Web Application Security Assessment
Web Application Penetration Testing
The internet of today is much more than websites. Sophisticated web applications are commonplace, and millions rely on information systems as diverse as financial planning and medical care. The most sensitive information of your organization, employees, and customers is present in these systems across the web. Web applications grow in complexity every passing year, and the threat of unforeseen security flaws always exists. Security researchers are finding new methods of exploiting these methods every day. Hence, the risk assessment of web applications has become the need of the hour.
Intellisec Solutions’s methodology follows the industry’s best practices such as the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Testing Guide (V4.0) and Technical Guide to Information Security Testing and Assessment: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SP 800-115. Since these standards are generic, Intellisec Solutions goes beyond them by fusing its advanced expertise and experience, along with project management documentation expertise, to offer the best help.
The following steps are the backbone of our methodology.
1. Application Run-through and Information Gathering
During our pre-engagement process, we run your web application through rigorous rounds of testing. Doing so ensures that we understand your core competencies and crucial data. Using numerous OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) tools and techniques, we collect as much information as possible regarding your technical infrastructure. Gathering this information is a critical step towards building intelligence about the operating conditions of the organization. Some targets may include:
- Sensitive data and files leaked through various third-party sites like SlideShare, PasteBin, Google, etc
- History of breaches/credential leaks
- Source code exposed on repository management solutions such as Github, Gitlab, etc
- Web Application Firewall bypass allowing direct access to your servers
- Cloud misconfiguration such as exposed AWS buckets
- Subdomain takeover
2. Threat Modeling
Since every web application serves a unique functionality and is vulnerable to a range of risks, we use thorough penetration testing checklists to list risks of security attacks. Subsequently, we model secure threats before initiating any security assessments.
After identifying potential threats, we develop a security test plan to assess if these threats can be exploited. A comprehensive view of the web application threat scenario including user privileges, critical transactions, and security data is obtained with the help of domain and platform-based tests.
4. Security Assessments
Intellisec Solutions incorporates an array of automated scripts and tools, among other tactics, during a more advanced information gathering phase. Our engineers critically examine all potential attack vectors. The research from this stage is the foundation that decides the approach in the next phases. A few critical aspects of these assessments are:
- Enumerating directories/sub-domains
- Checking cloud services for possible misconfiguration
- Correlating known vulnerabilities with the application and relevant services
- Employing breached credentials against authorization mechanisms
5. Business Logic Flaw Testing
Some of the most critical security loopholes take place due to flaws in business logic employed in web applications. Such weaknesses, in tandem with standard security threats, can prove to be immensely dangerous to your organization. To prevent this, we run comprehensive tests on your business logic and ensure that they do not adversely affect your security.
6. Infrastructure Assessments
Another major assessment area is the security of the cloud or on-premise infrastructure hosting your application. We support you by helping determine its security level and which mitigations you can put in place for a more secure infrastructure.
7. Classification and Reporting
Reporting and documentation are critical aspects of any penetration testing because only well-organized testing can help the management in making data-driven decisions. In this regard, each report is customized to the specific scope of the assessment and risk as per your organization. Reports are comprehensive, with due technical details, but intuitive to read. Remediation strategy for each vulnerability is provided as well. The executive summary contains the following sections:
- The Pentesting scope: that specifies the target of the pentesting, including the scope (IP addresses and hosts), in a very detailed way. In general, it also contains what assets are meant to be tested and what is out of bounds.
- A background : that explains the purpose of the penetration testing and an explanation of some technical terms for the executives, if needed.After reading the background, the upper management, will have a clear understanding of the goal and the expected results of the penetration test.
- An overall position: that evaluates the effectiveness of the test by highlighting some security issues.
- Risk score: that highlights the general overview of risk ranking based on a predefined scoring system. Usually, we use the high/low scoring metrics or a numerical scale.
- Limitations: that were faced during the pentest. For example, the limited scope of penetration testing with temporal-space boundaries make it a hard mission, especially when you are working in a production environment.
- Recommendation summary: that are needed to remediate the security issues discussed in the previous sections.
- A Strategic roadmap: that is recommended to be followed to enhance the security posture of the organization.
8. Manual vs. Automated Application Pen Testing
A unique aspect of Intellisec Solutions’s web application security assessment is the combination of manual and automated application penetration testing. Several subtle security flaws are often not picked up by automated vulnerability scanners. To ensure a thorough probe, Intellisec Solutions’s security team assessors leverage their experience to understand the context of your web application and manually go about exploiting its logic. This approach ensures that we deliver assessments that are more relevant to your user-base and individual security needs.
9. Remediation Testing
As an extra value-add, Intellisec Solutions offers remediation testing services. In this service, we revisit an assessment of your Web applications after exposed vulnerabilities have been patched. We retrace our previous test to ensure there are no gaps found in the re-test and remedies have been implemented. Any bypasses of the mitigations added are identified too. We also update our previous assessment to reflect the improved state of the system.