Many organisations are moving to cloud-based services to host their infrastructure, however these services can be insecurely configured and introduce security risks.

What Is It?

Penetration testing in cloud environments specifically targets identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities within cloud-based infrastructure, services, and applications. This specialised form of testing simulates cyber-attacks against cloud components to assess their security robustness, focusing on areas such as access controls, data encryption, and the potential for lateral movement between resources. It enables organisations to uncover weaknesses in their cloud deployments, from misconfigurations to flawed authentication processes, thereby providing a road map for enhancing cloud security measures and preventing real-world breaches.

What Challenges Can Be Addressed By Cloud Penetration Testing?

Misconfiguration Detection

Cloud environments are complex and prone to misconfigurations that can leave systems vulnerable. Penetration testing can uncover insecure configurations and lapses in best practices, such as improperly exposed storage buckets or databases.

Access Controls and Identity Management

Testing can evaluate the effectiveness of identity and access management (IAM) policies, ensuring that only authorised users have access to cloud resources, and that they are granted the least privilege necessary to perform their functions.

API Security

Given the reliance on APIs for cloud services and applications, penetration testing can identify vulnerabilities within these interfaces that could be exploited to gain unauthorised access or extract sensitive data.

Third-Party and Cloud Service Vulnerabilities

Penetration testing can reveal risks associated with third-party services and shared technology vulnerabilities in a multi-tenant environment, helping organisations understand their exposure through vendors and cloud service providers.

Data Encryption and Transmission Security

Testing assesses the strength and implementation of encryption protocols for data at rest and in transit, crucial for protecting sensitive information from interception or unauthorised access.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements

Cloud environments may need to adhere to various industry-specific regulations and standards. Penetration testing helps verify compliance by ensuring that security controls are effectively implemented and functioning as intended, thereby avoiding potential fines and legal implications.

The Forfend Methodology:

Cloud Configuration and Services Review – This stage involves a detailed examination of the cloud environment’s configuration settings and deployed services. Testers evaluate security groups, storage bucket permissions, IAM roles, and policies to identify misconfigurations or overly permissive settings that could expose the cloud environment to attacks. The review extends to assessing the security of cloud-native services, such as databases, serverless functions, and container orchestration systems, ensuring they are configured in line with best security practices.

API Security Testing – Given the pivotal role of APIs in cloud services for application interaction, this phase focuses on testing the security of both internal and external APIs. This involves identifying authentication bypasses, injection vulnerabilities, and flaws in logic that could lead to unauthorised data access or manipulation. Testing also scrutinises how APIs handle data, checking for encryption in transit and at rest, to prevent data leaks and ensure data integrity.

Exploitation Simulation and Lateral Movement – This advanced phase attempts to exploit the previously identified vulnerabilities to assess their real-world impact on the cloud environment. Testers simulate an attacker gaining initial access through vulnerabilities and then explore how they can escalate privileges or move laterally across the cloud infrastructure. The aim is to uncover how an attacker could exploit the interconnected nature of cloud services to access sensitive information, disrupt services, or establish a persistent threat within the environment.

Why Choose Us?

Experience, Qualifications and Expertise

All Forfend consultants are highly experienced and qualified penetration testers who hold the highest industry certifications. Experts in a comprehensive portfolio of testing methodologies, we identify system vulnerabilities and offer practical remediation advice, in a manner that is understandable and digestible by everyone from management to developers.

Personalised Consultancy Services

We deliver highly personalised, professional consultancy services; the consultant carrying out the engagement being involved throughout the entire process, from initial scoping to testing, reporting, and responding to questions that may arise once the remediation process is underway.

Value For

As a small cyber security consultancy with limited overheads, we’re able to offer prices that are very competitive when compared to the rest of the industry, yet still deliver a high quality engagement. Forfend consultants are well versed at identifying vulnerabilities missed by other consultants.

Experience In A Range Of Industries

Our consultants have experience working in a range of different industries, from central government departments, critical national infrastructure, and councils, to legal, finance and technology sectors. Forfend consultants understand the threats and challenges faced by each industry, and are suited to offer testing types tailored to each sector’s needs.

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