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Common Penetration Test Findings 2024

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Common Penetration Test Findings for 2024 

Cybersecurity trends continue to evolve and keeping pace in 2024 means staying proactive. This year, we’ve collaborated with Khalid Ebrahimi, our Senior Penetration Tester at Gridware, to discuss the common penetration test findings for 2024 

A misconception that remains a general consensus; larger means safer in cybersecurity is a myth. Recent headlines disprove this belief. From the data breach of 10 million customers by Latitude Finance to the exposure of 9.7 million records by Medibank, even the biggest players can stumble. 

Every web server, app, and connected device presents a potential entry point for threat actors.

Khalid Ebrahimi, Gridware Senior Penetration Tester

System and Software Vulnerabilities 

  • Unpatched Software: (Common, High Risk) 

Many organisations fall behind in updating their software, leaving themselves open to attacks that exploit known vulnerabilities. 

  • Legacy and End-of-Life Tech: (Common, High Risk) 

Continuing to use outdated technologies without support or security updates introduces unnecessary risks into your organisation’s network. 

Access and Authentication Issues 

  • Weak Password Policies (Very Common, High Risk) 

Weak passwords and default settings continue to be a concern, especially with the increase in remote work. 

  • Authentication Gaps (Common, High Risk) 

Flaws in authentication processes can easily become entry points for unauthorised access. 

Network and Data Management 

  • Configuration Mistakes (Common, High Risk) 

Errors in setting up systems and networks can lead to significant security gaps, such as unintended access to sensitive data. 

  • Data Security Oversights (Common, High Risk) 

With the rise of BYOD policies, the importance of encrypting sensitive data has never been greater. 

Lack of proper segmentation within networks allows attackers to move laterally and access critical systems once they breach the perimeter. 

Human Factors and Physical Security 

  • Social Engineering (Very Common, High Risk) 

The human element is still a significant vulnerability, with employees often targeted through phishing and other deceptive tactics. 

  • Physical Security Weaknesses (Less Common, Medium Risk) 

Overlooking the physical security of devices and infrastructure can lead to direct unauthorised access. 

Emerging and Persistent Threats 

  • API Vulnerabilities (Common, High Risk) 

As organisations integrate more services, securing APIs against unauthorised access becomes crucial. 

The speed at which organisations respond to breaches is critical; delays can allow attackers to cause more damage. 

  • Industrial Leaks (Common, High Risk)

Industrial occur when confidential business information, including trade secrets, customer data, or internal communications, unintentionally escapes into the public domain or into the hands of competitors. These leaks can result from a range of vulnerabilities – such as insufficient data protection measures, employee mishandling of information, or cyber-attacks exploiting system weaknesses.  

Think of it (industrial leaks) as a slow drip, steadily draining sensitive data such as passwords, financial information, and personal details.

Khalid Ebrahimi, Gridware Senior Penetration Tester

Conclusion 

Staying ahead in cybersecurity means addressing penetration test findings directly. In 2024, the risks are escalating, and findings are becoming more common across the board, affecting both small and large organisations alike. 

Large organisations are not immune to threats. The larger the attack surface, the more leaks you may have, each one a time bomb waiting to explode. The essence of cybersecurity is managing your digital footprint to prevent leaks effectively. 

VAPT, or Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing, function as a security scan, detecting these leaks before attackers can exploit them.

Khalid Ebrahimi, Gridware Senior Penetration Tester

For personalised cybersecurity advice tailored to both individuals and businesses, check out our updated Cybersecurity Guide for 2024. 

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.

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