7 Best Network Penetration Testing Tools

One of the more popular methods of cybersecurity, online penetration testing is an effective way of evaluating the existing incident security response and resolving the security risks to increase protection. While 100% protection isn’t possible, it’s always a good strategy to follow the ‘prevention is better than cure’ practice. This is especially true since there is a wide range of testing methods such as network penetration testing, web application penetration testing, mobile application penetration testing, etc.

Network penetration testing is an ethical form of hacking to understand the potential security issues within the company network by designing specific attack methods. The role of network penetration testing tools here is to simplify the process that can effectively target the problem areas and come out with results.

7 Network Penetration Testing Tools Commonly Used

There are different network penetration testing tools currently available in the market that are used for various purposes within the process.

  1. Metasploit

One of the more commonly used network penetration testing automation frameworks, Metasploit helps testing teams in managing security assessments while encouraging optimal protection. The tool has the provision for the network security professional to break in through weak endpoints and identify the security loopholes that made this possible.

Some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • Test data for 1500+ exploiting scenarios
  • Network segmentation tests with the help of MetaModules
  • Flexible use on servers, networks, and applications
  • Attack methods include manual brute force attacks, spear phishing, and the provision for testing OWASP vulnerabilities
  1. Acunetix Scanner

This automated testing tool can audit complicated management reports, check for compliance standards, and monitor a range of network and out-of-band vulnerabilities. One of the main benefits of the tool is its ability to integrate with web application firewalls (WAFs) and other popular issue trackers, giving it a high detection rate for cross-scripting (XSS) and SQL injection attacks.

Some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • Has a Login Sequence Recorder that is easily implemented for monitoring password-protected areas
  • Can run either locally or through a cloud-based solution
  • Crawls thousands of web pages in a short time period to detect 4500+ weaknesses such as XSS and SQLi attacks
  • Other provisions are the AcuSensor technology, built-in vulnerability management, and manual penetration testing tools to simplify white and black box network penetration testing for better remediation
  1. Ettercap

Mainly designed to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM), the Ettercap suite can build customized pockets for completing specific tasks. It also has the ability to send in invalid frames and complete techniques, a more difficult task with other tools.

Some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • Can be used for both network and host analysis
  • Does deep pocket sniffing along with LAN testing
  • Conducts active and passive in-depth analysis of protections along with content filtering
  1. Nessus

This is one of the most popular network penetration testing tools available in the market and is best used for scanning IP addresses, websites, and conducting searches for sensitive data for detecting weak spots in the network.

Some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • Can scan mobile and web applications, the network, and the cloud environment for prioritized solutions
  • Creates customized reports for all the vulnerabilities detected with all of the details
  • Identifies missing security patches and the presence of malware
  1. Kali Linux

An open-source software, this Linux-based tool is best suited for injection attacks and password snipping and provides the best results if the testing team has previous skills in TCP/IP protocol. The tool also provides version-tracking features, meta-packages, and tool listings.

Some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • Has over 600 ethical hacking tools and allows brute force password cracking with its 64-bit support
  • Allows vulnerability analysis, exploitation tools, hardware hacking, spoofing, sniffing, reverse engineering, password cracking, forensic tools, and wireless attacks along with tools for WLAN and LAN vulnerability scanning
  • Uses a live image loaded onto the RAM for assessing the skills of the ethical hacker
  • Integrates with other network penetration testing tools such as Metasploit and Wireshark
  1. Wireshark

This tool is a network analyzer and can both capture and analyze network packets in different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

Some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • Captures data packets to understand different minor details such as source and destination protocols
  • Can supervise the smallest details concerning activities within the network
  • Allows live-capture and offline analysis along with coloring rules for speedy analysis
  1. Cain & Abel

Cain & Abel is best suited for procuring network keys and passwords through ethical hacking and uses network sniffing to find out different vulnerabilities.

Some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • Recovery of lost passwords
  • Use network sniffers, brute force attacks, and cryptanalysis attacks

There are different penetration testing tools suited for every aspect of the company network which means that adequate research should be conducted before conducting the right kind of testing. In this case, network penetration testing allows for the evaluation of the strength of the network and identifying associated vulnerabilities such as weak endpoints.


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