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Kali Linux Intrusion and Exploitation Cookbook by Ishan Girdhar, Dhruv Shah

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Penetration testing versus vulnerability assessment

A major difference between penetration testing and vulnerability assessment is essentially the exploitation part. You don't perform exploitation in vulnerability assessment, but exploitation is the main focus and actual result of a penetration test.

Here are some other noteworthy differences:

Differentiators

Vulnerability assessment

Penetration testing

Automation

Can be fully automated, up to the level of satisfactory and reliable results.

Can be automated up to a certain extent but it takes a skilled individual to look for all possible loopholes and actually use that information to exploit and penetrate the system from different entries altogether.

Time

Since it can be automated, ...

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