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Penetration Testing Company Australia

Learn why more companies choose Gridware as their penetration testing company of choice. Proactive testing is the primary strategy to help prevent incidents before they happen. 

What is Penetration Testing?

A penetration test is a form of ethical hacking where an authorised individual attempts to find gaps in the security of an organisation’s IT infrastructure, applications or processes with view to testing accessibility to crucial assets. Our skilled penetration testers replicate real-world attacks executed by hackers to assess system resilience and identify areas for improvement, providing actionable insights for enhanced security.

The purpose is to review the robustness of security and provide management with an assessment of the cyber health and risks involved for an organisation. Ultimately, the aim is to help shape cyber strategies and frameworks: penetration testing helps test, validate or invalidate the efficiency of defensive controls and determine what needs to be done to bolster them.

Types of Penetration Tests

We conduct a range of penetration testing services to find gaps in the security of our clients’ IT infrastructure, applications and processes, with the aim of helping you build better and more robust defences.

Who are the best penetration testers in Australia?

Gridware. Because this is where the best penetration testers in Australia choose to work

As the highest-ranking cybersecurity company in Australia, Gridware takes pride in being certified as a Great Place to Work® and receiving the distinguished Best Workplaces™ award. This makes us not only a leader in cybersecurity but also the Best Cybersecurity Workplace in Australia, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional work environment.

Penetration Testing Methodologies

Our penetration testing methodology helps rapidly and efficiently determine the extent to which your network and assets can defend against cyber threats by testing them against common exploits and vulnerabilities. We perform our testing from the perspective of an attacker, utilising in-house tools, vulnerability scanning and manual scripts to emulate attack incidents.

Hover over the Industry Standards to view more information about how we put them in practice during Penetration Testing

ASD

Australian Signals Directorate's Information Security Manual (ISM)

The ISM, under the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), provides guidance for the Australian government's information security, including conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.

CREST

CREST Penetration Testing Guide

 

CREST International focuses on ensuring robust, comprehensive, and ethical testing. They place emphasis on providing clear scope, employing rigorous methodologies, and maintaining professional conduct throughout the testing process. The CREST framework ensures the delivery of high-quality, reliable results which provide actionable insights for enhancing cybersecurity posture.

OSSTMM

Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM)

 

A peer-reviewed methodology for performing security tests and metrics. OSSTMM test cases focus on various areas like operational security, physical security, wireless security, telecommunication security, and data networks security.

 

OWASP

 

OWASP Testing Framework

 

OWASP's comprehensive framework is primarily designed for web application security, covering aspects like information gathering, configuration and deployment management testing, identity management testing, and more.

 

PTES

 

Penetration Testing Execution Standard (PTES)

PTES provides a well-structured sequence of processes to guide penetration testers. Its guidelines cover detailed pre-engagement interactions, intelligence gathering, threat modeling, and vulnerability analysis, which ensure a thorough understanding and effective exploration of the target system.

NIST

NIST SP 800-115

Although an American standard, The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Special Publication 800-115 provides technical guidance on network security testing, including the design, implementation, and analysis of the results that is used internationally including Australia.

ISSAF

Information System Security Assessment Framework (ISSAF)

A comprehensive and structured methodology for conducting information systems security assessments. It covers areas from technical security testing and human security testing to physical security assessment procedures.

Game-changing:

Key Benefits of Pen Testing

Gridware helps organisations proactively take preventive action to avoid the cost of downtime, financial loss and reputational damage. It can be a game-changing move in helping organisations take their systems from below-average to strategically in tune with the latest threats and challenges in cybersecurity.

  1. See what the hackers can break before they do: This is the main reason why thousands of companies choose Gridware to run Penetration testing on their applications and networks. Become proactive in strengthening your cybersecurity resilience, testing effectiveness of the security in place, reviewing strength of application development against what hackers are exploiting and fortifying your defenses against evolving threats.

  2. Know quickly if there are active threats: A comprehensive penetration testing regimen enables continuous identification and management of potential vulnerabilities, providing real-time visibility into your security landscape.

  3. Prioritise the risks: With our tailored approach, Gridware helps you strategically prioritize resources, effectively mitigating risks and enhancing your overall security.

  4. Comply with relevant regulation: Penetration testing assists in satisfying regulatory requirements, demonstrating a robust and proactive approach to cybersecurity to regulators and stakeholders.

  5. Prevent Financial Losses: By identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, penetration testing saves potential costs associated with data breaches and system downtime.

  6. Build Trust and Reputation in your Brand: Regular penetration testing showcases your commitment to cybersecurity, instilling confidence in customers, partners, and stakeholders while protecting your brand’s reputation.

CLIENT STORY

Gridware shields Linktree from cyber threats - fostering a future in safer tech

Our Pen Testing Process

The Seven Phases of Penetration Testing

Gridware’s seven phases of penetration testing provide a strategic approach to identify, evaluate, and address potential security vulnerabilities. This process actually begins with the pre-sales and scoping phase, where our penetration testing engineers work to understand your requirements, goals and outcomes. 

Once the penetration test commences, a rules of engagement meeting is organised to assist with setting the rules and conditions of the test. Following this, the penetration testers begin the reconnaissance phase where crucial information about the target system is gathered. Scanning is also undertaken to understand the system’s responses to various intrusions.

Following this, the Vulnerability Assessment phase identifies potential points of exploitation. These vulnerabilities are then exploited in a controlled manner during the Exploitation phase to assess their potential impact.

Finally, the Reporting phase compiles a comprehensive report of findings and offers recommendations for addressing identified vulnerabilities.

This entire process adheres to best practice industry standards, ensuring an effective and thorough assessment of your system’s security. It strikes a careful balance between identifying vulnerabilities and maintaining system integrity, always with the end goal of strengthening your cyber defences.

This is the initial stage where we engage with the client to define the test’s parameters, understanding the client’s objectives, and identify the systems to be tested, the depth of the test, and the test timings. To assist with scoping we may send out checklists to the client, or ask for further documentation or diagrams (unless the client is seeking a black box approach, in which case we do not ask for additional documentation). We then develop a bespoke proposal with pricing that is issued to the client for consideration.

Once your proposal and contracts are signed, we look to undertake the Rules of Engagement (RoE) meeting to ensure all parties are clear about the test boundaries and conditions. This stage involves a meeting to discuss and agree upon the scope of the test, times of testing, and other critical aspects, ensuring the test is conducted ethically and professionally.

This stage involves our team embarking on an intelligence-gathering mission about your system. By collecting essential details like IP addresses, network services, and more, we can sketch a detailed blueprint of your environment to effectively probe for vulnerabilities.

This phase comprises a detailed technical analysis of the target system, using automated tools like vulnerability scanners and network mappers. The scanning results help to understand how the target application responds under different conditions and pinpoint potential weak points.

Following scanning, the vulnerability assessment phase is a careful analysis of the target system to identify potential points of exploitation. This meticulous assessment flags potential vulnerabilities, enabling us to fully comprehend your system’s security posture.

In this critical phase, our team attempts to capitalise on discovered vulnerabilities to determine the depth of the vulnerability and the potential damage it could cause. The intention is not to harm but to understand the potential of a real-life breach.

The final stage involves creating a comprehensive report detailing our findings. It includes identified vulnerabilities, exploited data, and the success of the simulated breach. Importantly, the report offers recommendations for addressing the vulnerabilities and improving your security, serving as a roadmap towards a secure IT infrastructure.

How Much Access Is Given To Penetration Testers?

Gridware is marked by its comprehensive approach to penetration testing projects. Our teams based Sydney and Melbourne work closely with clients at their sites or remotely country-wide.

We understand that it can be tough to choose the right penetration testing company to secure your digital assets. In line with best practice testing frameworks such as PTES, OWASP, and OSSTMM, the level of access granted to penetration testers varies based on the type and depth of the test being conducted.

For instance, a black box test provides the testers with no prior knowledge about your systems, mimicking a real-world attack from a threat actor with no inside information. In contrast, a white box test may provide comprehensive access, allowing testers to evaluate security from an insider’s perspective.

Always remember, the choice of penetration testing company and their approach should be tailored to your organisation’s unique needs and the specific threats you face.

Common Penetration Testing Techniques

At Gridware, our team of skilled penetration testers use a wide range of techniques straight from the top industry standards. These are the same tactics that hackers use to identify weak points in your systems. We simulate these attacks to see how your systems hold up and identify areas for improvement. This hands-on approach gives us a real-world view of your digital defences, helping us strengthen your systems against the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats. Understanding these techniques can give you a unique perspective into the extensive work we do to keep your business safe.

Active Penetration Testing Techniques

Network Scanning or Network Mapping

Network scanning or network mapping is a technique where the corporate network is probed to identify connected devices, open ports, and potentially unsecured access points.

Injection Attacks

Attackers input malicious data into a system, tricking it into executing unintended commands or accessing unauthorized data. This includes SQL, OS, or LDAP injection, where the attacker feeds malicious data to a system that interprets it as part of a command or query.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

A type of injection attack, XSS involves injecting malicious scripts into trusted websites, which can lead to sensitive information being exposed.

Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks

In these scenarios, attackers intercept communication between two parties to eavesdrop, steal data, or impersonate one of the parties.

Privilege Escalation Attacks

Privilege escalation attacks occur when attackers exploit a system or application vulnerability to gain elevated access to resources.

Indirect Techniques Emulated by Penetration Testers

Phishing Attacks

In phishing attacks, individuals are tricked by attackers into providing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details.

Malware Attacks

Malware attacks involve the use of various forms of malware, including viruses, ransomware, or spyware, by attackers to compromise a system.

Denial of Service Attacks

Denial of Service attacks aim to render a system, service, or network resource unavailable by overwhelming it with a flood of internet traffic.

Brute-Force Attacks

In brute-force attacks, an attacker attempts to gain access to a system by guessing the password, often using automated software to generate a high volume of consecutive guesses.

Penetration Testing Tools

Penetration testing tools are essential for evaluating the security of systems, networks, and applications. They empower skilled professionals to uncover vulnerabilities and potential weaknesses that could be exploited by malicious actors. By leveraging a variety of tools, penetration testers gain valuable insights into an organisation’s resilience. These tools assist with undertaking the pen testing techniques we mentioned earlier. By effectively utilising penetration testing tools, organisations can strengthen their security defences and safeguard against potential threats.

Conclusion

  • Effective penetration testing is crucial for protecting digital assets against evolving cyber threats.
  • Gridware follows industry standards and best practices such as OWASP, PTES, OSSTMM, and CREST.
  • Our skilled team utilises a comprehensive range of techniques including network scanning, injection attacks, cross-site scripting, privilege escalation, and more.
  • We identify vulnerabilities and provide actionable recommendations to fortify your defenses.
  • By emulating real-world hacker tactics, we ensure that your systems are robust and resilient.
  • Gridware’s unique approach combines proprietary methods with industry best practice standards.
  • Our teams are based in Sydney and Melbourne, serving clients across Australia and Internationally.
  • We have a proven track record of delivering results that protect organizations from financial loss, reputational damage, and lost time.

Gridware is proud to be CREST (Council for Registered Ethical Security Testers) certified. Click to learn more.

Penetration Testing FAQs

Penetration testing is way of demonstrating reasonable efforts made to test the integrity of your business infrastructure and applications. It shows your company has put effort into protecting confidential and sensitive business data to regulators such as ASIC or AUSTRAC. With new legislation passing in Australia, businesses are required to demonstrate they’ve regularly checked their systems are compliant with the industry standards and that checks have been made to ensure there are no vulnerabilities which can be easily utilised by attackers.

A penetration test (or pen test) is a series of intentional attempts to gain unauthorised access through the use of specialised tools available to attackers and professionals. It is like a stress test for your business systems and applications. It assess the integrity of your business ensuring confidential data is secure, access permissions are appropriate, and that applications are compliant with the latest patches and free from vulnerability of exploits.

Penetration tests should be conducted by an external service provider to ensure there is no bias in the testing, that it is run independently from the business by technical experts who are familiar with the latest developments in exploits and both international and industry standards.

 

Gridware regularly conducts external penetrations tests, from the perspective of an attacker, internal penetration testing, from the perspective of a rogue employee after restricted information and network and firewall tests to ensure the integrity of your infrastructure. We also recommend running regular penetration testing on Wireless (wifi) networks as well as testing remote social engineering in electronic attacks such as phishing or directed human effort at compromising your systems.

 
 

All our penetration testers are qualified to conduct penetration tests and are certified ethical hackers CRESTCISSP, ISO 27001 Auditors, GSECGWAPT and CEH.

 

Regular scans will only check and ‘compare’ to data that is often outdated or no longer applicable with the latest developments in the security industry. You need to ‘do as they do’ and perform tests from the perspective of an attacker with the tools attackers utilise to bypass your defences.

 

All business applications, even when used in the cloud, are subject to vulnerabilities and exploits. It’s only a matter a time before commonly used applications are compromised and then subsequently patched. We need to check that the patch management process is keeping up with the latest developments, and that they are being patched against exploits. The cloud will only act as a host and cannot guarantee the integrity of any application it hosts.

 

The cost of penetration testing will depend on the systems, infrastructure and complexity of your business applications. In our experience, most companies looking to undertake both external and internal penetration testing, can require between 7-14 days of testing and consulting to complete. There are other factors to consider that affect the price, including any regulatory or legal requirements affecting your industry which reflects into the price.

 

In our experience, Penetration testing can take anywhere between 5-15 business days to complete. When less testing is required, or if testing is focused on a single application, systems or process, testing can be completed in 2-3 business days.

 

Gridware primarily looks for security vulnerabilities at the network and host level configurations. This is a fundamental step in ensuring your systems are not publicly accessible to unauthorised users. We also focus server/cloud configuration, email servers, and all major operation system and browser exploits that are commonly seen.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Penetration testing is more than just automated testing. Unlike automated scanning software that relies on predefined scripts and algorithms, penetration testing involves the expertise and creativity of skilled professionals to uncover vulnerabilities that automated tools may miss. Gridware’s team of highly trained penetration testers stays ahead of the ever-evolving threat landscape, utilizing the latest threat intelligence to conduct comprehensive assessments. We believe that talent is irreplaceable when it comes to identifying and addressing potential weaknesses in your systems. With our human-centric approach, Gridware goes beyond the limitations of automated tools to provide you with a thorough and realistic evaluation of your security posture.

Pros:

  • Real-world assessment: Penetration testing utilises the skills of some of the world’s most highly skilled security professionals.
  • Pen testing provides a realistic evaluation of an organisation’s security posture, simulating the techniques and tactics employed by malicious actors at the present time.
  • Comprehensive vulnerability identification: Penetration testing helps uncover vulnerabilities and weaknesses that automated tools will miss, providing a more thorough assessment of the security landscape.
  • Actionable recommendations: Penetration testers offer specific and actionable recommendations to address identified vulnerabilities, empowering organisations to strengthen their security defenses.

Cons:

  • Time and resource-intensive: Penetration testing can be time-consuming and requires skilled professionals, making it a potentially costly investment for organisations.
  • Limited scope: Penetration testing typically focuses on a specific target or application (at a point in time), which means it may not provide a holistic view of an organisation’s entire security infrastructure.
  • Point in time: A pen test will only show you the security vulnerabilities that can be identified or exploited at the time of testing. Every day, hundreds of new vulnerabilities and CVEs are identified, meaning new ways hackers can exploit your systems.
  • Disruption and false positives: In rare cases, Penetration testing can cause temporary disruptions or false positives, potentially impacting normal business operations. However, times of testing is typically covered during the Rules of Engagement phase.

Contact

Sydney Offices
Level 12, Suite 6
189 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000
1300 211 235

Melbourne Offices
Level 13, 114 William Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
1300 211 235

Perth Offices
Level 32, 152 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
1300 211 235

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