PENETRATION TESTING SERVICES IN THE UK

 

Uncover the unknowns in your environment in order to prepare and defend against cyber attacks. Cyphere is a leading UK penetration testing company offering independent security testing services. Secure your business by identifying, analysing and mitigating cyber vulnerabilities.

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What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a technical cybersecurity exercise aimed at finding security weaknesses in a company’s internal and external networks, web applications or systems. This cybersecurity assurance is provided against an organisation’s assets. 

By utilising pen test services to identify security vulnerabilities, businesses are able to find out the extent to which their assets (people, process and technology) are exploitable and can then take the necessary steps to reduce the risk. This type of security testing, also known as ethical hacking, is more about manual approach and is targeted to find vulnerabilities in real-world scenarios outside the reach of vulnerability scanners or a vulnerability assessment (See the difference in FAQ section below). 

Our cyber security services are tailored to help your business stand against security incidents such as data breaches and cyber attacks. 

Penetration Testing

Benefits of Penetration Testing

Common Security Vulnerabilities

Secure hardening vulnerabilities across networking, security, telecommunications & other internal equipment, operating system and endpoint vulnerabilities.

Effective patch management plays critical role in closing window of opportunity for attackers, thats between the vulnerability disclosure and patch release.
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.

Application configuration errors, input validation, broken controls, authentication & session management checks.

We identify security flaws and check against the configuration and use of encryption methods used for data at rest and transit. This ensures data is safe against tampering and eavesdropping attacks.

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.
Based on our methodology and scope of the job, We perform two types of password reviews which include password policy reviews and a password cracking exercise followed by statistical analysis to find out the complexity & character patterns in use.
Searches are performed on local and network shares for interesting files, contents that would contain credentials and/or any sensitive information.

OWASP pen test Top 10 flaws such as authorisation, input validation, injection issues such as Cross site scripting, SQL injection, XXE, session management & encryption vulnerabilities. Similarly, OWASP API top ten flaws are also included as part of our testing methodology.

Penetration Testing Company Service Offerings

There are many different types of security services offering different benefits and uses. Our penetration testing service cover a broad spectrum of domains such as cloud, wireless, mobile, stealth campaigns, phishing, IoT, external & internal network infrastructure, social engineering and solutions. 

Network Penetration Testing

Internal & external network infrastructure pen testing service covers multiple scopes ranging from single build reviews, segregation reviews to network-wide assessments such as active directory or a cyber health check.

Web Application Penetration Testing

Our team of penetration testers will test and perform penetration tests on your web applications and web services/APIs. 

Web app pentesting includes source code reviews, API security testing, threat modelling and database security.

Cloud Penetration Testing

Most organizations are migrating to cloud due to ease of use and 24 x 7 availability. 

As an end user of cloud hosted solution, it is your responsibility to ensure that the security of any operating systems and applications hosted in the cloud are continuously maintained and tested.

Mobile Application Penetration Testing

Ensuring the safety and security of user data is paramount to running any mobile applications. Our tailored services are designed to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities in your mobile applications and devices.

Red Team Operations

Our Red Team testing operations aimed at simulating a real-world cyber attack to check your attack preparedness.
Our key service features include flexible pricing, actionable outcomes and an adversarial mindset helping customer upskill blue team capabilities. 

Bespoke Security Reviews

This comprehensive cybersecurity audit covers supply chain risk, M&A due diligence, IoT and a range of advanced penetration testing scenarios and bespoke projects that can be tailored for the security needs of your company. Remote working security assessment falls under this category.

Penetration Testing Methodology

Assessment methodology defines the depth and breadth of how and on what basis test cases are generated.  Cyphere’s pentesting engagement methodology, also known as Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT), is broken down into five phases:

  1. Initial Scoping & Objectives Agreement: This is a conversational phase to go through pain points/primary security concerns and discuss the assets in scope, out of scope and the objectives for the security test. Communication protocols, fragile components, third-party service providers authorisation, pre-requisites and planning falls into this phase. 
  2. Reconnaissance: The recon process involves collecting information about the target network, application, systems or devices as much as possible. This sets the ground for attack layout preparation.
  3. Scanning: This is an activity aimed at finding what services (such as email services, web services hosting applications, file transfer services/protocols) are running on each of the targets in scope. Activities such as network mapping, service enumeration, vulnerability scans are part of this phase ot identify network and operating system vulnerabilities. 
  4. Exploitation: The vulnerability exploitation phase involves exploiting the identified vulnerabilities to measure the extent of the breach of a security vulnerability. It is performed in a controlled manner, keeping in view the fragility of the assets in scope and agreed objectives. Password testing (cracking & analysis), vulnerability research, lateral movement, post-exploitation activities belong to this section. 
  5. Reporting: This is amongst the most important parts of any security test. The information must make sense to customers investing their time and resources. All our reports include raw data, supporting screenshots, tactical and strategic recommendations, management reports and technical reports. There is a debrief call at the end of every security assessment to ensure the customer has an understanding of the findings and have a remediation plan in mind.
  6. Remediation: This is an optional remediation consultancy to help mitigate cyber security risk to the relevant asset identified during penetration testing. Due to security skill-set and environment complexities faced by organisations, our approach involves risk focussed approach towards risk remediation.
Penetration Testing Lifecycle

Frequently Asked Questions

A technical hacking exercise performed to identify and safely exploit the weaknesses in an asset (systems, networks and/or applications).

To identify network vulnerabilities (or application, various levels) in the networks, applications, systems or devices that could negatively impact their business or reputation if they led to the compromise or abuse of systems. We ensure all our deliverables clearly mention whether a vulnerability has been manually verified with a scanner or cannot be exploited. This realistic check is important to know when calculating how many vulnerabilities in your network are actually exploitable.

Three different penetration test types are black box (without prior knowledge), grey box (with some knowledge) and white box (with all prior knowledge) assessments. All pen tests are aimed at uncovering vulnerabilities that may allow threat actors to gain access to your systems.

A vulnerability assessment takes an automated approach useful to identify low level hanging fruits such as missing patches or common vulnerabilities, it does not cover in-depth reviews of an asset.
A penetration test (using a manual approach) goes a step further by safely exploiting the identified weaknesses, establishing if they are not just false positives and uncovers flaws such as business logic issues that are otherwise uncovered during an automated test. It is performed by qualified penetration testers with world-class security expertise.

For pen tests, our methodology encompasses OWASP Top 10, SANS Top 20 Critical Controls and CIS, NIST 800-115. Any other standards needed for specific projects can be included as per customer request. See our pen test methodologies post for detailed read.

In order to maintain quality and add value to customer investment, we do not utilise automated scanners that run and report tests. A range of open source and commercial pentest tools in addition to multiple scripts/utilities are utilised to uncover hidden and complex vulnerabilities. These tool-sets differ in line with the scope of the project such as web app, API, mobile app, networks. 

The scope of the test depends upon the asset functionality. For instance, an internal network may consist of an active directory environment covering 2000 users and an external network may have 5 servers. Similarly, an application is estimated based on its functionality, dynamic content and form fields, authentication, APIs, third party modules.
Unauthorised or authorised exercises differ in timescales due to the lead time required to build knowledge about the functionality of the asset.

Our Cyber Security Health Check Service is designed to help customers who have never performed penetration testing in their environment. This exercise covers multiple security assessments such as internal (active directory, servers, network equipment) and external infrastructure security assessment, secure firewall configuration and wireless network security review.
It helps customers to assess their current security posture and prepare remediation plans to protect their critical information against the most common attacks.
IT health check scopes can be tailored to suit customer requirements and business objectives.

Communication plays an important role in security assessments. We always prompt customers to inform us about fragile components during project initiation meetings. Low-level attacks, Denial of Service attacks are explicitly deemed out of scope in all our pen testing services.

Majority of penetration testing can be performed remotely via a VPN, IP restrictions, or similarly controlled setups. Wireless pen test and internal infrastructure security assessment are most effective when performed onsite.

A custom written report is prepared based on the findings. This report serves both technical and non-technical audiences with specific sections dedicated to strategic and tactical recommendations, raw/supplemental data, proof of concepts and risk details such as impact, likelihood and risk scorings. It is followed by mitigation advice along with related references to help customer teams with remediation and improve the security posture of their organisation.

Pentest 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 a remediation plan for all our customers.
Optionally, we provide remediation consultancy to ensure all agreed findings are mitigated in line with best security practices.

Our Engagement Approach

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. 

Services Proposal

It is important to gain grips with the reality, therefore, we always stress walkthroughs or technical documentation of the assets. After asset walkthroughs, a tailored proposal ensures detailed services, transparent breakdown of pricing and rules of engagement.

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 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 pen test service, customers schedule a free of charge debrief with management and technical teams. This session involves a remediation plan, assessment QA to ensure that customer contacts are up to date in the language they understand.

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