WEB APPLICATION TESTING

The majority of web applications today are highly functional, often powering critical business functions and containing and processing sensitive data. This presents a real world opportunity for threat actors to exploit vulnerabilities within web applications for nefarious purposes.

Web application penetration testing is a type of service where the primary goal is to identify security vulnerabilities that exist within a web application via a simulated attack from an authorized security professional, in order to improve security posture and provide assurance.

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Does Your Web Application Need To Be Tested?

Web applications are ubiquitous and will continue to be right at the core of business operations for the foreseeable future. Web application penetration tests can be complex engagements and require skilled penetration testers to meet the objectives.

 
  • Web application penetration tests seek to identify and address security vulnerabilities before malicious attackers discover them.
  • The most serious web application vulnerabilities can expose highly sensitive information or provide unauthorized and unrestricted access to business resources.
  • It is the job of a penetration tester to identify these vulnerabilities, and provide comprehensive reporting and remediation advice.
  • Often the objective of a test is to provide assurance to stakeholders, third party suppliers or customer that the application is secure.
  • Penetration testing can also be a means of achieving compliance with various standards to provide a level of assurance, for example the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

How Does Web App Pen Testing Work?

During a web app pentest, the tester takes a systematic approach that simulates the steps a methodical hacker would take, based on an individual organizations requirements and primary security concerns. A highly skilled security professional will aim to identify any vulnerabilities that may exist within a web application, typically in an agreed upon time frame, utilizing a combination of automated tools and manual exploitation. They will focusing on key security mechanisms, including but not limited to:
 
  • Authentication
  • Session Management
  • Access Controls
  • Handling User Input
  • Handling Attackers

How Does Web App Pen Testing Work?

During a web app pentest, the tester takes a systematic approach that simulates the steps a methodical hacker would take, based on an individual organizations requirements and primary security concerns. A highly skilled security professional will aim to identify any vulnerabilities that may exist within a web application, typically in an agreed upon time frame, utilizing a combination of automated tools and manual exploitation. They will focusing on key security mechanisms, including but not limited to:

The Benefits For Your Organization

The core security problems that have arisen since the introduction of web applications and continue to do so as web applications evolve, present the need for businesses to conduct web application penetration tests. Applications are at risk from a variety of web application vulnerabilities including:

 

  • SQL Injection
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • Broken Access Controls
  • Sensitive Data Exposure
  • Broken Authentication
The primary benefit of conducting a web application penetration test is a highly skilled security professional will attack your web application in a safe structured environment with the intention of identifying vulnerabilities before a malicious attacker will. Attackers pose a serious threat to businesses who deploy web applications and users who access them, by obtaining the insight a penetration test offers, businesses can suitably assess the risk to their assets and accordingly address risks. Additional benefits that a web application penetration test offers:
  • Providing a level of assurance from a trusted security vendor to reassure stakeholders / customers.
  • Adhering to industry wide compliance standards or data protection laws.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of security policies that are in place.
  • Improvements to business reputation and trust from users of the applications.

Why Nettitude?

Nettitude’s security testers hold the highest technical qualifications available to provide real world, human led testing services, with a large team of CREST and Offensive Security certified penetration testers. Nettitude possess a vast array of experience across a varied team in order to provide services for a range of different technologies and unique complex web applications, leading to the highest level of assurance possible.

About Our Testing

Nettitude’s technical delivery of a web application penetration test comprises of a well-defined methodology that is utilized to accomplish full coverage of a target web application. The penetration test will be expertly scoped to ensure that a tester is provided the correct timeframe to complete the engagement. Nettitude will work closely with clients to fully understand the objectives and primary security concerns of the test prior to the engagement beginning. Once the engagement commences, Nettitude utilizes a refined methodology that moves from initial discovery exercises through to in-depth exploitation:

  • Reconnaissance and threat intelligence gathering
  • Enumeration
  • Vulnerability
  • Discovery
  • Exploitation
  • Post Exploitation
Nettitude will use a range of industry standard automated tools to efficiently map, scan and identify a number of vulnerabilities. Automated testing will be combined with in depth manual testing techniques used to analyze situations and find more intricate vulnerabilities. Nettitude will go above and beyond simplified lists such as the OWASP top 10 and ensure that as many vulnerabilities as possible are identified. A report explaining each vulnerability with detailed exploitation steps and remediation advice is provided upon completion of the engagement, and Nettitude consultants will work side by side with businesses to improve the security posture of an application, be it ongoing support or additional technical assistance.

FAQ

What is the time frame for a web application penetration test?

The time required to complete a web application depends on a number of factors including the size and complexity of the application, the level of assurance sought, and the methodology used to conduct the test. Most web application tests take between five and ten days to complete, although there are outliers that take more or less time than that.

How much does a web application penetration test cost?

The cost of a web application is a direct function of how long it takes. Nettitude works with its clients to determine the best cost to value ratio, based on a number of factors.

What’s the difference between a penetration test and a vulnerability assessment?

A penetration test involves a significant amount of manual effort. It is conducted by one or more experts in web application security. Often, seemingly low severity vulnerabilities are chained together to achieve high impact. A penetration test will typically reveal vulnerabilities that require an elevated level of human understanding and ingenuity to identify. Vulnerability assessments rely more heavily on automated methods of assessment. Consequently, the human factor is minimized and with it, the level of assurance achieved is lower.

How often should you perform a web application penetration test?

There’s no single right answer to this. It is widely considered a best practice to perform penetration tests on a regular schedule (at least once per year) or any time significant new functionality or other code or architectural changes are introduced. Integrating security into a secure software development lifecycle is preferable.

What is the difference between and external and internal web application test?

An external web application penetration test will target a web application that is accessible on the Internet, whereas an internal web application test would involve testing a web application that is used internally in a business, for example on an Intranet.

What certifications do Nettitude web application penetration testers have?

Nettitude prizes experience and capability of certification, and employs only the most capable people at all levels. Certification is still an important element of demonstrating capability, and consequently Nettitude web application penetration testers hold an array of relevant certifications such as CREST CCT (Application), Offensive Security OSCP, Offensive Security OSCE, and many more.

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