Infrastructure is the core of most organisation's IT assets, and one of the potentially largest attack surfaces presented.

What Is It?

An organisation’s infrastructure often presents the largest attack surface to an attacker. Whether internet-facing or internal systems, each system and service in the environment represents an opportunity for an attacker to gain access to corporate data. Infrastructure assessments enumerate all the systems and services running in the environment and identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an attacker.

What Challenges Can Be Addressed By Infrastructure Penetration Testing?

Unpatched Systems
and Software

Penetration testing can identify systems and software with missing security patches or outdated versions that are vulnerable to known exploits. This includes operating systems, server software, database systems, and third-party applications. Attackers often target unpatched systems to exploit known vulnerabilities and gain access to the infrastructure.

Privilege Escalation

Penetration testing can identify opportunities for privilege escalation within the infrastructure, including weak access controls, misconfigured permissions, and excessive user privileges. Privilege escalation allows attackers to elevate their access level within the network and gain unauthorised control over sensitive resources or systems.

Insecure Remote
Access Mechanisms

Infrastructure penetration testing can assess the security of remote access mechanisms such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and Secure Shell (SSH). Common issues include weak authentication methods, lack of multi-factor authentication, and insecure remote access configurations. Compromising remote access mechanisms can provide attackers with unauthorised access to the organisation’s internal network and resources.

in Network Protocols

Penetration testing can identify vulnerabilities in network protocols such as Domain Name System (DNS), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), and Network Time Protocol (NTP). These vulnerabilities could be exploited by attackers to conduct network reconnaissance, perform man-in-the-middle attacks, or disrupt network operations.

Weak Network

Infrastructure penetration testing can uncover misconfigurations in network devices such as routers, switches, and firewalls. Common issues include default or weak passwords, unnecessary open ports, improper VLAN segmentation, and insecure wireless network configurations. These weaknesses could allow attackers to gain unauthorised access to the network or intercept sensitive data.

Inadequate Logging
and Monitoring

Penetration testing can assess the effectiveness of logging and monitoring mechanisms for detecting and responding to security incidents. Common issues include insufficient log retention periods, lack of real-time monitoring, and failure to monitor critical security events. Improper logging and monitoring can delay incident detection and response, allowing attackers to maintain persistence within the infrastructure undetected.

The Forfend Methodology:

Identifying systems and services – Each engagement starts with mapping out the systems and services present in the environment. Once Forfend consultants have a good understanding of this, through their own experience they will be able to prioritise systems that represent the greatest security risk.

More than just automated scanning – Forfend consultants utilise a combination of automated and manual testing methods to ensure that all vulnerabilities present in the environment are identified. Whilst automated scanning tools have their benefits, they can often miss vulnerabilities or report false positives. Utilising manual testing alongside automated scanning ensures that no vulnerabilities are missed, and the vulnerabilities reported represent an actual risk to the environment.

Exploit chaining – This approach involves linking together several individual exploits in a sequence, leveraging one vulnerability to gain initial access and then using subsequent vulnerabilities to escalate privileges, move laterally through the network, and ultimately achieve the desired objectives. By chaining exploits together, penetration tests can demonstrate how seemingly minor vulnerabilities, when combined, can lead to significant security breaches, data exfiltration, or system compromise. Forfend consultants will work alongside you to ensure that where safe to do so, exploit chaining is carried out to highlight the importance of addressing all identified vulnerabilities.

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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