The Best Penetration Testing Tools You Should Use In 2021

The Best Penetration Testing Tools You Should Use In 2021

A penetration test, also known as a “pentest,” is a human-driven security evaluation of a business. A penetration security testing services provider will employ one or more penetration testers to discover and fix bugs in its network setting. Usually, these engagements will involve a series of targets that will be used to assess the distinction between an effective and failed evaluation.

Penetration checks of a system(s) may be carried out for a number of purposes. A penetration test’s most basic objectives include:

Creation of defenses: As organizations’ ecosystems adapt and cyber attacks grow, current defenses can be insufficient to defend against new threats. Penetration monitoring provides useful information on what an entity can detect and defend against, as well as the ability to incorporate or modify protections to improve their effectiveness.

Regulatory compliance: Certain data privacy laws mandate a company to shield those kinds of confidential data from unauthorized access. These regulations can mandate an agency to administer periodic penetration testing to ensure conformity, either directly or indirectly.

Security assessment: Companies need better cybersecurity to help protect their activities and clients, in addition to regulatory enforcement. A penetration test assists in the discovery of flaws and bugs in a company’s cyber defenses.

The importance of a penetration test is determined by a variety of considerations. Each of them is the penetration tester’s expertise and expertise (s). The value of the exercise is reduced if the pen testers cannot correctly replicate a real-world attack.

The methods used by a tester are another significant aspect that determines the value of a pentest. Without the right equipment, a penetration tester can miss or be unable to find weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the target device. As a result, the final report from the pentest will be inaccurate, giving the consumer a false sense of confidence.

The types of tools you’ll need to conduct a good pentest

A penetration tester’s toolkit can include a diverse set of tools, with the tools required varying depending on the specifics of the penetration testing engagement. As a company that provides security testing services, here are our two cents on the types of pentest tools that can be used in a variety of situations:

Port scanners: Port scanners detect available ports on a server, and may help determine the OS and programs of network connectivity that are actually working on it. These machines are used for reconnaissance and to provide information on possible attack vectors.

Vulnerability scanners: These scanners go a little farther than port scanners, attempting to detect programs operating on a device that have identified bugs as well as any configuration errors. Vulnerability scanner results may assist a penetration tester in determining which weakness to exploit for initial entry (if one is available).

Network sniffer: A network sniffer collects and dissects data streaming over a network for review. This allows a penetration tester to detect active programs on a network more subtly and look for exposed passwords or other confidential data streaming through the network.

Password Cracker: Password hashes are a popular target for attackers, and they can be used to extend or elevate an attacker’s access on a target device or network. A penetration tester may use a password cracker to see whether an organization’s workers are using insecure passwords that could be abused.

Web proxy: A web proxy enables a penetration tester to capture and change communication between their browser and the webserver of an enterprise. This allows the tester to look for secret form fields and other HTML elements, as well as find and exploit program vulnerabilities.

This is by no means an illustrative example of the techniques that a penetration tester could use during an engagement. Gaining experience and trust with these instruments, on the other hand, offers a fundamental skill set for a penetration tester.

Most popular pen testing tools of 2021

There are several tools available for each of these five main types of penetration testing tools. The following are some of the best choices for each one


The only commercial tool on this checklist is Nessus. Tenable provides it under a range of various licensing styles. The number of IPs that can be scanned in the free edition is restricted while paying licenses to allow for unrestricted scans and the deployment of several scanners.

Because of its large library of vulnerability signatures, Nessus is the most common vulnerability scanner.

A Nessus scan will look over the target system, locate any operating utilities, and include a list of vulnerabilities discovered, alongside updated data for manipulation and restoration. These scans include a list of possible attack vectors for obtaining access to a target network or device to a penetration tester.

Burp Suite

Portswigger’s Burp Suite is a series of device security research techniques. Burp Proxy, their web proxy, is perhaps the most well-known of these applications.

A penetration tester may use Burp Proxy to conduct a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack by sitting between a web server and a browser (their own or someone else’s).

This allows them to analyze and alter network traffic in real-time, allowing them to identify and manipulate web server bugs or data leakages.


The Network Mapper (Nmap) is software that helps you to analyze a network or system. Nmap comes with a wealth of built-in information in the form of a wide range of scan modes. These various forms of scans are intended to circumvent protections or detect peculiar characteristics that can be used to distinguish certain operating systems or applications.

Nmap strikes a good balance between accessibility and extensibility. The Zenmap GUI offers a point-and-click interface for conducting quick scans for new users. Both Nmap and Zenmap, on the other hand, allow more experienced users to use a series of flags to fine-tune the specifics of their network search.

Both Nmap and Zenmap offer a live report on the scan’s progress and the experiments that were performed. At the conclusion of the scan, a text-based and visual (in Zenmap) result is shown, describing the observed devices, ports, and protocols.


Wireshark is by far the fastest network sniffing platform online. Wireshark has a wide number of integrated protocol dissectors, allowing it to define and break down a variety of network traffic into a coherent fashion. To aid in detecting packets of interest, the Wireshark GUI marks each area of a network packet and includes built-in traffic coloring, filtering, and link following.

Wireshark is something more than a pretty packet dissector under the hood. It comes with a lot of built-in network traffic analysis features which can be expanded to analyze custom traffic. 

This makes it perfect for penetration testing, as it helps testers to remove main elements from a network traffic capture quickly and efficiently.

John the Ripper 

The password breaking tool John the Ripper is well-known and commonly used. It is mainly intended for use on CPUs, but GPUs are supported for faster cracking.

John the Ripper has a wide library of compatible hash formats and supports many of the most popular cracking strategies. It’s also an extremely versatile and customizable tool, enabling users to create custom candidate password formats for dictionary attacks by specifying specific combinations of hash functions.

The Best Pentest Tool Is As Good As The User

Ultimately, you have to be a good penetration tester with all the required skills to use and benefit from these tools. You have to follow the pentest process to find and resolve any vulnerabilities that come up in any system/app. If your business has a mobile app and/or a website, then it is highly recommended to hire a reliable penetration security testing services company. It will resolve any malicious elements of your digital business and mitigate hacker threats.