Network and system vulnerabilities can be discovered and evaluated by a combination of vulnerability scanning and penetration testing (also known as “pen testing” or “ethical hacking”). Although they have certain similarities, there are also significant distinctions:

Pen testing, or penetration testing, is a cyberattack performed by ethical hackers to find security flaws that may be used in a genuine assault. The testers simulate an attack by attempting to access restricted areas of a system or steal confidential information using the same methods and tools as would be used by a real attacker. They will also look for weaknesses in the company’s reaction to incidents. Both external and internal parties can conduct pen tests, and each can focus on different aspects of security.

However, vulnerability scanning is an automated method of finding security flaws in a system or network. To check for typical security flaws and configuration errors including unpatched software and weak passwords, it employs a set of software tools. Scanning for vulnerabilities is an external process that does not mimic actual attacks.

Since it is done by human testers and attempts to replicate a real-world attack, pen testing is more in-depth and lengthy. A report is also sent that describes the security holes discovered, how to replicate them, and what can be done to fix them.

Vulnerability scanning is faster and more automated than manual checks, but it only looks for the most common security flaws and configuration errors; it doesn’t try to mimic a real-world attack, and it might not even provide a report with a thorough explanation of the vulnerabilities and how to fix them.

Vulnerability scanning is automated and scans for known vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, whereas pen testing is performed by human testers simulating a real-world assault. Each has a place in determining how secure a given network or system is, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so they should be utilised in tandem for the most complete evaluation.