Cloud Security Penetration Testing

In the age of digital transformation, businesses have turned to cloud services to streamline operations, bolster scalability, and optimise costs. Yet, as the reliance on the cloud increases, so does the importance of maintaining robust cloud security. This is where cloud penetration testing, or ‘cloud pen testing,’ comes into play.

What is cloud penetration testing?

Cloud security penetration testing, also known as cloud-based penetration testing, is an authorised simulated cyber-attack against a cloud system to evaluate its security. Its purpose is twofold: to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by threat actors and to validate the efficiency of defensive mechanisms and end-user adherence to security policies.

How does cloud penetration testing differ from standard pen testing?

While both cloud penetration testing and standard pen testing aim to identify vulnerabilities within a system, the former specifically targets the unique aspects of a cloud environment. This includes the infrastructure, the application software, and even the human element, such as end-user behavior and system access.

Certified by CREST and Offensive Security, our qualified testers employ real-world hacking techniques to uncover profound insights.

The spectrum of cloud testing: black, grey, and white

Cloud penetration testing can take several forms, often referred to as black, grey, and white box testing. Black box testing simulates an external attack without prior knowledge of the cloud infrastructure. In contrast, white box testing is conducted with complete knowledge and access to the cloud infrastructure, mimicking an insider threat. Grey box testing falls somewhere in between, with limited knowledge of the infrastructure.

What are the areas of scope?

Cloud penetration testing generally consists of three stages:

  • Evaluation: The evaluation stage involves identifying potential vulnerabilities within the cloud environment.
  • Exploitation: During the exploitation stage, these vulnerabilities are exploited to understand the potential impact of a breach.
  • Remediation verification: Finally, the remediation verification stage involves re-testing the identified vulnerabilities after they have been addressed to ensure they have been effectively remediated.

Common Cloud Security Threats

Common threats in cloud security include misconfigurations, data breaches, vulnerabilities in the system, and weak access management. Misconfigurations are a leading cause of data breaches in cloud environments, often resulting from errors in security settings. Vulnerabilities can arise from outdated software, weak passwords, and other security oversights, while weak access management could potentially allow unauthorised users to access sensitive data.

The Shared Responsibility Model

The shared responsibility model is a critical element of cloud security, dictating that both the cloud service provider and the customer are responsible for maintaining the security of the cloud environment. While the cloud provider is typically responsible for the security of the cloud infrastructure, the customer is responsible for securing the data they store and process in the cloud.

Cloud security penetration testing checks

Common checks during cloud penetration testing include benchmark checks to ensure the cloud environment meets the established security standards. Checking exposed assets helps to identify resources that are publicly accessible and could be potential targets for attackers.

Permission checks are vital in assessing who has access to what data, and checking integrations is key in understanding how different applications and systems interact within the cloud environment.

Why choose Equilibrium Security?

Cloud penetration testing services, offered by ourselves, can provide comprehensive assessments of your cloud security posture using advanced cloud-based pen testing tools. 

By regularly utilising these services, you can identify and address vulnerabilities, uphold the shared responsibility model, and ultimately ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of your data. In a world increasingly reliant on cloud technology, cloud security penetration testing is not just an option—it’s a necessity.