Using our network pen testing, know your unknowns to assess, quantify the infrastructure  security vulnerabilities and prepare a risk mitigation approach meant to reduce attack surface.

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What is Network Penetration Testing?

A simulated attack exercise aimed at finding weaknesses in a company’s infrastructure. This exercise is aimed at internal (corporate, production environments) and/or external (internet facing) networks.

Cyphere’s penetration testers led network penetration testing to identify software and network security vulnerabilities and explain in relation to the underlying asset’s risk profile. Generally, two types of network penetration testing are carried out, divided into external (internet facing network services) and internal pen tests (inside networks of an organisation) assessments. With cloud computing, any assets within the private cloud accessible to staff are considered as an internal network.

penetration testing methodology

Common Security Vulnerabilities

Secure weaknesses in hardening across networking, security, telecommunications & other internal equipment, OS and endpoint vulnerabilities.

Effective patch management plays a critical role in closing the window of opportunity for attackers, that’s between the vulnerability disclosure and patch release for security weaknesses/bugs.

Domain controllers design and configuration issues, group policy security review including audit policy, account lockout policy, user rights and security settings.

Logging and monitoring controls are reviewed to identify flaws in event collection, analysis and threat identification.

Network segregation checks with attempts to subvert restrictions in place.
We check against the configuration and use of encryption methods used for data at rest and transit.This includes checks against internal root certificate authority configuration and trust established with systems and devices under the domain.
Authentication vulnerabilities are one of the most critical and important attack vectors. This area includes multiple test cases i.e. transmission channels, nature of input, insecure configurations, weak credentials & bypass attempts.

Our internal network penetration test methodology involves password cracking and statistical analysis to show how passwords affect the general health of the security of the domain. It is an important element of the penetration testing assessments whether it is a grey box or white box security testing.

Searches are performed on local and network shares for interesting files, contents that would contain credentials and/or any sensitive data that could give rise to potential vulnerabilities.

Network equipment such as switch, routers, peripherals such as printers, imaging and scanning devices, are checked against security vulnerabilities and secure hardening weaknesses.
Know your unknowns with in-depth network pen tests

Benefits of Network Pen Testing

Network Pen Testing Services

Our cyber security testing process covers a broad spectrum of domains such as cloud, wireless, mobile, stealth campaigns, security devices (firewalls, VPNs, WAF, IDS/IPS), phishing, IoT, network infrastructure and solutions. Should you need a quote quicker, please fill out the form to discuss further.  

Internal Penetration Testing

A consultant-led exercise performed on the internal (or corporate environments) network. It starts with our penetration testers launching threat scenarios based on an unauthenticated attacker aimed to identify, exploit and infiltrate across the entire network.
This health check also allows you to prepare your IT and security spend strategy. 

External Penetration Testing

This ethical hacking exercise is aimed at the internet-facing assets of your organisation. External network penetration testing is performed with zero privileges, that is same level access as an internet-based user.
After the pen tests, we ensure that customer is aware of their risks and remediation plan during our debrief meeting.

Firewall Security Assessment

Our firewall security assessment service is aimed at checks around configuration issues such as data transmission, administration, management, access control and traffic/rulebase.

The device in scope could be any of the perimeter firewalls, cloud-based NSGs, small business based all in one firewall, switch or wireless devices.

Build Configuration & Hardening Reviews

A build configuration review ensures no weaknesses are introduced in the security posture of your company keeping exposed services with minimal attack surface.

Default passwords, OS configuration, services, anti-malware controls are assessed in this review.

Active Directory Security Assessment

Active Directory security is one of the strong pillars against data breaches.
Remote compromises could directly impact your business operations, including but not limited to data breach, brand position loss or other reputational and/or legal implications.
Do not ignore your active directory pen tests.

Wireless Penetration Testing

We simulate various threat scenarios during the pen tests that an attacker may use against your wireless network that could lead to an organisation wide breach.

WiFi test cases include WiFi authentication, encryption, deauth attacks, segregation, access point configuration, signal leakage issues, exfiltration to upload sensitive data and other ethical hacking test cases.

Frequently Asked Questions about Network Penetration Testing

An external network pen test is aimed at internet exposed devices and/or systems only simulating a threat actor on the internet (unauthenticated). Threat actors in the real world vary in attack vectors aimed at people, processes and technology, therefore, internal network security is assessed differently with both unauthenticated and authenticated approaches.

At network level, internal and external network penetration tests are the main attack surfaces. At device and systems level, various security reviews can be conducted to assess the risk exposure.

A thorough internal network penetration test measures the information security culture at ground level. This includes nature, type and strength of passwords in use, security settings of domain, encryption, authentication, authorisation, patch management and network devices hardening. Pen testers goal here is to gain access to the highest possible privileges and access sensitive data.

Based on network architecture, onsite or offsite penetration tests are suggested accordingly. For instance, where multiple physical sites and network segregations are a challenge remotely, onsite assessment is preferred. With post covid19 measures, we utilise a number of methods (SSL VPN, VM deployment or shipping hardware to client site) to carry out remote penetration testing of internal networks.

Communication plays an important role during security assessments. We always prompt customers to inform our network penetration testers about fragile components during project initiation meetings. With customer business operations as the highest priority, our ethical hackers follow a mix of consulting and technical approaches to avoid every chance of risk of disruption (such as blind scanning, automated approaches, other low-level Layer 2 activities). Low-level attacks, Denial of Service attacks are explicitly deemed out of scope for all network and web application assessments.

Network Pen test remediation is sometimes a complex process due to the specialist information security skill-set needed for IT teams. As part of our aftercare support, we provide help in preparing remediation plan to all our customers.
Optionally, we provide remediation consultancy to ensure all agreed findings are mitigated in line with best network security practices.

A secure network provides secure environment

Network Pen Test Methodology

In order to perform a network pen test, it is important to understand the context of assets in scope for the engagement. Our proven approach to network security assessments is based on more than a decade of experience, industry practices and effective ways to exceed customer expectations.

Cyphere’s pentesting engagement lifecycle methodology is broken down into five phases as demonstrated in the penetration testing methodology diagram. 

  1. Initial Scoping & Objectives Agreement – This is the beginning of any penetration test. Understanding the customer’s business objectives, drivers and pain points provides insights into our process to help provide penetration test and risk remediation advice that is contextual in nature. 
  2. Reconnaissance – Whether it is a web application, internal portal, firewall interface or network assets, a pen tester performs all the initial information gathering in this phase to get a grip on the architecture and environment layout.
  3. Scanning – It includes performing vulnerability scanning and analysis of the issues that are realistically exploitable, ones that are dangerous to exploit are discussed with customers to avoid any legacy or fragile services that could lead to disruption of the operational environment. It is important to consider and provide insights into threat scenarios that are considered for next phase of a penetration test. 
  4. Exploitation – As part of the testing process, the next step is to exploit any weaknesses identified in the network infrastructure in the previous step. Safe exploitation is performed by the security team to identify security issues that help measure the extent of a hack while mimicking real-world scenarios. 
  5. Reporting – Data analysis and reporting phase includes technical information, business information including potential impact and the likelihood of an attack, followed by risk mitigation advice. All our penetration tests include strategic and tactical risk remediation measures to help customers fix issues while working for long term roadmaps. 
  6. Remediation – During debrief, pen tester provides free help sessions to prepare a risk remediation plan. Remediation (Optional remediation consultancy to help mitigate risks identified during penetration testing) phase is an optional extra where risk remediation consultancy is provided as an offering. 
network pen testing
Network Penetration Testing

Our approach to Network Pen Testing

Customer Business Insight

The very first step remains our quest to gain insight into drivers, business, pain points and relevant nuances for a penetration test. As part of this process, we understand the assets that are part of the penetration tests carried out against client infrastructure.

Services Proposal

It is important to gain grips with the reality, therefore, we always stress on walkthroughs or technical documentation of the assets. After asset walkthroughs, a tailored proposal is designed to meet your business’ specific requirements for a penetration test.

Execution and Delivery

Cyphere’s approach to all work involves excellent communication before and during the execution phase. Our pen testers ensure that customer communication medium and frequency are mutually agreed upon, and relevant parties are kept updated throughout the engagement duration.

Data Analysis & Reporting

The execution phase is followed by the data analysis and reporting phase. Cyphere performs analysis on the testing output, evaluates the risk impact and likelihood of exploitation in realistic scenarios before providing action plans to remediate the identified risks. All our reports address business as well as the technical audience with supporting raw data, including mitigation measures at strategic and tactical levels

Debrief & Support

As part of our engagement process, customers schedule a free of charge debrief with management and technical teams after penetration test report is delivered. This session involves remediation plan, assessment QA to ensure that customer contacts are up to date in the language they understand.

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