Web Application Penetration Testing

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Deep-dive, manual web application penetration testing performed by experienced and certified penetration testers

What is Web Application Penetration Testing?

Web application penetration testing is the targeted testing of web applications to uncover security vulnerabilities and potential points of exploitable vulnerability.

Why is Web Application Testing Important?

The two main types of web app penetration testing are internal and external.

Internal Pen Testing

This testing focuses on identifying potential vulnerabilities within the organization’s firewall on web apps hosted on the intranet. Ethical hacking is executed using invalid credentials to access the system and determine the possible damage and route of a possible attack.

External Pen Testing

This type of penetration testing focuses on external attacks on the web applications hosted on the internet. Ethical hackers (pen testers) simulate external attacks using the IP address of the target system, the front and back-end servers, and other web apps hosted on the internet using blind testing, double-blind and targeted testing.

Benefits of Performing a RedTeam Security Web Application Penetration Test

Companies rely on web applications, APIs, and mobile applications to conduct daily business more than ever. That includes customer-facing applications with functionality to perform automated activities that often use sensitive data like completing a purchase or transferring money from one account to another. Many companies also depend on internal web products to conduct day-to-day business. Developers may use open-source components and plugins when building these web apps, leaving the door open to a possible cyber attack. With so many organizations falling victim to these attacks, companies need to go the extra mile to ensure the proper security controls are in place for their software development life cycle and ongoing web app maintenance. Many businesses think that vulnerability scans are sufficient to maintain or improve their security posture. While vulnerability scans can highlight known weaknesses, web application penetration testing shows you how well they would hold up in a real-world attack by unauthorized users.

Uncover application weaknesses before cybercriminals can exploit them

Vulnerability scans typically use automation to detect vulnerabilities in devices attached to the network like routers, firewalls, servers, applications, and switches. The purpose of running a vulnerability assessment is to identify the location of those weaknesses. Relying on vulnerability scans to evaluate web application risks can be less costly for businesses.

Web app penetration testing is more targeted in scope. While vulnerability scans identify threats, a web app pen testing relies on having someone with experience using various tools to mimic a cyber attacker’s deliberate acts or the inadvertent actions a user might take that could expose critical information. They try to find the most at-risk entry points into a web application’s inner workings.

Thanks to constant technological advancements and our growing dependency on the internet, cyber thieves have an unlimited new frontier of attack vectors to exploit. They move from one website to another, looking for that one security weakness that aids them in their quest.

The ideal time to conduct web application penetration testing would be before a production release. However, schedule pressures often lead to developers deploying applications without putting them through the proper security testing. That can leave security vulnerabilities in these web applications.

manual web app penetration testing diagram

RedTeam Security Web App Penetration Testing Solution

Our RedTeam Security experts have the knowledge and experience needed to strengthen a web app’s ability to stand up to inside and outside security threats. With our help, your business can:
  • Find security vulnerabilities in your web environments
  • Highlight potential real-world risks to your organization
  • Help you map out a path toward addressing and repairing any identified application security flaws

RedTeam Security pen testers have backgrounds in software development. They understand the common mistakes developers can make, so they go beyond merely trying to break a web app. Our security professionals use their experience to find critical issues before they become a security crisis.

The following vulnerabilities represent some of the top OWASP security risks to web applications.

  • SQL Injection — Hackers alter the SQL statements used in an application’s backend. These SQL injection attacks trick it into executing commands that provide unauthorized access to data.
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) — Applications that execute scripts in the browser receive and run untrustworthy requests. Hackers use those malicious scripts to perform actions like defacing websites, hijacking cookie sessions, or redirecting unsuspecting users to websites where they can steal their information.
  • Broken Authentication and Poor Session Management — Websites typically invalidate cookies for a session once a user closes a browser or logs out of a website. If that invalidation doesn’t happen, and the session remains open, hackers can hijack those still-valid cookies and get hold of the sensitive information it contains.
  • Security Misconfiguration — Developers who fail to define the security configuration for a web app properly and related components leave it vulnerable for hackers to gain access to targeted areas that include URLs and input fields.
  • Insecure Deserialization — When data under the control of a user becomes deserialized by a website, attackers can manipulate it by passing harmful information into the source code.
  • XML External Entities Injection (XXE) — Attackers interfere with how a web application processes XML data. Attackers can then view files on the server and access back-end systems on which the web application relies.
  • Broken Access Controls — Users may end up with restricted resources or perform functions outside of their designated roles. That leaves an organization vulnerable to an attack from the inside.
  • Vulnerable Components — Developers may use components in their website that may be out-of-date, susceptible to attack, or unsupported. Hackers gain an opening through which they can steal sensitive information or hijack a company’s systems.
During the testing process, our pen testers act as ethical hackers to help companies stop accumulating technical debt from past mistakes. Our goal is to help businesses feel confident going forward with cybersecurity protection offered by RedTeam Security professionals.
Application penetration-testing list

Our Methodology
Our security experts have been doing this since 2008. Learn more about our methodology for Web Application Penetration Testing.

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Our Web Application Penetration Testing services include a dedicated client portal, on-demand tools, comprehensive report delivery, and free remediation testing within six months of testing for up to six findings.

At the end of each web app penetration test, we make sure that you receive a full risk analysis, along with guidance on repairing found vulnerabilities to improve your security posture and prevent further exploitation by hackers. Our pen testers will deliver an analysis of the current state of the assessed web application security controls in the form of a comprehensive report. RedTeam will address comments, make necessary revisions and if requested, schedule a report presentation for a more thorough walkthrough of your report with your dedicated team of testers. The report deliverable will include:

  • Purpose of the engagement including project’s scope and approach
  • Positive security controls that were identified
  • Tactical resolutions to immediately reduce your network security risk
  • Strategic recommendations for mitigating and preventing similar issues from recurring that could ultimately lead to a serious data breach
The report deliverable will also include the following in-depth analysis and recommendations for technical staff to understand the underlying risks and remediation recommendations:
  • A technical description and classification of each vulnerability
  • Anatomy of exploitation including steps taken and proof in the form of screenshots
  • Business or technical risk inherent in the vulnerability
  • Vulnerability classification that describes the risk level as a function of vulnerability impact and ease of exploitation
  • Technical description of how to mitigate the vulnerability

Additional Resources

Learn more about our Web Application Penetration Testing engagements.

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Web Application Penetration FAQs

Vulnerability scans will highlight known weaknesses in a web application. At the same time, a penetration test will show how well existing defenses will hold up against a real-world attack by a cybercriminal.
Any organization concerned about their overall cyber security risk or needs to meet certain compliance mandates for their web application.
The ideal time to conduct web application pen testing would be before a production release. However, schedule pressures often lead to developers deploying applications without putting them through the proper security testing and that can leave security vulnerabilities in these web applications.
Web application testing can be included as part of network penetration testing. However, due to its complexity, it is generally a separate engagement.
On every assessment, RedTeam Security utilizes commercial tools, internally developed tools, and some of the same tools hackers use. We aim to assess systems by simulating a real-world attack and leverage the many tools at our disposal to carry out that task effectively.

Our Services

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Learn more about RedTeam Security’s advanced Application, Network and Physical Penetration Testing, Social Engineering and Red Teaming services.

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