Keeping data secure from cybercriminals is never easy. Fortunately, we have penetration testing- a hacker-style testing method that will help you find flaws the same as a hacker does so you can go about fixing them. To do this effectively, you need a methodology that outlines the steps you will take during the testing process. In this blog post, we will discuss ten steps you can follow for a successful software penetration test.

Understanding penetration testing:

First, we ought to be clear on what this entails.

Penetration testing involves simulating attacks against your systems, much like a hacker. However, you tend to do this in a test environment so that no real data is affected. The goal is to find and fix vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by cybercriminals.

10-Step Methodology for Software Penetration Testing:

This methodology should be tailored to your specific needs, but it provides a good starting point.

Step One: Planning and Preparation

At this point, you should be prepared, and all of the things you’ll need for the test should be identified. You’ll want to develop a plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and tactics. You’ll also need to gather information about the target system, such as what software is being used and what kind of data is stored.

Step Two: Reconnaissance

Start gathering information on the target systems which you will be testing. This can include things like email IDs and IP addresses, looking for publicly exposed data, and profiling the organization’s employees. The more data you have, the more flexibility you will have when launching your attacks.

Step Three: Scanning

Now it’s time to start attacking the target system. This step involves using tools like Nmap and Wireshark to identify vulnerabilities and map out the network architecture. You should also be looking for sensitive data during this phase.

Step Four: Gaining Access

This is where the real fun begins! In this step, you’ll be attempting to exploit any vulnerabilities you found in previous steps. This may include trying to guess passwords, exploiting software flaws, or social engineering techniques.

Step Five: Maintaining Access

You must make sure you can maintain access to the target system after you’ve gained it. This may involve installing backdoors or setting up rootkits. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the longer you stay inside, the more damage you can do.

Step Six: Escalating privileges

Now that you have access, it’s time to start taking things up a notch. In this stage, you’ll use exploits to get administrative or root access to the target system. With these elevated privileges, you can do a lot of damage.

Step Seven: Cleaning Up

This is the final step in the attack process. In this step, you’ll be cleaning up any traces of your activities and erasing any evidence that you were ever there. You’ll also want to fix any vulnerabilities you may have discovered during the attack.

Step Eight: Reporting

When the test is finished, it’s time to prepare a report describing your findings. This report should include everything from the planning stages to the final results. Be as thorough as possible so that you can help the organization fix any vulnerabilities found.

Step Nine: Follow-Up

After the report is written, it’s not over yet! The organization needs to take action on your findings and implement any necessary fixes. It’s also important to follow up with them to ensure that everything was handled correctly.

Step Ten: Repeat

The best way to stay safe from cyberattacks is by constantly testing your systems for vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s important to repeat this process regularly and keep track of all changes made to the target system.

What if I can’t perform these penetration tests on my own?

Fret not. There are plenty of penetration testing tool providers out there. Companies like these house experts in this field who will perform the job professionally. Some even specialize in testing to meet compliance requirements.

How do I choose the right provider?

It might appear difficult, but here’s what you can do to make it easier. Firstly, you should ask for referrals from other businesses or organizations that have used these services before. You should also take into account the size of the provider, the type of tests they offer, and their experience with your specific industry. Finally, read reviews from previous clients to determine what to anticipate.


So there you have it! The ten-step methodology for software penetration testing. You can ensure the safety of your organization’s systems and data by following these steps. If you can’t perform these tests on your own, don’t worry – there are plenty of providers who can do it for you. Check out testimonials from previous customers to get an indication of what to expect.