5 Popular Open Source Penetration Testing Methodologies

5 Popular Open Source Penetration Testing Methodologies

  • Admin
  • December 16, 2020
  • 0

open source penetration testing methodologies

Penetration testing is the process of identifying security vulnerabilities. A penetration test can provide widely different result according to which methodologies and standards are used. Updated penetration testing standard and methodology provides a viable option for companies who need to secure their systems and fix their cyber security vulnerabilities.

Here are five penetration testing methodologies and standards which guarantee a return on your investment.

Open Source Penetration Testing Methodologies

#1. Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM)

The OSSTMM frame work is one of the most recognised standards in the industry. The OSSTMM provides a scientific methodology for network penetration testing and vulnerability assessment. This frame work contains a comprehensive guide for testers to identify security vulnerabilities with in a network from various potential angles of attack.

The OSSTMM methodology relies on the testers in depth knowledge and experience as well as human intelligence to interpret the identified vulnerabilities and their potential impact.

OSSTMM provides guidance on how to test the operational security of five channels so the organisation can understand the full extent of their security and determine how well their security processes actually function.

These five channels include:

  • Human security: security of human interaction and communication is evaluated operationally.
  • Physical security: any tangible element of security that takes physical effort to operate.
  • Wireless communication: electronic communication and signals are considered wireless communications that are part of the operational security testing.
  • Telecommunication: any communication conducted over telephone or network lines are tested in the OSSTMM.
  • Data network: security test which includes electronic systems and data networks that are used for communication via cable and wired network lines.

OSSTMM methodology allows testers to customize their assessment to fit the specific needs or the technological context of your company, due to this you will obtain an accurate overview of your networks cyber security as well as reliable solutions.

#2. Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)

For all subject of application security the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is the most recognised standard in the industry. OWASP is based on black box approach. The OWASP testing methodology divides the test in to two parts, passive mode and active mode.

become a penetration tester

The tester tries to understand the application logic and plays with the application. OWASP framework provides a methodology for application penetration testing that can not only identify vulnerabilities commonly found within web and mobile applications but also complicated logic flaws that originates from unsafe development.

The updated guide provides comprehensive guidelines for each penetration testing method, allowing testers to identify vulnerabilities with in a wide variety of functionalities found.

 #3. National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST)

National institute of standards and technologies (NIST) offers more specific guidelines for penetration testing. The testing methodology developed by NIST is functionally driven.

The activities of forensic investigations are separated in to discrete functions or categories, such as hard disk write protection, disk imaging, string searching etc. The NIST provides a manual that is best suited to improve the overall cyber security of an organisation.

The most recent version places more emphasis on the critical infrastructure. The NIST frame work is often a regulatory requirement for various providers and business partners.

In the frame work NIST set its sight on guaranteeing information security in different industries like banking, communications and energy. Also large and small firms can tailor the standards to meet their specific needs.

#4. Penetration Testing Methodologies and Standards (PTES)

Penetration Testing Methodologies and Standards (PTES) is a structured approach to penetration testing. PTES balances guides phases with organisational vulnerabilities.

The standard is organised in sections that define what should be included in a quality penetration test. The standard guides testers on various steps of a penetration test including initial communication, threat modelling phases.

Following the standards, the testers acquaint themselves with the organisation and their technological side as much as possible before the exploiting the vulnerable areas. Allowing them to identify advanced scenarios of attacks.

The testes are also provided with the guidelines to perform post exploitation if necessary, validate the previously identified vulnerabilities have been successfully fixed. The seven phases in these standards guarantee a successful penetration test.

#5. Information System Security Assessment Framework (ISSAF)

The ISSAF standards contain an even more structured and specialized approach to penetration testing than the other standards. If your organisation requires an advanced methodology entirely personalised to the organisation context then this methodology is the best.

These sets of standards enable a tester to plan and document every step of the penetration testing procedure, from planning and assessment to reporting and destroying. Pen testers who use a combination of different tools find ISSAF crucial as they can tie each step to a particular tool.

In the network, as the threats and hacking technologies continue to evolve in various industries, they need to improve their cyber security testing approach to ensure that the companies stay up to date with the latest technologies and potential attack scenarios.


Installing and implementing up to date cyber security frame work will help you with that, in fact, this is the first step which will help you with improving their cyber security approach. These penetration testing standards and methodologies provide an excellent standard to assess your cyber security and offer recommendations to your context so that you can be well protected from the hacker side.



Building No:65/1094-A, First Floor, Kassim Building, Sebastian Road, opposite Max, Kaloor, Ernakulam, Pin:682017

Enquire now