EXTERNAL PENETRATION TESTING
Identify your external infrastructure vulnerabilities and assess the risks affecting your internet facing assets. This exercise follows a risk mitigation plan to maintain a minimal attack surface over the internet.
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What is an external network penetration test?
External network penetration test simulates an internet attacker on organisational devices, applications and data. This threat actor mimics an internet user with zero prior knowledge and relies on internet based information about your organisation (Open Source Intelligence).
“External” pen tests are also known as “External Infrastructure” or “External Network” penetration tests. This exercise in other terms establishes an organisations’ internet footprint. It helps in identifying vulnerabilities in the remote workforce infrastructure, devices such as firewalls, email servers, applications and web servers.
Compared to an internal pen test, an external pen test is quick and short exercise. For instance, a medium to large organisation may expect results within a week to two weeks maximum.
This is your assurance exercise to establish a secure and robust infrastructure for your organisation.
External pen test methodology
01. Initial Scoping & Objectives
As this is a black box exercise, we only require the target IP addresses or ranges in scope. An authorisation form is sent to seek customer’s permission to allow us work in line with Computer misuse act before the project.
04. lateral movement & exploitation
With increased awareness about cyber security attacks, these opportunities are few and far between. We try exploitation using attack vectors such as network or web application vulnerabilities, misconfigured servers or default credentials mainly.
02. reconnaissance & intelligence gathering
Reconnaissance phase works with the single objective – information gathering and analysis to provide relevant information for later stages. Based on project scope, intelligence gathering is mostly infrastructure related (e.g., network layouts, domains, servers, infrastructure details) unless it is a red team pentesting where personnel are in scope.
05. data analysis & reporting
This includes analysis on the test output, evaluation of the risk impact and attack likelihood 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.
03. active scanning & vulnerability analysis
Using manual approaches and penetration testing tools, our security experts identify security weaknesses and prepare an attack layout to target vulnerable systems.
06. debrief & support
Our engagement process includes delivering a free of charge debrief to management and technical teams. This session involves help to prepare a remediation plan and Q&A to ensure that customer contacts are up to date. Cyphere also provide a remediation consultancy where we define and execute the risk mitigation plan.
Book an external test and see results within a week
Vulnerabilities discovered by our external penetration testing service
- Insecure logging & monitoring
- Lack of patch management
- Insecure encryption configuration
- Cleartext transmission of sensitive data
- Weak and default passwords
- Lack of secure hardening
Frequently Asked Questions about External Network Penetration Testing
External pen test provides results of security threats faced by your internet facing infrastructure. This includes detailed issues along with proof of concepts supporting technical teams. For example, a firewall administrative interface that is running vulnerable version is exposed to internet. However, it could do with exposure to your IT service provider IP ranges only. This is an excessive exposure and should be reviewed in line with defense in depth approach.
An external pen test starts with port scanning over the internet, followed by vulnerability assessment, analysis and exploitation phase. Due to latency over the internet, port scan test window is agreed with client based on the several factors such as hosting provider, sensitivity of the assets and business operations sensitivity of the target assets. All output from this execution is fed into data analysis & reporting phase.
This is a fully remote test. Our external IP addresses are shared with the customer before the test, providing sufficient time window to share the originating IPs with relevant devices and teams where needed for monitoring and white-listing purposes.
Cyphere’s external pen test reports are world class deliverables containing raw data to support proof of concept and risk remediation measures.
Risk remediation is sometimes a complex process due to the specialist 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.
Benefits of External Penetration Testing
- Measure your attack surface over the internet
- Validate your security controls and determine weaknesses
- GDPR, ISO 27001, PCI DSS & Compliance support
- Find out any misconfigured services and blind spots
- Demonstrate cyber security commitment to your customers & supply chain
A secure infrastructure provides safe, secure environment
External Network Pen Test Methodology
Customer Business Insight
The very first step remains our quest to gain insight into drivers, business, pain points and relevant nuances. As part of this process, we understand the assets that are part of the scope.
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.
Execution and Delivery
Cyphere’s approach to all work involves excellent communication before and during the execution phase. Customer communication medium and frequency are mutually agreed, and relevant parties are kept updated throughout the engagement duration.
Data Analysis & Reporting
Execution phase is followed by 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. 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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