Skip to content

Cyber Security Testing vs. Penetration Testing - What is the difference?

Understand more about cyber security testing versus penetration testing because penetration testing involves attacking a system, while security testing is performed to defend against that attack.

Cyber Security Testing vs. Penetration Testing - What is the difference?

Security measures for APIs


It is amazing how many people are confused between security testing and penetration testing. Security testing cannot replace the importance of penetration testing, and penetration testing, on its own, cannot secure the entire network.

Security testing involves the measures taken to be protected from various types of cyber threats. Whereas penetration testing is the practice of attempting common hacking techniques and exploits on an application with the owner's permission. The main intention of penetration testing is to identify the security weaknesses and resolve them.

Let's take a look at security testing vs penetration testing processes as we will be explaining the difference between cyber security and penetration testing.

What is cyber security testing?

Cyber security testing uses multiple tactics and methodologies to measure how effective your current cyber security strategy is against potential attacks. It identifies critical vulnerabilities that are actively used in the industry to launch cyber-attacks.

Here are the 7 main types of cyber security testing:

  1. Scan for vulnerabilities 
  2. Safety scanning 
  3. Penetration Testing
  4. Risk assessment
  5. Safety check 
  6. Ethical hacking
  7. Security Posture Assessment
Mobile and Web App Testing

Goal of cyber security tests

The main goal of cyber security testing is to identify the threats in your system and measure its potential vulnerabilities. The threats can be encountered by performing these tests, and your system will not stop functioning or can not be exploited by hackers.

It also helps detect all possible security risks in your system and allows developers to fix the problems through coding.

What are penetration tests?

Penetration testing is a type of cyber security testing in which an organisation hires a certified professional to assess the strength of its cyber security defences. The penetration tester is given access to a certain amount of privileged information, and they attempt to use it until they find some sensitive information.

Several types of penetration tests focus on specific aspects of an organisation's logical perimeter, including:

First step of app development process

External network tests

This test look for vulnerabilities and security issues in an organisation's servers, network services, hosts, and devices.

white number 2 on orange background

Internal network tests

This test assesses the damage an attacker can do when they gain access to an organisation's internal systems.

Third step in app development process

Web application testing

This test looks for insecure development practices in the design, coding, and publishing of a website or software.

Fourth step of app development process

Tests for wireless networks

This test assesses vulnerabilities in wireless systems. This includes Wi-Fi, rogue access points to a weak encryption algorithm.

Fifth step of app development process

Phishing penetration testing

This test assesses employees' susceptibility to scam emails.

Aim of penetration testing

The primary goal of penetration testing is to identify security weaknesses in a network or piece of software. Once they are caught, those maintaining the software or systems can eliminate or reduce the weaknesses before hostile parties discover them.

App Developer Salzburg

Pentesting as part of cybersecurity

The best offence is a good defence to protect your company's sensitive and valuable data. A solid cyber security strategy is one that keeps data safe and identifies areas of weakness and vulnerability before it goes in the wrong hand. This is why penetration testing needs to be part of your cyber security testing strategy. Using penetration testing as part of cyber security testing is used to identify vulnerabilities and areas to improve.

The best offense is a good defense to protect your company's sensitive and valuable data. A solid cyber security strategy is one that protects data and exposes vulnerabilities and weaknesses before they fall into the wrong hands. For this reason, you need to Penetration testing Be part of your cyber security strategy. With the help of penetration testing as part of cybersecurity testing, the following will be Weaknesses and areas for improvement identified.

Cybersecurity testing tools

The tools for testing cyber security.

  • Metasploit
  • NMAP
  • Wireshark
  • Aircrack-ng
  • John the Ripper
  • Nessus
  • Burpsuite

Cybersecurity testing procedures

The Cybersecurity testing process includes the following phases.

    1. Determination of the scope
    2. Gathering information 
    3. Planning and analysis
    4. Vulnerability detection
    5. Penetration testing
    6. Reporting and analysis
    7. Remediation Testing

Penetration testing process

The pen testing process can be divided into five phases.

  1. Planning and exploration
  2. Scan
  3. Gain access
  4. Maintaining access
  5. Analysis

We want to know about your App idea

Get your free initial consultation

Marc Mueller appleute

Get your security testing done with appleute

appleute and MoreMVP

As a deep-dive security testing provider, appleute uncovers vulnerabilities that put your organisation at risk and also provide guidance to mitigate them. We bring together the security research and industry-leading security engineers to identify and mitigate the minutest risk existing in your system. So whether your focus is the website, web apps, or mobile apps, we have the specialists to fit your unique needs.

While often overlooked, we take pride in our documentation and cyber security testing report. Designed to the needs of technical engineers and executive leadership alike, our cyber security testing reports effectively outline both risk summary and vulnerability details.

Contact our security experts today.