What are the advantages of manual testing methods?

Manual testing in a penetration test offers several advantages over automated testing methods. The key benefits of manual testing methods are:

  1. Depth and Contextual Understanding: Manual tests enable our pentesters to gain a better understanding of the context of the application or network being tested. This means we can identify logical errors, vulnerabilities due to misconfigurations, and other issues that may be overlooked by automated tools.
  2. Creativity and Adaptability: With manual testing, our pentesters can apply creative and unorthodox methods to find weaknesses. We can adapt our approach based on findings during the test, which is difficult for automated tools.
  3. Identification of Complex Vulnerabilities: Some vulnerabilities are complex and require a combination of different attack techniques to discover. Manual testing methods allow us to comprehend this complexity and respond adequately to dynamic and non-standard situations.
  4. Human Intuition: Our pentesters can use their intuition and experience to recognize unusual patterns or suspicious behavior that may not be detected by automated scanners. For example, we can detect subtle deviations in application logic or user interactions.
  5. Verification of Identified Vulnerabilities: Manual testing methods make it possible to validate findings. If an automated tool detects a potential vulnerability, our pentesters can investigate further to rule out false positives and better assess the impact of the vulnerability.
  6. Evaluation of Business Impact: Manual testing can better assess which vulnerabilities have the greatest impact on business operations. This helps organizations prioritize patching and improving their security measures.
  7. Simulation of Advanced Attacks: Manual testing allows our pentesters to simulate advanced and targeted attack scenarios specifically aimed at the organization's infrastructure and applications. This helps to understand how a real attacker might operate.
  8. Reporting and Advice: Unlike the output from automated security tools, we provide detailed reports that include technical findings, strategic advice, and practical recommendations for improving the client's security.

Throughout our penetration tests, we combine manual testing methods with automated tools for a thorough and holistic approach, enabling a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of security.