The e-commerce platform has been dramatically boosted by extreme changes in Internet technologies; many people connect to the Internet and do more transactions.

First, the web-based e-commerce business owner needs to understand the differences and similarities between Vulnerability Assessment (VA) and Penetration Testing (PT) to inform your decisions when choosing what is best for your business.

Contrary to popular belief, VAPT is one of the last things on people’s minds until the first successful attack. The average attack costs a fortune. A successful attack is both less expensive and less painful than VAPT.

What is VAPT?

VAPT is an abbreviation for Vulnerability Assessment Testing. VAPT refers to security testing aimed at finding and remedying vulnerabilities.

It is a term for methodologies such as automated vulnerability assessment and penetration testing performed by competent human engineers and red team activities. VAPT brings both techniques together, that is, automated vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.

Vulnerabilities occurred at all times, although they were not as widely used and exploited while the Web was in its initial stages of growth. The media did not cover the news of hackers sentenced to prison for breaching servers and stealing sensitive information.

At the time, all network nodes were trusted, and secure protocols (SSH, SCP, SSL) did not yet exist; telnet, FTP, and plain text HTTP were used to send critical data.

Who conducts VAPT?

Some might argue that the best candidate will be an organization’s security officer, who understands the system from the inside, its strengths, and its flaws. However, not everything is so straightforward.

A penetration test performed by a specialist with a basic understanding of the protection system will likely uncover vulnerabilities developers create while designing and organizing protection levels.

What does VAPT include?

  • Network penetration test
  • Application penetration test
  • Physical penetration test
  • Device Penetration Testing (IoT)

Cause of Vulnerabilities

  • Hardware and software design flaws.
  • a system that has been improperly set up.
  • system that is connected to an unprotected network.
  • Ineffective password combinations.
  • Complex hardware or software.

Difference between VA and PT

When performing a Vulnerability Assessment (VA), the tester aims to ensure that all open vulnerabilities in the application, website, or network are defined, identified, and prioritized. A Vulnerability Assessment is said to be a list-oriented exercise.

Using scanning tools can give businesses a critical insight into where the loopholes are and why to fix them.

On the other hand, the Penetration Testing (PT) exercise is more direct and is said to be goal-oriented. The purpose of doing PT is to simulate real-life cyber-attacks on the application or website.

Hence, we could justify that a Vulnerability Assessment provides input into conducting penetration testing.

This analysis is conducted from the standpoint of a possible intruder and will include active exploitation of security flaws. Any security issues discovered will be given to the system owner, along with a risk assessment and, in some instances, a risk reduction strategy or technical remedy.

The process of detecting and identifying system vulnerabilities is known as vulnerability assessment. The system could be physical equipment like a nuclear-generating unit, a computer system, or a more extensive system.

Advantages of VAPT

VAPT is a more comprehensive testing solution.

VAPT can assist you in identifying gaps between various security solutions. The combo of automatic vulnerability assessment and manual pen-testing leaves you vulnerable to some flaws.

VAPT assists you with risk prioritization. Even some risk-aware organizations overlook this critical step. They identify and collect vulnerabilities but overlook risk prioritization.

VAPT detects errors and flaws in a variety of applications.

VAPT enhances the SDLC process. SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is a methodology IT firms use. Like other techniques, SDLC must constantly adapt to respond to new market demands and cyber dangers.

Regular pen-testing as part of your VAPT process connected with the SDLC process is the near-perfect technique to provide exceptional security.

VAPT helps with compliance. Pen-testing daily as part of your VAPT process, linked to the SDLC process, is the most effective method for providing superior security.

Types of pentest

White box pentest: The pentester will be given knowledge about the organization’s implemented structure during this penetration test.

Black box pentest: Because the professional or team does not supply any relevant information except the name and basic facts for general knowledge of the organization, this example resembles the actions of an actual attacker.

External pen-testing is an attack by an ethical hacker against the organization’s external servers or devices, such as its website and network servers.

Internal pen testing is the simulation of an attack by an authorized user with standard access rights, allowing you to decide how much damage an employee with some personal accounts concerning management can do.

Why is penetration testing needed?

Penetration testing provides an accurate picture of the current security threat and indicates an organization’s vulnerability to manual attacks. Pentesting regularly will help you identify technical resources, infrastructure, and physical and personnel arsenals with flaws that need to be developed and improved.

An expert can perform tests to uncover hazards you may be unaware of. Penetration testing is critical to ensure your organization’s security.

Organizations frequently overlook the importance of Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing. However, every firm is a possible target for hackers.

This is obvious from some previous ransomware attacks. Take charge and ensure that suitable security precautions are implemented to protect your application.

The ideal practice is to perform a Vulnerability Assessment once a year or after significantly modifying your application.

Some case studies to understand the impact

  1. How did the data breach of 23andme cause them a downfall?
  2. The Devastating Business Impacts of a Cyber Breach - HBR
  3. Hundreds of Businesses, From Sweden to U.S., Affected by Cyberattack - Nytimes