Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing

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Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing


As new technologies emerge and change the IT scenarios, newer audit security challenges are given to be faced by corporates. Thus businesses that do transactions over the internet are at high risk, though other companies are also at risk when being exposed to external networks. 

Overview :

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing is intended to identify the weaknesses in your infrastructure, operating systems, and applications and attempts to penetrate the security defense of your environment by exploiting some vulnerability. This brings in front the actual security posture of the environment and highlights the potential weaknesses, which need to be covered to make the environment more secure. The exercise does provide an ideal time to test a new technology/system before they go live on production systems.

Case Study:

The Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing in a system make the business environment insecure and it is open to cyber criminals. According to the Global Investor Survey by PwC in 2018, investors consider cyberattacks as one of the most dangerous threats to the business after over-regulation and terrorism. There are many instances of attacks due to vulnerability in the system. Some of them include phishing, shadow IT, crypto mining,  ransomware, mismanaged cloud servers, etc. There is hardly any company facing threats because of vulnerability.  

Problem statement:

Thus many unforeseen traps with multiple vulnerabilities and numerous threats do manifest themselves in the least expected time and at the least expected place. Thus in order to take up such challenges and address them, a robust system with appropriate security policies, adequate controls, periodic review, and monitoring is to be in place to protect the organization’s information assets. Hence it is highly recommended to carry out an in-depth Network Assessment comprising of VA-PT audits in a periodic manner to ensure software compliance to controls established and the policies set in the organization and further to evaluate whether they are adequate to address all the threats


A specific form of vulnerability assessment, the primary benefits of penetration testing include greater security insights, ongoing risk management, and the ability to meet regulatory obligations

i. Detect security weaknesses before attackers do.

ii. An inventoried list of all the devices on your network, with their purpose.

iii. A listing of vulnerabilities for each device.

Preparation for future upgrades.

iv. Established security records for later assessments

v. The secure website from hackers.

vi. Prevent information stealing.

vii. Prevent monetary loss.

viii. Prevent reputational loss.

ix. Induce confidence in customers.

x.Higher long-term profits.

Related Service

API Penetration Testing

Application program interfaces (APIs) are often poorly tested if tested for security at all. At KirkpatrickPrice, we want to find the gaps in your APIs’ security before an attacker does. We offer advanced, API penetration testing for both SOAP and REST APIs.Overview :Our API penetration testing begins with a vulnerability assessment, where our expert penetration testers utilize multiple tools to gain initial knowledge. A vulnerability assessment is not a replacement for an API penetration test, though. After interpreting those results, our expert penetration testers will use manual techniques and human intuition to attack those vulnerabilities. After the completion of the API penetration testing, you will receive a comprehensive report with narratives of where we started the testing, how we found vulnerabilities, and how we exploited them.Case Study:The word penetration suggests any kind of trespass in your system. This allows any kind of simulated attack on systems or an entire IT infrastructure. Sophisticated cybercriminals are now capable of using countless tactics to create threats to your system. After the vulnerability assessment, the work of penetration testing is to find out how the vulnerability can be used to threaten the system. For this problem of  API penetration testing in the system, many companies have faced an economic downfall in recent years.i. Unit testing – for checking the functionality of individual APIs. ii. Functional testing – for testing end-to-end functionality of the API layer. iii. Load testing – for validation of functionality and performance for the system under various levels of user/ transaction load.iv. Runtime error detection – Execution of Automated / Manual tests to identify problems, such as exceptions and resource leaks.v. Security testing – involves various types of security checks like penetration testing, authentication, encryption, and access control. vi. Web UI testing – end-to-end testing of the entire system using the APIs.Problem statement:Application Programming Interface or API, as the name suggests, is the intermediating software or application that allows two endpoints to communicate with each other. Each time, we use an app like social networking app, gaming app, or any other application to send or receive a message, our action passes through a programming interface that connects sender and receiver. That means securing the data sent to the receiver through an API is very important. Hackers may extract the data and use it in their illegal acts. Ensuring the security of an API before, during, and after the production of any project through testing is what we are going to discuss in detail under API security testing.Whether you use a SOAP or REST API, a poorly secured API can open security gaps for anything that it is associated with. The security of the API is just as important as the web application or software that it provides functions. Some of the most common vulnerabilities that we see are improper authentication and authorization issues within the API. At KirkpatrickPrice, we put APIs through a variety of tests in hopes of revealing any security vulnerabilities that might exist. In what ways could an attacker abuse the functions an API provide? Effective API penetration testing requires a diligent effort to find weaknesses, just like an attacker would.Benefits:Developers use security tests to ensure their applications and web services are 100% safe from unwanted attacks and are not disclosing any sensitive information to the hacker. API Security tests pass through various types of security checks. Each of them has been designed to detect certain vulnerabilities. One security test with multiple security scans gives you the guarantee of your service and you can get assured that your services are well-protected against malicious attacks.API Security Testing is the only way to ensure that any web service is protected from foreign attacks or not before communication is established between the two endpoints. Let us highlight the Benefits of API security testing:i. The tester can detect errors without the user interface: The main advantage of API security testing is that the tester can easily access the application without the user’s involvement. Under this testing system, testers can detect the error at an early stage without running the software application. This is beneficial because it helps QA rectify the error before it impacts the Graphical User Interface.  ii. Removes vulnerabilities: API testing is done under extraordinary conditions and inputs, which protects the application from unlawful code. API testing adds connecting limits to the software and removes any type of vulnerabilities.iii. Less time-consuming than functional GUI testing: API testing consumes less time as compared to functional GUI testing. Under GUI testing, developers poll all webpages elements so it takes time. API, on the other hand, requires less coding, and so delivers faster results. A team of engineers analyzed the test results and found that 3000 API test results consumed 50 minutes whereas 3000 GUI tests consumed 30 hours. iv. Testing cost is reduced: As we just said, API testing requires less code than GUI so we can expect to get faster results. The faster results mean, less time, and overall, less testing cost. Early error detection reduces manual testing costs as well. v. Does not depend on Technology: API Security Testing uses XML or JSON languages consisting of HTTP requests and responses. These languages do not depend on technology and are used for development. That means testers can use any core language while using automated API testing services for an application.With so many benefits of API security Testing, the demand continues to rise and so is the challenge to close security holes that may impact the safety of corporate and customer data. Businesses need to make sure that their API testing does not create any security problems and is flawless.

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Red Team Assessment

A red team assessment is a goal-oriented test of an organization to defend its security in real-time. So, a red team assessment is basically a simulated intrusion attack by a group or individual white-hat hacker on an organization without affecting their day-to-day operation. The attacker will have a certain amount of time to do their test. At this time, they will do everything to find any kind of possible breaches in their system so that they can get access to sensitive information of that organization.Overview :A red team assessment is a goal-oriented test of an organization to defend its security in real-time. So, a red team assessment is basically a simulated intrusion attack by a group or individual white-hat hacker on an organization without affecting their day-to-day operation. The attacker will have a certain amount of time to do their test. At this time, they will do everything to find any kind of possible breaches in their system so that they can get access to sensitive information of that organization.Case Study:Once all the information has been carefully observed by the team then they decide on various types of cyberattacks they feel are necessary to reveal the weakness and vulnerabilities. But this procedure is done in a more organized way by following a specific list which they will follow to do the attacks. After starting penetration testing they gradually remove those tests which are unnecessary. By doing so the red team system adds in more threat vectors as they deem appropriate. These are some cases examples where the tactics of the red team are implemented-i. E-mail & Telephone-based social engineering:  This step is generally the first step to gain any sort of information that may enter into the business or organization. & from there to find out if is there any sort of backdoor which is unwillingly open to the outside world. In this phase phishing, e-mail & social engineering attacks are launched. This phase's main purpose is to gain any or all the passwords & usernames which may give access to crack the first line of defense which can they use to get into the system.ii. Exploitation tactics:  After completing the first phase to successfully enter into the organization system. Then they start to look for those sections which will provide them financial gain so they start further exploitation. Problem statement:Red team assessment is generally test detection and response time in a real-time, multi-vector attack where a group acts like a cyber attacker and tries to break through the defense perimeter. But providing these services to a specific organization it’s very difficult to perform. The red team assessment is a simulating attack. This means how the attacker sees the organization and attack surface. A red team assessment will test the organization and how it connects with the client mainly how the system broadcasts all the information. Cybersecurity threats are evolving every day so it’s very much possible that the network we are using now will be vulnerable in the near future. So we must keep ourselves up to date with the evolving threat. The red team is the group of white hackers who first conduct the assessment of that organization before doing any kind of attack. By doing this the team will know everything about how the system operates and how the network is interconnected they can easily get the organization's IT overview. For the attacker, all this information is very valuable because it is examined thoroughly during the process of doing the assessment 1.  Digital assets 2.  Physical assets3.  Technical process 4.  Operational process5.  Identify potential critical risks in timeThe attackers are targeting huge companies to find their vulnerable points in the system to harm them. For this reason, red team assessment is helping the organizations because they can create a simulation where the white hat hacker can provide the organization what are the vulnerabilities in the system or the network. Red team assessment helps an organization to cope with the limitation of VAPT assessment this method is believed to analyze the breach but attackers are evolving their method so the organization may face different kinds of malicious attacks. Red team assessment provides the solution that will help any organization -i. A real-world perspective of threat actorii. An integrated view of security controlsiii. Analyze and evaluate security incident response capabilitiesBenefitsThis whole process mainly helps to gain knowledge about the organization system is there any kind of backdoor to the system from where it can get compromised? The benefits the organization gets from this test are given below –A comprehensive attack drill by simulating a hacker group: By doing a simulation attack performed by the white hat hacker helps the client to know about their system's unknown vulnerabilities.i. Identify potential serious risks in time: Performing this test gives all the vulnerabilities of the system. How does the data flow from the network from one point to another?ii. Protect business and customer: At the end of the day, every organization wants to give the best security to their customers. If the organization already performs this test then they will be aware of all those critical credentials so they can take a proper step against those credentials.iii. Risk classification scheme: once all the vulnerabilities and the weak point are found then the organization can take steps one after another thinking of the suitable requirement which is needed first.

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