Web applications are often the most important asset for businesses, since this is often where much of their income will be generated. Consequently, this also makes web applications an attractive target for cybercriminals.
Making use of web application penetration security testing services will help ensure that applications are free from common security vulnerabilities which, if exploited by cybercriminals, could negatively impact companies both from a financial and reputational perspective.
Read on to find out how a web application pen test is executed, and how it can benefit your business.
What is a web application penetration test?
A web application penetration test is part of an ethical hacking engagement designed to highlight issues resulting from insecure coding practices and configuration of web applications. The types of issues discovered are categorised against the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities list, these are:
- A01:2021-Broken Access Control
- A02:2021-Cryptographic Failures
- A04:2021-Insecure Design
- A05:2021-Security Misconfiguration
- A06:2021-Vulnerable and Outdated Components
- A07:2021-Identification and Authentication Failures
- A08:2021-Software and Data Integrity Failures
- A09:2021-Security Logging and Monitoring Failures
- A10:2021-Server-Side Request Forgery
What are the benefits of a web application test?
Incorporating web application penetration tests into your security practices helps you to assess the integrity of your infrastructure and identify its vulnerabilities before they’re breached.
When we say ‘infrastructure’, we mean things like firewalls and servers from which the web applications are hosted, and are public-facing. If any modifications are made to the infrastructure, they can result in vulnerabilities. Web application pen testing can identify any existing or potential weaknesses, so they can be reinforced before a hacker has chance to abuse them.
This kind of security testing can also help you meet compliance requirements, and validate existing policies around web security. Depending on your industry, penetration testing is required to keep sensitive information safe from exploitation. Web application pen testing also ensures that any security policies are being met and, if not, are rectified.
Who could benefit from a web application security test?
Web application pen tests are for any business that is responsible for a website or web application. If you have a
- Web application or website
- CMS, especially a bespoke CMS
- Digitally hosted client accounts
- Employee accounts with a hierarchy of access privileges
- Back-end log of sensitive payment information
- Back-end log of other sensitive personal information
A web application pen test is vital to your business’ security.
How is a web application pen test performed?
Here at Aardwolf Security, our team of penetration testing experts have established an effective 6-step system for performing a web application security test:
To get an idea of the client’s security level, a pen testing expert will first conduct an analysis, assessing the potential requirements, using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).
Using automated scanners, the consultant will delve deeper into the infrastructure of the client’s servers, picking up any surface-level weaknesses.
3. Manual assessment
This step is where most of the consultant’s time is utilised, and involves specific manual penetration testing on the following areas:
- Session management
- Input validation and sanitisation
- Server configuration
- Information leakage
- Application workflow
- Application logic
Next, the vulnerabilities unveiled in the scanning and manual probing stages are raised to the client. Depending on the client’s business operations and the severity of the vulnerabilities, the client may give the consultant the go-ahead to subject certain issues to exploitation attempts.
After the exploitation attempts have been made, the pen testing consultant will produce a comprehensive report to highlight the impact likelihood of all system defects, and recommend solutions.
The sixth and final step of the process, offered exclusively at Aardwolf Security, is a free retesting, once the client has actioned their software system solutions, to make sure that their infrastructure weaknesses have been resolved correctly and completely.
How long does it take to perform a web application security test?
There are numerous factors that influence the scoping of a penetration test, such as:
- The number of websites and subdomains
- Underlying infrastructure elements
- The number of pages
- How many input fields
- Privilege levels e.g. admin and basic user levels
How much is a web application penetration test?
A web application penetration test cost is calculated by the number of days a penetration tester will take to fulfill the agreed scope. The number of days can be determined by filling out our penetration testing scoping form or messaging us through our contact form to arrange a scoping call with one of our senior penetration testers.
At Aardwolf Security, we utilise CREST-accredited penetration testers for web application pen testing. Collectively, we have decades of experience performing website security testing, and have helped numerous clients protect the core of their business from cybercriminals.
Get in touch today for a free, same-day quote.