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Internal Infrastructure Penetration Testing

Security assessments with remediation designed for humans.

Break the cycle of repetitive penetration testing, where the same issues are raised on every test and walk the DevSecOps walk with our Full Stop Remediation™ training. Give your infrastructure team the skills to put security at the heart of every project.

Service Context

Most organisations prioritise protecting their environment’s external perimeter from external threats. But, if that perimeter is breached, adversaries can wreak havoc on internal networks should vulnerabilities exist, so it is essential to know that no risks lurk within the perimeter. Whether you are looking to protect your internal systems from external adversaries who have managed to obtain internal access or an internal user who might pose a risk through malicious or benign intent, internal penetration testing holistically assesses security strengths and weaknesses within your environment, giving you the knowledge and guidance to build a robust internal security posture.

Key Benefits

  • Quantify and reduce the risk internal networks, systems and applications pose to your organisation.
  • In-depth testing conducted by Certified Cyber Scheme or CREST Registered Consultants.
  • Clear prioritisation of risks in a detailed and digestible report, reducing the effort and time needed to fix vulnerabilities.
  • Determine third-party access to resources and quantify the risk this may pose
  • Full Stop Remediation™ gives the opportunity to directly upskill internal IT teams with bespoke training courses created to address the issues identified during the security assessment.


Why Cyber Alchemy?

Our in-depth internal penetration testing exceeds what even the most dedicated adversaries attempt. Our experts have the knowledge, tools and experience to ensure your internal networks and systems are adequately hardened should the external perimeter be breached.

All of Cyber Alchemy’s consultants are CREST, or Cyber Scheme registered, assuring their expertise throughout the engagement and ensuring the correct approach is taken to robustly test your internal networks.

Detailed and digestible. These features are at the core of our reports, making reports accessible to C-suite executives while keeping the detail required by system owners to remediate the issues found. Also, for organisations looking to turbocharge their SecOps capability, every engagement can take advantage of our Full Stop Remediation™ service. Bespoke training delivered by our experts, which covers the issues found in your infrastructure, will ensure vulnerabilities don’t creep back into production by giving operations teams the skills to defend infrastructure proactively.


What is Internal Infrastructure Penetration Testing?

An internal infrastructure penetration test, also known as an “Internal Pen Test,” focuses on testing attacks that could be carried out by an adversary who has already gained a foothold within your network and is looking to “elevate” themselves to gain further control and cause more damage. It also addresses security flaws that could be exploited by a malicious insider, such as a disgruntled employee who wishes to cause damage to areas of the business beyond their usual access level.

Internal penetration testing can usually be performed remotely (via a VPN or Jump box); however, in some circumstances, the consultant will need to plug in directly at your office or data centre. The consultant will then try to gain access to sensitive information sources or privileged user accounts that should be off-limits to them, subverting any access controls you may have in place.

Why do I need an Internal Infrastructure Penetration Test?

Internal systems cannot be protected solely by the perimeter. An attacker only needs one path to gain access. An insecure internal network can be used once inside to escalate privileges rapidly. An internal infrastructure assessment identifies vulnerabilities in critical internal assets, shows the impact if exploited, and provides clear guidance on improvements that can be implemented to mitigate that risk. Below are some more common reasons organisations buy internal penetration testing from Cyber Alchemy:

Internal infrastructure penetration testing can identify vulnerabilities in your internal network, systems, and applications that could be exploited by internal employees or contractors with malicious intent.

Internal infrastructure penetration testing can help you identify vulnerabilities that could lead to data breaches, allowing you to take proactive measures to secure your sensitive information.

Many regulations and standards require regular internal infrastructure penetration testing, such as PCI DSS and GDPR. Meeting these requirements can help you avoid fines, penalties, and damage to your reputation.

An internal infrastructure penetration test can help you prioritise security investments by identifying the most critical risks and vulnerabilities in your internal network, systems, and applications, allowing you to allocate resources more effectively.

A successful cyber attack on your internal infrastructure can lead to significant business disruption, resulting in lost revenue, productivity, and customer trust. Penetration testing can identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses before they are exploited, minimising the risk of business disruption.

Internal infrastructure penetration testing provides assurance that your internal network, systems, and applications are secure and protected from internal and external threats, giving you peace of mind and confidence in your cybersecurity posture.

Cyber threats constantly evolve, and your internal infrastructure is a prime target for attackers. Penetration testing can help you stay ahead of these threats by identifying new attack vectors and vulnerabilities.

Internal infrastructure penetration testing can save you significant costs associated with remediation, damage control, and legal fees that could arise from a successful cyber attack.


Our Approach

The first stage of the engagement will define what needs to be tested, understand what the testing needs to achieve and why the testing is being conducted. Our diligent scoping process balances the breadth and depth of testing, providing robust assurance without unnecessary scope creep. We ensure the correct systems will be tested with an appropriate approach based on the context of the systems and organisation.

The outputs of this stage will be:

  • A meeting to establish the context and functionality of the networks, systems and applications in scope.
  • A technical document outlining the scope of work to be signed off by both parties.
  • A proposal outlining the scope of works, delivery timelines, and commercials.

Our CREST and Cyber Scheme certified consultants use their expertise and the latest hacking tools to hunt for vulnerabilities. Industry-leading tools assist our consultants in applying their knowledge to assess your assets holistically. Once discovered, a robust vulnerability validation process ensures that only real threats are reported, saving your valuable resources to remediate what matters. Finally, where required and safe to do so, our consultants will determine an appropriate strategy to exploit the vulnerability, proving that an issue is present. All exploitation steps and any custom code will be provided along with the report, empowering administrators to quickly and effectively remediate the issue.

Detailed and digestible describe the outputs of every Cyber Alchemy engagement. Typically, this will be in a documented report with a follow-up meeting to discuss the assessment and the vulnerabilities found, ensuring every stakeholder understands the risks and the next steps to reduce those risks.

For organisations requiring in-depth and continuing remediation, every engagement has the opportunity to use our Full Stop Remediation™ service. Bespoke training delivered by our expert trainers covers the issues discovered in your systems and gives your system administration team the skills to ensure the same issues don’t creep back into your infrastructure. Full details of our reporting and Full Stop Remediation™ can be found below.

The report contains the scope, technical approach, executive summaries, dynamic risk visualisations, prioritised vulnerabilities based on likelihood vs impact, and bespoke mitigation advice for each finding. Each report has three distinct and dedicated board, management, and technical personnel sections. Report clarity ensures understanding and enables informed decisions. Every Cyber Alchemy report will include the following:

  • Background: An overview of the assessment’s general purpose, scope, methodology, and timing.
  • Management Summary: A detailed but digestible summary of the results, such as key critical findings requiring immediate attention, system or recurring issues, and other general findings. This could also include strategic recommendations, offering long-term remediation actions to ensure ongoing risk reduction.
  • Technical Details: Comprehensive vulnerability results, including a description of the vulnerability observed, the impact, evidence of where the vulnerability was observed, step-by-step demonstrations of exploits performed which give teams the ability to internally verify the issues, and detailed remediation recommendations which give developers the steps to address every reported issue.
  • Methodology: A detailed recap of what was tested, the methodologies used, and the related historical information required for audiences such as auditors to understand the specifics of the test approach.
  • Attack Surface Analysis: Additional content and guidance, such as recommended post-assessment activities that provide added value to the audience of the report.

After every engagement, we offer a focused meeting to discuss the testing and outcomes. This allows system administrators and risk owners to ask specific questions to our expert consultants, ensuring all parties understand the context of the vulnerabilities, root cause and the real-world likelihood and impact of successful exploitation in the context of the organisation. The potential mitigation steps will be discussed, allowing for the implementation of robust measures and the possible effort to be understood.

We don’t believe that report delivery marks the end of the engagement; in fact, it’s just the beginning for us. We’re in every client relationship for the long haul, providing ongoing support to ensure that issues are robustly addressed in line with your organisation’s requirements.

After every engagement, we offer a focused meeting to discuss the testing and outcomes. This allows system administrators and risk owners the opportunity to ask specific questions to our expert consultants, ensuring all parties understand the context of the vulnerabilities, alongside the likelihood and impact of successful exploitation.

We recognise that remediation of all issues doesn’t just happen overnight, and our technical team will be happy to answer any questions while remediation is happening over the following months. We find this approach allows for better integration of security into development and helps reduce the number of issues we see when retesting.

For clients who require further support, we offer our Full Stop Remediation™ post assessment training, which incorporates real-world examples from the assessment into the training course. This tailored approach delivers lessons to system administrators in a familiar context and environment, allowing the lessons learned to be immediately applied to existing projects and ensures long-term risk reduction. More information about Full Stop Remediation™ can be found below.


Full Stop Remediation™ – Secure Infrastructure Operations Training

From the results of a penetration test, or series of assessments, our consultants can provide bespoke training to system administrators on how to remediate the issues found in the assessment and SecOps best practices. This powerful remediation offering allows total remediation for now and the future, giving infrastructure teams the skills to identify vulnerabilities before they make it to production. Other benefits of this remediation package include the following:

  • Cost savings: Investing in remediation training helps your organisation save money in the long run. By preventing security incidents and potential breaches, you avoid the financial impact of data loss, system downtime, regulatory penalties, and reputation damage.
  • Long-term Risk Mitigation:Our remediation service equips your team with the skills and knowledge to address vulnerabilities in the present and future. By building a strong foundation of security practices, you create a sustainable framework for ongoing risk mitigation.
  • Better collaboration: When system administrators understand how to build and maintain secure systems, they can work more effectively with security teams and other stakeholders, resulting in a more secure and cohesive infrastructure estate.
  • Foster a “Security First” culture: With better awareness of security issues and the knowledge to address them, a culture of security can be developed. With a strong security culture comes greater security, shared accountability and efficiency, forming the basis of any successful security program.
  • Empowered Internal Teams:Our training empowers system administrators to handle remediation tasks independently. They gain the knowledge and skills needed to efficiently address vulnerabilities, reducing reliance on external security consultants for routine remediation efforts.

Contact us today for more information on how Full Stop Remediation™ can accelerate your SecOps program and put security at the heart of your infrastructure administration team.


FAQs

A technical contact (somebody who knows the ins and outs of what’s being tested) and 30 minutes to an hour. Our technical team will arrange a call, and then we can discuss all of the aspects of the assessment.

Specifically, for your internal network, that question will be answered at the end of a scoping call with our technical team. The test duration depends on various factors, such as the number of networks and hosts in scope. Generally speaking, depending on the project size and requirements, it can range from a few days to a few weeks.

It depends. The cost of an assessment can vary based on factors such as the size and complexity of the organisation’s internal networks. After the scoping call, our consultants will be able to provide a detailed quote which outlines what we will do and what the outputs of that work will be.

We don’t just wine, dine and dash. We’re in every client relationship for the long term. Like most providers, after the penetration testing is complete, you will receive a detailed report outlining the vulnerabilities identified, their severity levels, and recommendations for remediation. Where we differ is in the post-test support. We recommend to all clients that debrief meetings are scheduled after the assessment is completed, allowing for discussions around real-world risk, prioritisation and the best way to approach specific remediation actions. We recognise that remediation of all issues doesn’t just happen overnight, and our technical team will be happy to answer any questions while remediation is happening over the following months. This approach allows operation teams to address issues while keeping their business moving forward.

Of course, what good is a security assessment if the issues aren’t addressed?! Our team will be here to support remediation efforts for months after the end of the assessment. Our recommended post-engagement debriefs calls, and detailed reports provide all the information that is often required to remediate all issues, but if it can be of any more use, then we will be on hand to help.

We understand that timescales can sometimes be tight, and things need to get done. In these cases, we will attempt to accommodate all requests from our clients. If we don’t have the capacity, we will know a trusted partner who can. Typically, we ask for a lead time of at least two weeks, however. For people who book far in advance, we can often offer reduced rates as our thank you for being super prepared.

The frequency of internal infrastructure penetration testing depends on various factors, including the criticality of the systems involved, compliance with regulatory standards that stipulate the frequency of penetration testing and the organisation’s risk appetite. As a general rule, it is recommended to conduct penetration testing at least once a year or whenever significant changes are made to the systems.

Our objective is not to cause any disruption to systems during testing, but that doesn’t mean that problems can’t (and don’t) occur. There might be instances where certain vulnerabilities could cause temporary issues or downtime. There are lots of techniques that can be used to minimise the likelihood of issues occurring. For example, testing can be done outside of core business hours. Whatever is required, our team can determine a testing strategy to meet your objectives safely and securely.