What is a Web Application Penetration Test?

Web applications are some of the most common types of software in use today and employing web application penetration testing ensures the associated organisational risk is appropriately managed.

Web application penetration tests seek to identify any security issues which result from either imperfect development practices during the design, coding, and publishing of a website or software, or from the use of outdated system components. It’s the process of using penetration testing techniques to detect any vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by malicious actors.

  • Gain significant assurance around the security posture of any web application
  • Access a dedicated team of specialist penetration testers who use the latest threat intelligence to accurately assess emerging threats
  • Make constant improvements to a web application’s security posture via ongoing specialist remedial advice

Nettitude’s consultants are highly capable of penetration testing web applications, web services, APIs and more, across an extremely large range of technologies.

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Why Web Application Security Matters

  • As modern web applications increasingly handle highly sensitive data, it’s vital that their safety is evaluated and tested regularly, reducing risks posed to your organisation.
  • Secure web applications ensure that your business runs smoothly, without daily disruptions that can take attention away from other more pressing tasks.
  • Knowing that your web application is secure will increase the efficiency of your IT staff, allowing them to focus on doing their job instead of dealing with web application faults.
  • Secure and smoothly-running web applications contribute positively to your brand image and reputation. Customers are sensitive to disruptions in web applications so one that always works well is an asset to any business.
  • Businesses of all sizes need to build trust among customers by providing assurance that their data will be safely processed and stored.
  • Your business will prevent profit losses caused by security breaches, as prevention through increased security always costs less, and is a better investment, than dealing with breaches and disruptions.
  • This allows your business to avoid being blacklisted by search engines – you can lose up to 95% of organic traffic if your web application contains something harmful for the user, like malware.

What are the Risks?

Statistics from 2018 found that the majority of web applications were susceptible to the following risks:

  • Each application contained an average of 33 vulnerabilities, with a number of high severity vulnerabilities.
  • In 19% of tested applications, the attacker was able to gain control of the application and server OS.
  • Many of the vulnerabilities found were due to coding errors, and configuration changes only fixed 17% of those vulnerabilities.
  • It was found that an attacker could obtain personal data from 18 percent of web applications handling such data – almost all tested web applications (91%) store and process personal data.

Benefits of Web Application Testing

  • Each web application’s functionality is assessed by Nettitude from an end user perspective to gain a unique understanding which allows flaws to be uncovered that are often otherwise missed.
  • Priority is given to the flaws identified by the client prior to the test.
  • Nettitude are specialists in identifying application attack chains as it’s often the case that the overall impact caused by a series of flaws is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • We analyse and exploit design, implementation, and operational vulnerabilities as part of the core web application penetration test, going beyond industry testing frameworks (such as the OWASP Top 10) to ensure all possible weaknesses are adequately tested.

Why Choose Nettitude?

Nettitude is an award-winning provider of cyber security, compliance, managed security, infrastructure and incident response services to organisations in North America, Canada, Asia Pacific and further afield. Nettitude also delivers services across the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East from its EMEA headquarters in Warwickshire, England.

Our highly regarded accreditations are underpinned by the rigorous quality of our practices and procedures, which are demonstrated throughout Nettitude.

All of our testers are certified by CREST – an international not-for-profit accreditation and certification body that represents and supports the technical information security market.

Nettitude’s Research and Innovation team publishes cutting-edge security research that aims to educate and advance the knowledge of the industry’s practitioners. All of our testers have access to propriety testing tools and real-time threat intelligence information.

Nettitude is also a PCI ASVPCI QSA, P2PE QSA, PA QSA and ISO 27001 lead auditor.

Our Guarantee – A Customer First Attitude

Our customers are our key focus. We always go the extra mile to provide our clients with an excellent customer service experience in all of their dealings with Nettitude. We deliver on time, on budget, and with the consistent levels of quality that our clients all expect.

How It Works – Engagement

The aim of the engagement is that both breadth of review coverage and depth of exploitation ex is achieved. That’s why Nettitude uses a combination of manual and automated tools – alongside varied techniques – throughout each engagement. We utilise well-configured off the shelf software toolsets and custom-made tools where the task requires a more individualised approach.

Our methodology moves from initial discovery exercises through to in-depth exploitation, following the below steps:

  1. Reconnaissance and threat intelligence gathering
  2. Enumeration
  3. Vulnerability Discovery
  4. Exploitation
  5. Post Exploitation

Technical Delivery Details

The team at Nettitude are CREST-certified penetration testers, with a wealth of experience in the fields of security and software development.

Nettitude is highly capable of penetration testing web applications, web services, APIs and more, across an extremely large range of technologies. Nettitude will ensure that your organisation:

  • Gains significant assurance around the security posture of any web application
  • Can access a dedicated team of specialist penetration testers who use the latest threat intelligence to accurately assess emerging threats
  • Undergoes constant improvements to its web application security posture via ongoing specialist remedial advice

Reporting and Output

It is important for each web application penetration test to result in clear and actionable output.

We deliver a management report and a technical report at the end of each engagement. The management report is designed to be consumed by a business audience and describes the engagement in terms of risk. The technical report is typically a longer document that describes each of the findings in detail, alongside appropriate remedial advice. These reports are subjected to a rigorous quality assurance process before final delivery.

At the request of the client ahead of the engagement, Nettitude can tailor the web application penetration testing output in a multitude of ways to meet organisation specific requirements.

Remedial Advice

Our web application penetration testers all have robust programming ability and typically have professional software developer backgrounds. This ensures that the advice given, and the tests performed, are useful and relevant.

Nettitude understands that one of the most valuable portions of any engagement is the formulation of remedial and preventative strategy. Our consultants are on hand, both during and after the engagement, to provide in-depth guidance based on years of unique experience.

Debriefs and Beyond

Nettitude believes that it is important to ensure that full comprehension of the engagement has been achieved. All web application penetration testing engagements come with a debrief or ‘readout’ as standard. The reports will be delivered in advance of the debrief in order to give time for the organisation to digest the content and to formulate any questions or thoughts ahead of time.