malicious actors to gain access. Being able to see those holes is the first step to mending them. Technical risks, like unpatched software and loose access permissions, will be identified during a penetration test. Non-technical risks, like poor user awareness training or lack of an incident response plan, would be identified during a cybersecurity risk assessment. Each of these engagements focuses on revealing and remediating vulnerabilities in the environment, but they focus on different controls, technical and operational. 

Validate Cybersecurity Policies

Cybersecurity policies and controls are great ways to document and maintain a culture of security, but they need to work properly to be effective. Websites need to have secure input validation rules to keep the backend working correctly. Application engineers can validate the efficacy of these rules.

Test Digital Infrastructure

Although smaller websites and older websites are more prone to security vulnerabilities, all websites have some level of risk. If it has been a while since your website has been evaluated for security, it might be time for a check-up.

Ensure Cybersecurity Is Compliant

Many industries are tied to compliance standards that require specific security controls. Websites are also subject to compliance, and they need to be verified and documented as safe in order to manage liability.

What Is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is the attempt to break a network’s weak spots and build them up stronger before the real cybercriminals have a chance to take advantage. During a penetrations test, an ethical or “white-hat” hacker will take the position of an internal or external network user, and use all the skills at their disposal to gain unauthorized administrator control and take over the environment. Unlike real-world hacking, this engagement comes with a detailed report of all the risks and recommendations that will help prevent real unauthorized access in the future.

What do you picture when you hear the word “hacker?” Maybe a hooded sweatshirt hunched over a bright computed monitor? Maybe the masked face of the “anonymous” group? Whatever you picture, there is probably an intimidating and negative connotation around the title. However, hackers can be helpful to recover lost documents, investigate breaches, and use their expertise to defend against the bad guys. To make the conversation easier, we call the good guys white-hat, or ethical hackers, and the bad guys are called black-hat, or malicious, hackers.

To learn more about ethical hacking, read our blog. ProCircular is renowned for our expert team of pen testing engineers. Clients appreciate their cutting-edge technical skills, as well as their ability to communicate and prioritize risk items to guide remediation. 

Benefits of Ethical Hacking

Working with an ethical hacker puts the technical expertise on your side. Ethical hackers are constantly refreshing their knowledge-base of vulnerabilities and attacks to stay on top of the latest threats. ProCircular deals with several incident response cases every month, so our engineers see which attack vectors are successfully utilized in the wild. Additionally, ProCircular’s team keeps a vigilant eye out for large-scale breaches, new patches, and unusual activity from the global cybersecurity community.

Better An Ethical Hacker Than An Actual Hacker

If you choose to delay an application penetration test because you’re not ready to have a hacker in your environment, then you might need to think again. If vulnerabilities exist, hackers will find them; and ethical hacking can find them first.

Gives Insights Into The Methods Of A Hacker

Hackers in the wild find new vulnerabilities every day. Although we can’t know what they’re finding in real-time. Security engineers can use the same methods to find and close those holes before they invite a threat.

Peace Of Mind Know Your System Has Been Tested

Every day we read stories about data breaches in our local community and on the national scale. A significant number of breaches are not publicly disclosed to help protect the reputation of the victim. Don’t let these stories strike fear, have confidence in your site’s security posture by having it tested professionally.

Understanding Of How To Prepare For A Hack

In the event of a security incident, the primary goal of recovery is to get the bad actors out and seal up their entry points. Doing this is much easier if you have a holistic picture of your site security and the vulnerabilities therein. If the resources are not available to conduct a full penetration test, or if you’re looking for status checks between annual penetration tests, Cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessment. are similar, smaller-scale engagements. These assessments are performed primarily by automated scanning tools that look for low-hanging fruit in the network. 

For More Information On Application Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking In Minnesota & Iowa, Get In Touch With A ProCircular Cybersecurity Expert!

If you’re looking for a qualified penetration testing company in Iowa or Minnesota, trust ProCircular. We proudly partner with leading organizations across the entire Midwest. We are equipped to conduct a thorough assessment of the most common and hazardous vulnerabilities hidden within your applications. For help with application penetration testing and ethical hacking in Minnesota and Iowa, email us at, give us a call at 844-95-SECUR (73287), or visit our contact page here.

When you partner with ProCircular, you’ll receive a detailed and prioritized report of risks and actionable steps to strengthen those weak points.

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