With the increased online presence of businesses, the need to secure Web Applications has taken a toll. Web Application Penetration Testing has emerged as an important tool for this.
There have been massive attacks on the organisations causing them to lose billions. Statistics have shown, that around 99% of businesses have at least one undiscovered vulnerability. These security issues are the ticking bomb that can blast anytime. Compromising on cybersecurity can make you pay hefty. It is important to find these loops and protect your applications on time.
Before we begin with Web Application Penetration Testing and why it is important for your business, let’s talk about what is Web application and why we need to protect it.
An application program, that is usually stored on a remote server, and users can access it through the internet to perform the required functions is termed a web application. These can be designed for a variety of uses to be used by varied users across the globe. Commonly used are webmail, HR portals, ERP portals, ecommerce stores, online calculators etc.
Web applications are very critical for any organisation as they store, process and transmit data. These are also exposed to hackers who find vulnerabilities. Many big and small organisations have fallen victim to these in the past. Big giants like Red Cross - an International NGO using the ZOHO application, have fallen victim to cyber-attacks, which could have been prevented through penetration testing.
Web application penetration testing as defined is the practice of simulating attacks on a system in an attempt to gain access to sensitive data, to determine whether a system is secure. These attacks can be performed either internally or externally on a system to gather information about the target system, identify vulnerabilities and uncover exploits which can compromise the system.
A web application penetration testing aim to-
1. Identifying vulnerabilities - Finding loopholes in the applications before they get compromised
2. Accessing the Infrastructure - This helps to access the real-time attacks that may hamper the infrastructure or application.
3. Securing security policies - Accessing the existing security policies to find the loops or weaknesses.
4. Getting compliance ready - Compliances are mandatory for specific industries, and penetration testing is an essential part of it.
Deciding on test methodology is very important for the success of penetration testing, as this varies from the client's requirements. Some of the best-known industry standards are -
OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project)
NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation)
PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
Web applications vary in functionalities so, the testers create their methodologies using the applicable standards.
When it comes to testing the web application, penetration testing comprises three phases -
1. Configure - Defining the scope and the goals to gather the information required to accomplish that goal. The information required includes web architecture, Integration points, such as APIs, and general infrastructure information.
2. Execute - Testing is usually conducted by simulating attacks to check, how a hacker can breach in or gain the access to the application. On finding the vulnerability the testers exploit the weaknesses to understand the damages it may cause. The type of tests conducted is External penetration testing and Internal penetration testing.
3. Analyse - Conducting the testing is followed by the analysis of the results. This helps in making the required security changes to address the vulnerabilities found.
Many organisations rely on internal teams for testing. These teams may have fixed ways of testing and may have limitations of knowledge or biases. The developer team can not see a code from the tester's perspective. Experts from cybersecurity domains are required to check the application thoroughly. Hence you need trained professionally trained experts to strengthen the security of your web applications.
When partnering with a Penetration Testing company it is important to establish trust as they will be testing the most critical applications of your organisation like a real-world hacker. So how to ensure you are selecting the correct partner for your business-
1. Ensure the organisation's testers are verified for background check and certified with relevant credentials like CISSP, CSSLP, OSCP, ECSA, LPT(Master), and CEH.
2. Ask how they are securing the information found and gathered during the testing. You must know how they store and process the data to keep it safe.
3. Ensure the quality of the results found. You must get the full report, regardless of whether many things were found or not.
4. The organisation must be capable of helping in fixing the vulnerabilities completely and must do the retest. They must provide long-term support as and when required and agreed upon by both parties.
5. The organisation must be capable of suggesting or advising you on emerging new threats from the future perspective.
6. The organisation must be friendly to explain the methods used for testing for your better understanding.
The organisation must proactively support and help you in making your application vulnerabilities free.
Illume Intelligence offers an on-demand customised Web Application Penetration testing for all kinds and sizes of businesses. With our Pentesting services, you can get support for your complete security requirements like risk analysis and business logic testing, helping you to find the business critical vulnerabilities in your running or new launching web applications.
We will provide you with a complete Penetration testing report, comprising of report findings and suggestions to fix the found vulnerabilities. By working side by side with your internal team, our experts will help in fixing the vulnerabilities as and when required. A rescan will be conducted to confirm the issues being fixed once the internal team confirms doing so. Suggestions on how to better the security of the applications will also be made to further strengthen the security of the web application.