Whether it is a SaaS product or a retail website launch, application security is an unmissable part. Let Cyphere perform web application penetration testing on your applications for security vulnerabilities with web application testing.

Get In Touch

No salesy newsletters. View our privacy policy.

What is Web Application Pen Testing?

An application pen test aims to identify security vulnerabilities resulting from insecure coding practices or underlying platform weaknesses of software or a website.

Website security testing is named differently, often based on the name of applications, platforms or popular software in use. Web application security issues assessments are beneficial security measures along with internal web applications firewall (WAF) usage and these do not negate each other. There is the history of WAF bypasses in the past and it is then application code that should come up to the task. Ensuring secure coding practices is the comprehensive way to secure web applications.

Cyphere services can be commissioned to assess in-house developed applications, off-the-shelf or cloud service provider applications. For example:

  • WordPress penetration testing, or similar CMS (Content Management System) application penetration test
  • OWASP Penetration testing
  • eCommerce businesses requiring Magento pen test or wordpress pen test
  • More complex platforms such as Banking login product security, Gambling platforms web security, or eCommerce security

What type of web penetration testing does your business need?

Web App Pen Test

The following questions are helpful in deciding why and what type of web application penetration test service a business requires.

  • Could your website compromise lead to data breach? 
  • Could your platform or web application be exploited to access underlying network? 
  • Are your development teams aware of API security risks?
  • How is your CMS or off-the-shelf CMS security?
  • Whether any processing or storing of payment details is performed securely?
  • Are your web applications holding static content only, with a shared database instance? 
  • Whether any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) is stored in the shared database instance at the backend. 

Most importantly, irrespective of your product, platform or network provider, Have you independently validated your security controls?

Benefits of Application Pen Testing

Contact now to discuss your concerns related to web app pen testing

Types of Application Pen Testing

Web application penetration Testing

A secure web application forms the basis of any business trading on the Internet. Without security in mind, applications are a treat for online fraudsters to target genuine unsuspecting users.​

Secure code review

Secure Code review is the process of manually reviewing the source code that would highlight issues missed during a black box pentest. This review helps to detect the inconsistencies overlooked during all other web app security assessments.

API security testing

APIs are the backbone of architecture backing the digitally connected world. Web services security testing for public and private RETS APIs used by Mobile, Web Applications and Thick clients.

Thick client application pentesting

Thick or compiled applications are popular in an enterprise for their internal operations. Legacy thick client applications could have inherent problems waiting to be discovered or rather exploited​

Threat modelling

Threat modelling service deals with helping customers to identify, communicate, and understand threats and mitigations within the context of protecting most valuable data. ​

Database security review

Data breaches are directly related to extracting data from databases. Validation of security controls around data storage helps organisations protect the stored data. This includes both cloud and traditional database storage systems. ​

Web Application Vulnerabilities

Secure hardening vulnerabilities such as OS or web server software patching, information disclosures, directory listing, TLS/SSL encryption weaknesses and network footprint.
User input submitted to the application is thoroughly tested to identify any opportunities for malicious input. Common vulnerabilities such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), HTML, JS, SQL Injection, XXE fall under this category.
Business logic flaws are often customers’ ‘bang for the buck’ as inexperienced teams or automated scanners often ignore these flaws. These include events, actions or sequence of steps often missed by developers.
Whether it is possible to access unauthorised functionality and/or data, such as viewing, modifying other user accounts or change access rights, etc.
We 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.
Whether application enforces strict password controls via user account policies and backend password storage in the database. Database storage mechanisms are reviewed to assess encryption algorithms in use.
Session management is the bedrock of authentication domain when it comes to applications. This includes checking for session state, predictability, token tampering, manipulation, session hijacking tests.

Want to get in touch with our application security expert ?

Frequently Asked Questions about Web App Penetration Testing

A technical exercise aimed at simulating an internet based threat actor or an insider to identify and safely exploit the weaknesses in the applications.

Based on the functionality and requirements, web application security testing offerings include an application pen test, API security testing, source code review, database security to a multi-tiered assessment involving entire tech stack.

Our testing methodology involves checks included in OWASP Top 10, OWASP API Security Top 10, SANS Top 20 Critical Controls and CIS, NIST 800-115. Any specific requirements should be discussed during scoping exercise to reflect this in the deliverables. See our pen test blog post for detailed information.

Our teams utilise a mix of open source and commercial software in addition to a number of custom scripts and utilities. We are happy to share specific list based on the engagement.

In order to maximise the investments in independent testing, one should wait till the assessment is over. This offers comprehensive view of the attack surface as well as coverage and depth of issues identified. Any development activities that must continue should be discussed with our team to mutually agree on minimising impact on pen test. Similar approach is considered when using Web Application Firewall (WAF) to cover unauthenticated and authenticated vulnerability detection scenarios.

Communication plays an important role during 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 for all assessments.
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. This is followed by mitigation advice along with related references to help customer teams with remediation.
Pen test 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 security practices.

Web Application Penetration Testing 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.

Threat Profiling & Recon

Threat profiling involves evaluating cyber threats affecting the application.  The types of attacks and likelihood of these threats materializing will serve as a basis for risk ratings / priorities assigned to the vulnerabilities during the assessment. Reconnaissance involves identifying tech stack of the application or company using various passive information gathering techniques (OSINT).

Web Server Analysis

Application server hosting is an important element where our team looks into hosting structure, security history, and web server related misconfigurations. This includes web server software version vulnerabilities, network footprint, encryption configuration and information disclosures.

OWASP Penetration Testing

Our assessments cover the industry recognised Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top 10 application security risks and other issues based on the functionality in use.

  1. Injection
  2. Broken authentication
  3. Sensitive data exposure
  4. XML External Entities (XXE)
  5. Broken access control
  6. Security misconfiguration
  7. Cross-site scripting
  8. Insecure deserialization
  9. Using components with known vulnerabilities
  10. Insufficient logging and monitoring

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.

Recent Blog Entries