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The scanning and enumeration phase of penetration tests is vital, so what are the best free tools you can use to create this solid pentest foundation?

The scanning and enumeration phase is crucial to every penetration tester's methodology and process. It is important to gather information about the network you are carrying a pentest on before you actually begin testing. 

So what does this really mean? And whar are the best tools to help you during the scanning and enumeration phase of your pentest?

Scanning and enumeration entails gathering information about the network or asset you are carrying out a penetration test on. This includes scanning the network to identify live hosts, IP addresses, open ports, services running on those ports, and the operating systems of the machines.

It's an important part of reconnaissance because it provides you with information on the target, helps you understand the network's infrastructure, discover potential weak points, and assess its overall security posture.