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Web Application 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 development team the skills to put security at the heart of every project.

Service Context

Many web applications on the World Wide Web are just that, accessible to the World. With Wide open accessibility comes risk, allowing malicious attackers to strike and exploit your online presence, often without detection. With proactive Web application penetration testing, you’ll gain assurance that vulnerabilities have been identified and remediated.

Key Benefits

  • In-depth testing conducted by Certified Cyber Scheme or CREST Registered Consultants, in line with industry-defining methodologies from OWASP.
  • Clear prioritisation of risks in a detailed and digestible report, reducing the effort and time needed to fix vulnerabilities.
  • Project planning with updates provided throughout the project, speeding up remediation and reducing logistical headaches
  • Full Stop Remediation™ gives the opportunity to directly upskill the development team with bespoke training courses created to address the issues identified during the security assessment.


Why Cyber Alchemy?

Our web application testing goes beyond the ordinary. We focus on what a web application can be made to do, not explicitly what it was designed to do. Typically, engagements have a narrow focus on application exploitation. Without considering the context of the product/service or the business and its sector, vulnerabilities can be missed, and the findings can’t accurately measure the real-world risk.

In turn, this undermines the organisation’s ability to make informed decisions when prioritising remediations, potentially leading to wasted investments. We solve this issue by conducting holistic and contextual analysis in every engagement, working closely with clients to understand their services, challenges, and requirements.

Finally, every engagement or campaign (series of engagements) can be followed up with bespoke training for the application development team, incorporating the specific issues found during the engagement. This strategic approach facilitates long-term risk reduction and gives developers the knowledge to build “Security First” apps from the ground up.


What is Web Application Penetration Testing?

Web Application Penetration testing identifies and discovers vulnerabilities in websites and applications using a safe and ethical approach. Using a holistic assessment methodology built upon OWASP, our experts will hunt for vulnerabilities, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, flaws in application logic, misconfigurations, and known vulnerable components.

Why do I need a Web Application Penetration Test?

Web application penetration testing can identify vulnerabilities and design flaws in your web applications that could lead to data breaches, putting sensitive information at risk. By addressing these vulnerabilities and design flaws, you can protect your business and customers from potential harm.

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

Successful cyber-attacks on web applications can lead to significant business disruption, resulting in lost revenue, productivity, customer trust and staff stress. Penetration testing can identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses before they are exploited, minimising the risk of business disruption.

A web application penetration test can help you prioritise security investments by identifying the most critical risks and vulnerabilities in your web applications, allowing you to allocate resources more effectively.

Web application penetration testing provides assurance that your web applications are secure and protected from external threats, giving you peace of mind and confidence in your cybersecurity posture.

Cyber security should be an all-company concern. Any area of an organisation can fall victim to cybercrime, which will likely propagate to impact the entire company and clients. Improving the skill and expertise of your staff will reduce this risk considerably.

Cyber threats constantly evolve, and web applications are a prime target for attackers. Penetration testing can help you stay ahead of these threats by identifying new attack vectors and vulnerabilities.

Web application penetration testing can save 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 scoping process determines the breadth and depth of testing, providing robust assurance without unnecessary scope creep. We ensure the correct applications will be tested with an appropriate approach based on the context of the application and organisation.

The outputs of this stage will be:

  • A meeting to establish the context and functionality of the application.
  • 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 combine their experience and expertise with the latest hacking tools to hunt for vulnerabilities. Industry-leading tools assist our consultants in applying their knowledge to assess the application holistically. Once discovered, we follow a vulnerability validation process to ensure that only real threats are reported, saving valuable resources for remediation.

Finally, where required and safe to do so, our consultants will determine an appropriate strategy to exploit the vulnerability, proving the exact attack chain needed to replicate the vulnerability. All exploitation steps and any custom code will be provided along with the report, empowering developers to remediate the issue quickly.

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 identified in your applications and gives your development team the skills to ensure the same issues don’t creep back into your code base. 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 developers 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. 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 developers 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 applications.

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 developers 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 Web Application Development Training

From the results of a penetration test, or series of assessments, our consultants can provide bespoke training to application developers on how to remediate the issues found in the assessment and DevSecOps best practices. This allows comprehensive remediation for now and the future, giving development teams the skills to identify vulnerabilities before they make it to the code base. Other benefits of this total remediation solution include:

  • Cost savings: Addressing vulnerabilities early in the development process is more cost-effective than fixing them after the application has been released.
  • Improved quality code: Secure code is often more efficient and easier to maintain, resulting in an overall improvement in code quality.
  • Better collaboration: When developers understand how to write secure code, they can work more effectively with security teams and other stakeholders, resulting in a more secure and cohesive application.
  • 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.

Contact us today for more information on how Full Stop Remediation™ can accelerate your DevSecOps program and put security at the heart of your development efforts.


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. If you can, a demo of the site being tested on the call would be awesome and allow us to understand the site better and the effort it will take to test.

Specifically, for your application, 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 complexity of the application. Generally speaking, depending on the project size and requirements, it can range from a few days to a few weeks.

The cost of an assessment can vary based on factors such as the size and complexity of the application and the number of user levels and functions to be tested. 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.

The frequency of web application penetration testing depends on various factors, including the application’s complexity, the rate of updates or changes, and the level of sensitivity of the data it handles. As a general rule, it is recommended to conduct penetration testing at least once a year or whenever significant changes are made to the application.

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. We find this approach allows for better integration of security into development and helps reduce the number of issues we see when retesting applications.

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 debrief calls and detailed reports provide all the information that is often required to remediate all issues, but if we can be of any more use, 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.

Our objective is not to cause any disruption to the site 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 conducted in development environments, or 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.