Service Details

Cloud Assessments

Our Process

Manual Methodology

Forza Ops’ manual methodology in cloud penetration testing offers a nuanced and comprehensive approach, providing insights that automated tools might overlook. While automated scans are effective in identifying known vulnerabilities quickly, they can miss intricate configurations or complex threat patterns inherent to cloud environments. Manual testing involves skilled cybersecurity experts who dive deep into the cloud infrastructure, simulating real-world attack scenarios and evaluating various services, data storage mechanisms, and inter-service communications. By taking this hands-on approach, vulnerabilities arising from misconfigurations, insecure permissions, or flawed security group settings can be detected with precision. Moreover, manual testing allows for the chaining of exploits, revealing how multiple minor vulnerabilities can be combined to create a significant breach. This holistic, human-driven analysis ensures a thorough and multi-faceted evaluation, making cloud environments resilient against sophisticated cyber threats.

What to Expect

Cloud Penetration Tests

During a Cloud Penetration Test, organizations can anticipate a comprehensive evaluation that simulates real-world cyber-attacks on their cloud assets. The process initiates with reconnaissance, gathering information about exposed Azure resources. Subsequently, testers attempt to exploit potential vulnerabilities in the environment, focusing on services like Azure Blob Storage, virtual machines, databases, and Azure Active Directory, among others. Advanced tools and techniques are employed to uncover flaws that might be exploited in real attack scenarios. In addition to hands-on testing, alignment with the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Azure benchmarks ensures that the environment adheres to industry-recognized best practices. These benchmarks provide a set of guidelines for securely configuring Azure services, making them invaluable during the assessment. The ultimate objective of this penetration test is to identify security gaps in the Azure deployment and offer actionable recommendations to enhance the organization’s cloud security posture.

Cloud Configuration Audits

During a Cloud Configuration Audit, organizations can expect a meticulous review of their cloud environment settings and deployments. Unlike penetration testing which simulates cyber-attacks, a configuration audit systematically evaluates the existing configurations against best practices. The process begins by evaluating identity and access management policies, verifying that roles and permissions align with the principle of least privilege. Critical Azure services, such as Azure Blob Storage, databases, and virtual machines, are audited for correct and optimal configurations to prevent inadvertent data exposures. Other focus areas include validation of network security group rules, reviewing resource locks, and confirming that platform-as-a-service (PaaS) components adhere to recommended guidelines. The primary goal of this audit is to identify and rectify potential misconfigurations that could expose the organization to risks, ensuring that Azure deployments are both secure and compliant.

Pre-engagement
3
Pre-engagement

Scoping

Before any assessment, the preliminary phase is defining the scope and engagement details. Scoping entails determining the range of systems, networks, or applications to be tested. Any restrictions or constraints will also be set at this time to ensure a controlled and targeted assessment aligns with the customer’s needs.

Engagement
3
Engagement

Active Testing

With a well-defined scope, the active testing period will begin next. This phase is where the tester will put “hands on the keyboard” and actively probe and attempt to explot any in-scope systems in order to uncover vulnerabilities. Any discovered vulnerabilities are assessed on how they might be leveraged by a malicious actor as well as their impact on the organization.

Post-Engagement
3
Post-Engagement

Reporting and Review

The reporting and review phase is a critical phase of a penetration test. Any findings discovered during testing will be compiled, analyzed, and delivered in a thorough report. The final report will be debriefed to stakeholders in order to discuss any findings, provide technical explanations, and offer remediations and guidance on how to harden the in-scope systems. This phase ensures the organization fully understands the risks and can prioritize and implement effective countermeasures.

Elevate Your Cybersecurity Posture

Challenge your defenses with a cloud penetration test.

Cloud Penetration Testing FAQ

Hybrid Models
Can Forza Ops pentest a hybrid model environment?
Notify
Do I need to notify my cloud provider?
Cloud vs. Network
What's the difference between a cloud and network pentest?

Hybrid Cloud and On-Premise Environments

Our team possesses extensive experience in assessing hybrid environments that integrate both cloud and on-premises infrastructures. Such models bring together the elasticity of cloud services with the stability of on-premises systems, yet they also introduce specific complexities and potential vulnerabilities. For instance, services like AADSync, which ensure synchronization between on-premises directories and Azure AD, can be potential avenues for security issues if not correctly configured. The unique blend of cloud and on-prem components requires a specialized approach to identify security gaps effectively. By leveraging our deep understanding of both realms and their interdependencies, we ensure a comprehensive assessment that addresses the peculiarities and challenges inherent in hybrid deployments.

Cloud Provider Notification

Before conducting a cloud penetration test, it’s crucial to notify and coordinate with your cloud service provider. Most major cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, have specific policies and procedures in place for penetration testing to ensure that these activities do not inadvertently affect other customers or the provider’s infrastructure. Informing your cloud provider ahead of time helps prevent any misunderstandings that might lead to unnecessary incident responses or potential service disruptions. Additionally, it ensures that your testing activities remain within the provider’s acceptable use policies and terms of service. By proactively communicating your intentions and coordinating the testing timeframe, you can ensure a smooth and compliant testing process.

How is a cloud pentest different than a traditional network pentest?

Cloud penetration testing diverges from traditional network testing in several key aspects. Traditional network testing primarily focuses on on-premises infrastructure, where the organization has full control over both the hardware and software. In contrast, cloud penetration testing addresses vulnerabilities in a shared responsibility environment, where some elements are managed by the cloud service provider and others by the customer. Cloud environments also introduce unique configurations, services, and potential misconfigurations that might not be present in on-premises networks. These can include issues related to storage permissions, serverless functions, or exposed cloud management interfaces. Additionally, cloud platforms continuously evolve, frequently adding new services and features, which necessitates up-to-date knowledge and specialized expertise for effective testing. While both types of tests aim to uncover vulnerabilities, the methods, tools, and areas of focus can vary significantly between traditional network and cloud testing.

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