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5 Cobalt alternatives to consider in 2024

Did you know that worldwide cybercrime costs are projected to reach a staggering $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, highlighting the critical need for more robust cybersecurity measures, according to Cybersecurity Ventures? Interestingly, this figure shows a slight decrease from the earlier prediction of $9.5 trillion in costs for 2024, indicating a somewhat lower-than-expected growth rate in cybercrime expenses.

In order to maintain a secure environment, you need to have expert security professionals equipped with advanced penetration testing tools who can detect and eliminate vulnerabilities in your systems. If you are contemplating using Cobalt or exploring other options, read about the top Cobalt alternatives we have identified in this category.

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What is a penetration test tool, and why do you need one?

A penetration testing tool, commonly known as a pentesting tool, is a type of software specifically crafted to evaluate the security of computer systems, networks, and web applications. Cybersecurity experts and ethical hackers primarily use these tools to mimic cyberattacks. This simulation helps pinpoint vulnerabilities and security gaps that malicious hackers could exploit. Utilizing these tools enables organizations to strengthen their digital defenses, ensuring they are well-equipped to handle actual cyber threats in the real world.

Cobalt overview


Cobalt.io is a platform specializing in Pentest as a Service (PtaaS), aiming to modernize the traditional approach to penetration testing. This service is built around a Software as a Service (SaaS) model and features a community of highly vetted testers. The primary purpose of Cobalt.io is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of penetration testing, which is a critical aspect of cybersecurity.

We love Cobalt, and it's a great tool. But you're probably thinking about building a list of pentesting alternatives to Cobalt to consider. If you are, try out the below services tools and businesses to supplement your pentesting in 2024.

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1. Astra Pentest – “Uncover vulnerabilities before hackers”


Best for: Ideal for SaaS providers, eCommerce site owners, and public offices catering to various regions and industries.

Why is Astra Pentest included in this list?

The Astra Pentest platform is an all-encompassing third-party penetration testing suite for various digital platforms. It provides a solution for testing web applications, mobile applications, APIs, and cloud infrastructures. This tool uniquely combines an Astra Vulnerability Scanner with manual penetration testing abilities. It operates as a plug-and-play, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool, offering easy use through simple URL and credential inputs.

Key features according to their website

Astra vulnerability scanner

  • Capable of conducting over 8000 tests, covering critical vulnerabilities like the OWASP top 10 and SANS 25.
  • Vulnerability dashboard enables effective tracking and management of vulnerabilities.
  • Expert vetting ensures the scan results are reliable and free of false positives.

Penetration testing

  • Conducts in-depth, hacker-style testing, uncovering complex issues like business logic errors and payment gateway hacks.
  • Suitable for web, mobile, API, and cloud configuration reviews.
Pentest reports

  • Includes video proofs of concept (PoCs) and detailed remediation guidelines.
  • Enables direct interaction with security engineers for resolving complex issues.
Pentest certificate

  • Offers a publicly verifiable pentest certificate valid for 6 months or until the next major code update.

2. vPenTest –“Identify your risks to cyber attacks in real-time”


Best for: This platform is particularly beneficial for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and useful for internal IT teams of businesses. It allows MSPs to offer comprehensive cybersecurity protection to their small and medium business (SMB) clients, and for internal teams, it provides an efficient way to evaluate cybersecurity risks in real-time​.

Why is vPenTest included in this list?

vPenTest, a creation of Vonahi Security, stands as a sophisticated automated network penetration testing platform crafted to optimize cybersecurity evaluations. Utilizing cloud technology, vPenTest efficiently conducts security tests, focusing on safeguarding web and cloud applications from potential vulnerabilities. With a keen emphasis on cloud-based penetration testing, it adapts to the growing reliance on cloud infrastructure, offering a competitive advantage in our progressively digital environment.

Key features according to their website

Flexibility in testing

  • Users can perform internal or external network penetration tests at any time and as frequently as desired, providing extensive coverage beyond automated vulnerability scans​​.
Advanced attack simulation

  • vPenTest simulates real-world hacking techniques by searching for sensitive data, exploiting vulnerabilities, conducting man-in-the-middle attacks, cracking password hashes, escalating network privileges, and impersonating users​​.
Regular and real-time testing

  • It allows for monthly testing or testing as new threats emerge, enabling organizations to schedule tests quickly and monitor their risk profile nearly in real time. The reports generated show trending data to track improvements over time​​.
Real-time monitoring and integration

  • The platform offers real-time activity logs that can be correlated with an organization's. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and incident response procedures. This helps in identifying gaps in security monitoring controls​​.

Ease of deployment and control

  • vPenTest enables users to deploy an agent, schedule assessments, and receive detailed reports within a few days. Users have complete control over the schedule, frequency, and scope of each assessment​​.
Expertise and certification

  • The platform is backed by the expertise of eCPPT, OSCP, and OSCE-certified consultants with over a decade of experience and more than 13 industry certifications. This equates to having a team of seasoned penetration testers at your disposal with just a few clicks​​.
Comprehensive reporting

  • vPenTest provides detailed reports within 48 hours after the completion of a penetration test, including an executive summary, current threat distribution, and specific findings​.

3. Intigriti – “Penetration Testing as a Service reimagined”


Best for: The service is adaptable to businesses at different stages of development, offering scalability and flexibility in cybersecurity testing.

Why is Intigriti included in this list?

Intigriti's Hybrid PenTesting is a unique cybersecurity service that blends the flexibility of bug bounty programs with the structured approach of traditional penetration testing. It's part of Intigriti's broader offerings as a leading crowdsourced security platform in Europe.

Key features according to their website

Faster results

  • Hybrid Pentesting delivers results significantly faster than traditional penetration tests, often within just two weeks. This rapid turnaround is crucial in the fast-evolving threat landscape​​.
  • Access to expert ethical hackers
  • The service grants access to a vast community of skilled, ethical hackers with proven track records, hand-picked for specific projects​​​​.
Real-time results and reporting

  • Clients can see live updates and reports through Intigriti's platform during testing and receive a final detailed report upon completion​​​​​​.
Compliance support

  • Intigriti's Hybrid Pentests support compliance-focused security testing, offering letters of attestation for compliance requirements​​.
A sustainable model for researchers

  • Unlike traditional bug bounty hunting, this model ensures that researchers are paid for the time they spend searching for vulnerabilities and bounty for individual bugs found​.

4. WireShark – “The world’s most popular network protocol analyzer”


Best for: Its primary users include government entities, cybersecurity experts, network managers, and ethical hackers.

Why is WireShark included in this list?

WireShark, a well-known open-source tool for penetration testing, excels in protocol analysis and detailed observation of network activities. Its status as a key network penetration testing tool is bolstered by contributions from thousands of security professionals globally. This tool enables the capture and examination of network traffic, protocol inspection, and resolving network performance issues. Additional functionalities include decrypting various protocols and capturing live data from ethernet, LAN, USB, etc.

However, it's crucial to understand that WireShark is not an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). While it's effective in visualizing irregular packets, it cannot alert users to malicious activities on the network.

Key features according to their website

Protocol inspection

  • It offers deep inspection of hundreds of protocols, regularly adding new ones​​.
Live capture and offline analysis

  • Users can capture data in real-time or analyze previously captured network data​​.
Multi-platform support

  • Wireshark runs on various platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, and NetBSD​​.
Flexible data browsing

  • Network data can be browsed using a GUI or the TTY-mode TShark utility​​.
VoIP analysis

  • Wireshark provides rich analysis capabilities for Voice over IP (VoIP) communications​​.
Extensive file format support

  • It reads and writes many different capture file formats, making it versatile in various environments​​.
Decryption support

  • The tool supports decryption for many protocols, enhancing the ability to analyze encrypted communications​​.
Coloring rules and export options

  • Users can apply coloring rules for quick analysis and export output to formats like XML, PostScript®, CSV, or plain text.

Additional 12 Cobalt alternatives

Here's a compilation of additional penetration testing tools that didn't make it into the top 5 Cobalt alternatives but are certainly worth exploring:
1. Intruder “Outsmart the hackers”: Excellent for identifying proactive security gaps.
2. Darwin AttackThe real-time pentest platform”: Notable for offering continuous vulnerability insights.
3. Pentest-Tools.com “The essential penetration testing tools, all in one place”. Comprehensive tool for online vulnerability scanning.
4. SQLmap “Automatic SQL injection and database takeover tool” .Automated tool for detecting SQL injection vulnerabilities.
5. Verizon Penetration TestingChange your security posture from reactive to proactive.” Ideal for managing risks at an enterprise scale.
6. Beagle Security: One solution for your R&D, cloud, security & compliance teams’ application security needs.” Specialized in website security assessments.
7. Acunetix by Invicti: Manage your web security with Penetration Testing Software.” Robust for thorough web application analysis.
8. w3af:SQL injection, Cross-Site scripting and much more.” Advanced tool for auditing web applications.
9. Kali Linux: The most advanced Penetration Testing Distribution.” Essential toolkit for penetration testers.
Free and open-source:
10. Nikto: A publicly available tool for web server scanning.
11. BeEF: Effective for exploiting web browsers.
12. ZAP by OWASP: Best for open-source web application penetration testing.

Key benefits of penetration testing

  • Penetration testing offers a deep understanding of an organization's security status beyond what a simple vulnerability scan can provide.
  • It allows for a genuine appreciation of risks associated with vulnerabilities, helping to understand the return on investment in security initiatives.
  • Security specialists conducting penetration tests are best equipped to address and resolve vulnerabilities.
  • Management gains a clearer perspective on threats, facilitating informed spending on security measures.
  • The hacker-like methods of penetration testers provide insights into how current security protocols withstand serious threats.
  • Various security regulations often mandate frequent penetration testing.
  • Penetration testing should be ongoing, ideally integrated into the software development lifecycle. Its relevance is time-bound, requiring updates with each new feature or discovered vulnerability.

Final thoughts

You now understand different penetration testing tools that serve as Cobalt alternatives. By choosing a solution like Global App Testing, you are taking a significant step towards creating a more secure environment for your business and its customers. Consult our experts to make the most informed decisions for your organization's cybersecurity. They can help you evaluate your specific needs and implement the necessary measures for robust protection.
Take action today to enhance your cybersecurity, and schedule a call!

We can help you simplify your testing process while keeping it aligned with your business goals

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How do I choose the right penetration testing tool for my organization?

The choice depends on various factors, including your organization's specific needs, the type of systems you need to test, your budget, and the technical expertise of your team.

Is it legal to use penetration testing tools?

Using penetration testing tools is legal as long as it is done within the boundaries of the law and with permission from the owners of the systems being tested. Unauthorized testing can be considered illegal and unethical.

What is the difference between a vulnerability scan and penetration testing?

A vulnerability scan is an automated process that identifies potential security weaknesses. Penetration testing is more comprehensive, involving a simulated cyber attack to exploit these vulnerabilities and assess the impact.

How often should penetration tests be conducted?

The frequency depends on various factors, including the network's size, the data's sensitivity, compliance requirements, and the evolving threat landscape. Generally, conducting tests annually or after significant changes to your systems is recommended.

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