Web Application Penetration Testing
Test your web applications for security vulnerabilities with a comprehensive security pen test
Web Application Penetration Testing
Ensuring the security of web applications is crucial to protecting sensitive information and preventing potential risks. Our web application penetration testing service at Cyber Legion examines various areas of vulnerability, such as coding errors, broken authentication or authorization, and injection vulnerabilities. We utilize the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS) and OWASP Testing Guide to create a comprehensive framework for evaluating the security of web-based applications. This forms the foundation of our web application assessment methodology. In addition to common OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities, we also conduct manual testing to uncover any weaknesses in data validation or integrity checks – issues that cannot be detected through automated vulnerability scanning alone.
Web application penetration testing is the most effective way to identify and rectify vulnerabilities in web applications. Also known as pentest, this method is the premier tool for assessing the security of web applications.
There are a variety of tools available for web application penetration testing, and the test itself is conducted through simulated internal and external attacks. These attacks provide insight into the system’s vulnerabilities, exposing sensitive data and raising awareness of potential issues.
Penetration testing allows users to identify and address security weaknesses in all aspects of a web application, including the database, back-end network, and source code. With this information, developers can prioritize identified threats and implement solutions to enhance the security and overall performance of the application.
Web Application Penetration Testing
To ensure the protection of sensitive data stored or sent through web applications, it is crucial for these apps to maintain a high level of security at all times, particularly for those that are accessible to the public. One effective way to achieve this is through web application pentesting.
Web application pentesting serves as a proactive security measure, allowing for thorough analysis of every aspect of a web application’s security. Skilled experts follow a set of best practices, with the ultimate goals of testing the effectiveness of existing security policies, identifying unknown vulnerabilities, pinpointing the most vulnerable areas for an attack, testing all publicly exposed components such as routers, firewalls, and DNS, and uncovering any loopholes that could potentially lead to data theft.
Types of Web Pentesting
No prior access is given during an web pentest unless explicitly outlined in the scope.
Specific access is given such as credentials to login to the application in scope.
No access is given to start, but some access is given after certain tests are performed.
Vulnerability Scans & Pen Testing
Automated vulnerability scanners are tools that scan an environment and generate a report of any vulnerabilities found. These scanners usually classify the vulnerabilities using CVE identifiers, which give information about known weaknesses. Although scanners can detect thousands of vulnerabilities, some of them may be considered more severe, which is why further prioritization is necessary. It is worth noting that vulnerability scores do not consider the specific conditions of each IT environment. This is where penetration testing comes in.
Vulnerability scans are useful in providing a comprehensive view of potential security risks in an environment, but penetration testing can provide additional insights by determining if the vulnerabilities can be exploited to gain access to the system. Penetration testing also helps in prioritizing the remediation process by identifying the vulnerabilities that pose the greatest risk to the environment.
Application Pentesting Phases
Following web application pentesting best practices, there are five phases involved in the web application pentesting process:
The Reconnaissance Phase
Reconnaissance involves gathering information about your target so that you can plan your attack. This process can be completed actively by interacting directly with the target or passively using intermediaries. Techniques like social engineering and dumpster diving are popular during the reconnaissance phase.
The Scanning Phase
Scanning is a more intensive form of intelligence gathering. This process uses technical tools to discover openings in the target listening port, internet gateways, and systems. A vulnerability assessment report is a common practice during this phase.
The Exploitation Phase
During this phase, the information discovered in phases one and two is used to infiltrate any target applications and devices. Taking control of these areas allows hackers to access and extract data.
Another important step of the pentesting process involves communications between testers and business operators. This empowers the testing process to be more efficient. It also benefits customers whose engineering teams can talk directly with testers to understand discovered vulnerabilities and properly remediate these.
Reporting & Remediation
Once a target machine or application has been infiltrated successfully, testers will report back to the customer’s engineering teams to relay different vulnerabilities. This process will help kick off the remediation process for the engineers to be able to fix these vulnerabilities.
Retesting & Repeat
Lastly, customers using pentesting services should consider retesting their assets after remediation is complete. This will ensure all the different paths to a vulnerability have been properly secured. While not all Ptaas platforms offer complimentary retesting, at Cyber Legion, this value-add is included with our PtaaS platform.
OWASP Top 10 – 2021
- A01:2021-Broken Access Control moves up from the fifth position to the category with the most serious web application security risk; the contributed data indicates that on average, 3.81% of applications tested had one or more Common Weakness Enumerations (CWEs) with more than 318k occurrences of CWEs in this risk category. The 34 CWEs mapped to Broken Access Control had more occurrences in applications than any other category.
- A02:2021-Cryptographic Failures shifts up one position to #2, previously known as A3:2017-Sensitive Data Exposure, which was broad symptom rather than a root cause. The renewed name focuses on failures related to cryptography as it has been implicitly before. This category often leads to sensitive data exposure or system compromise.
- A03:2021-Injection slides down to the third position. 94% of the applications were tested for some form of injection with a max incidence rate of 19%, an average incidence rate of 3.37%, and the 33 CWEs mapped into this category have the second most occurrences in applications with 274k occurrences. Cross-site Scripting is now part of this category in this edition.
- A04:2021-Insecure Design is a new category for 2021, with a focus on risks related to design flaws. If we genuinely want to “move left” as an industry, we need more threat modeling, secure design patterns and principles, and reference architectures. An insecure design cannot be fixed by a perfect implementation as by definition, needed security controls were never created to defend against specific attacks.
- A05:2021-Security Misconfiguration moves up from #6 in the previous edition; 90% of applications were tested for some form of misconfiguration, with an average incidence rate of 4.5%, and over 208k occurrences of CWEs mapped to this risk category. With more shifts into highly configurable software, it’s not surprising to see this category move up. The former category for A4:2017-XML External Entities (XXE) is now part of this risk category.
- A06:2021-Vulnerable and Outdated Components was previously titled Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities and is #2 in the Top 10 community survey, but also had enough data to make the Top 10 via data analysis. This category moves up from #9 in 2017 and is a known issue that we struggle to test and assess risk. It is the only category not to have any Common Vulnerability and Exposures (CVEs) mapped to the included CWEs, so a default exploit and impact weights of 5.0 are factored into their scores.
- A07:2021-Identification and Authentication Failures was previously Broken Authentication and is sliding down from the second position, and now includes CWEs that are more related to identification failures. This category is still an integral part of the Top 10, but the increased availability of standardized frameworks seems to be helping.
- A08:2021-Software and Data Integrity Failures is a new category for 2021, focusing on making assumptions related to software updates, critical data, and CI/CD pipelines without verifying integrity. One of the highest weighted impacts from Common Vulnerability and Exposures/Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVE/CVSS) data mapped to the 10 CWEs in this category. A8:2017-Insecure Deserialization is now a part of this larger category.
- A09:2021-Security Logging and Monitoring Failures was previously A10:2017-Insufficient Logging & Monitoring and is added from the Top 10 community survey (#3), moving up from #10 previously. This category is expanded to include more types of failures, is challenging to test for, and isn’t well represented in the CVE/CVSS data. However, failures in this category can directly impact visibility, incident alerting, and forensics.
- A10:2021-Server-Side Request Forgery is added from the Top 10 community survey (#1). The data shows a relatively low incidence rate with above average testing coverage, along with above-average ratings for Exploit and Impact potential. This category represents the scenario where the security community members are telling us this is important, even though it’s not illustrated in the data at this time.
How can we Help?
At Cyber Legion, we understand the importance of maintaining the security of your assets. That’s why we offer a continuous cycle of penetration testing and remediation through our Secure Client Portal. This approach helps to enhance and protect your assets while also improving your organization’s overall security posture.
With deep expertise in application security, mobile apps, API security, IoT, and network penetration testing, we have the knowledge and skill to identify and address vulnerabilities in your systems. Our testing methodologies are based on industry-standard frameworks and are designed to minimize disruption during the testing process. We also keep you informed throughout the testing process, so you’re always aware of any issues that arise.
Our goal is to work closely with our clients to achieve the best possible outcome for all engagements. We provide comprehensive security testing that highlights issues in a clear and understandable manner, so you can take the necessary steps to secure your systems. Trust Cyber Legion to help you improve your organization’s security posture and protect your assets.
Application penetration testing (also known as a pen testing or pen testing) is an authorized security test on an application to identify vulnerabilities that may be present and could be exploited.
Web application pen testing attempts to uncover security vulnerabilities stemming from insecure development practices in the design, coding, and publishing of web applications or a website.
With Cyber Legion services you can achieve all your security goals in one platform. Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Management combined in one unified view. Live events for all penetration testing findings and vulnerability management results with bug tracking, Risk dashboards, Ticketing systems etc.
Penetration Testing Service Features
Unlimited Cyber Legion CSaaS Platform access
Black, Grey or White Box Testing
Scheduled Security testing service – Work Request Button whenever you want
Manual & Automated Security Testing & Risk Validation
Business Logic & Technical Vulnerability Testing
Detailed Exploitation Evidence
Security Frameworks Checklists OWASP, SANS etc
OSINT & Threat Intelligence
Full Support & References for Remediation
Collaboration & Integration with ticketing, bug trackers etc
Unlimited Analysis, Tracking & Reporting
Live Events & Alerting emails
Retesting of discovered issues – unlimited
On-Demand and Custom Offering that Best Suits your Organization’s needs.
Penetration tests (or pen tests) are attacks on your companies’ software and hardware systems, carried out by ‘ethical hackers’ to expose your system’s vulnerabilities. One example is a web application pen test. Web apps, browsers and plug-ins can house sensitive financial or personal data, so hackers are increasingly putting their efforts towards gaining access to them. The test would examine the endpoint of every web application.
The time that penetration testing takes depends on the size and complexity of your organization’s system structure, as well as the scope of the test itself. For the ‘average’ company, a network penetration test should take around three days. For a merchant processing millions of credit cards a year, for example, a pen test will take over a week, or possibly two.
The penetration testing cost depends on the facts identified during scoping, such as the agreed time, goals, technical resources, approach, and remedial support.
Going through the results of pen tests provides a great opportunity to discuss plans going forward and revisit your security posture overall. Seeing pen tests as a hoop to jump through and simply checking it off a list as “done” won’t improve your security stance. It’s important to plan time for a post-mortem to disseminate, discuss, and fully understand the findings. Additionally, relaying these results with actionable insights to decision makers within the organization will better emphasize the risk that these vulnerabilities pose, and the positive impact that remediation will have on the business. With review, evaluation, and leadership buy-in, pen test results can transform into action items for immediate improvements and takeaways that will help shape larger security strategies.
Your application and data will be safe. We would prefer to test using test accounts that can be destroyed after we’ve finished testing.
For White-Box penetration testing assessments we would recommend that all user levels are tested depending on the size of the user base and the potential damage that could be caused.
We can test on your production environment for a realistic assessment or test on your staging environment to remove the potential for any disruption. Vulnerabilities discovered in staging can then be retested on the production application.
This depends on the environment that we’re testing. If we are testing an application in production then there could be a risk to the data, but we don’t aim to affect any live information.
The OWASP Security Knowledge Framework is an open source web application that explains secure coding principles in multiple programming languages. The goal of OWASP-SKF is to help you learn and integrate security by design in your software development and build applications that are secure by design.
Our penetration tests will help you:
- Gain real-world insight into your vulnerabilities;
- Keep untrusted data separate from commands and queries;
- Develop strong authentication and session management controls;
- Improve access control;
- Discover the most vulnerable route through which an attack can be made; and
- Find any loopholes that could lead to the theft of sensitive data.