Cloud Penetration Testing Process

Cloud Application Security Testing

At Valency Networks, we pride ourselves on our meticulous approach to Cloud Application and Configuration Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT). Here's an insider's look at how we ensure accuracy, introduce our expertise, and safeguard your digital assets throughout the entire process.

In the dynamic realm of cloud application security testing, our approach at Valency Networks recognized among the top VAPT companies globally, is comprehensive and meticulous. Our journey begins with a thorough analysis of your cloud infrastructure, where certified cloud security experts meticulously identify vulnerabilities and assess potential risks. Leveraging cutting-edge methodologies, we tailor our strategies to align with industry best practices, ensuring a robust defense against emerging threats.

Network Vulnerability Pentesting Security Testing Services, Network VAPT Checklist

As one of the best cloud security companies, we pride ourselves on deploying advanced tools and techniques to conduct in-depth penetration testing. Our team of expert cloud security consultants brings unparalleled proficiency to the forefront, utilizing their industry knowledge to simulate real-world cyber threats and evaluate the resilience of your cloud applications. This hands-on approach allows us to pinpoint vulnerabilities, offering valuable insights into potential weaknesses that could be exploited by malicious actors.

Our cloud VAPT process encompasses a collaborative partnership with your team, fostering knowledge transfer and empowering your organization to maintain a vigilant security posture. Throughout this engagement, our certified cloud security experts not only identify vulnerabilities but also provide strategic recommendations for remediation. This collaborative effort ensures that your cloud environment remains secure and resilient in the face of evolving cyber threats.

At Valency Networks, we transcend the conventional to deliver unparalleled cloud security solutions. As expert cloud security consultants, our commitment is to empower businesses with robust defenses, setting new standards in the realm of cloud application security testing. Partner with us to experience a transformative approach that prioritizes not just security, but the strategic fortification of your digital assets in the ever-evolving cloud landscape.

Before Testing Starts:

This is How We Do It:

Sign NDA:

Before we delve into the intricacies of your cloud environment, we establish a foundation of trust. Signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) ensures the utmost confidentiality, setting the stage for a secure collaboration.

Freeze on Scope:

Precision is key. We work closely with your team to freeze the scope of the VAPT. This involves defining the boundaries and limitations of our testing, ensuring a focused and efficient assessment.

Study Cloud App Architecture:

Our journey begins with a deep dive into your cloud application's architecture. We meticulously study data flows, API integrations, server configurations, and dependencies, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive assessment.

Study Cloud User Roles:

Understanding your user roles is paramount. We analyze the privileges associated with different roles, allowing us to simulate real-world scenarios during testing and identify potential vulnerabilities.

Decide Attack Vectors and Prioritize:

We leverage our expertise to decide on attack vectors. By prioritizing these vectors based on risk and potential impact, we tailor our approach to address the most critical security concerns first.

Allocate Single Point of Contact:

Communication is the linchpin of successful testing. We allocate a dedicated single point of contact on our end to streamline communication with your team, ensuring a seamless and efficient testing process.

During the Pentesting:

Penetration Testing, Security Audit

This is How We Ensure Accuracy:

Black Box Testing:

As part of our arsenal, we employ black box testing to simulate external threats. Our experts, armed with no prior knowledge of your internal systems, meticulously identify vulnerabilities and exploit them just as an external attacker would.

Gray Box Testing:

Our approach seamlessly integrates elements of both black box and white box testing. Armed with partial knowledge of your system, we conduct targeted and realistic assessments, ensuring a nuanced evaluation.

Automatic and Manual Testing:

Precision meets automation. We utilize automated cloud security testing tools for initial scanning, efficiently identifying common vulnerabilities. However, our experts step in for manual testing, where experience and intuition are crucial for uncovering complex vulnerabilities.

Testing Phases:

Our VAPT process unfolds in meticulous phases:

Reconnaissance: Gathering essential information about the target system.

Scanning: Identifying live hosts, open ports, and services.

Gaining Access: Strategically exploiting vulnerabilities to gain access.

Maintaining Access: Ensuring persistent access for in-depth analysis.

Covering Tracks: Removing evidence of the penetration test.

Gathering Logs: Collecting vital information for post-assessment analysis.

After the VAPT

This is How We Introduce Our Expertise:

Analyze Logs:

Our expertise comes to the forefront as we meticulously analyze logs generated during the VAPT. This process helps us understand the actions performed, identify vulnerabilities, and assess the overall impact on your system.

Confirm Results:

Collaboration is key. We work closely with your team to confirm identified vulnerabilities, ensuring that false positives are minimized and that the results accurately reflect the security posture of your cloud environment.

Apply Knowledge:

Our experienced team doesn’t stop at identification; we actively apply the knowledge gained during the VAPT to enhance your security measures. This may involve patching vulnerabilities, refining access controls, or fine-tuning configurations.

Apply Experience:

Experience matters. Leveraging the wealth of experience gained during the testing process, we empower your organization to proactively address potential security gaps, enhancing your overall security posture.

Repeat Test if Required:

We understand that security is a dynamic landscape. If significant changes are made to your system or if your organization undergoes major updates, we recommend repeating the VAPT to ensure continued security.

VAPT Outcome

This is How We Deliver Results:

Detailed Technical Report:

Our deliverables go beyond expectations. We provide a detailed technical report that acts as a roadmap for your IT and security teams. It outlines vulnerabilities, their impact, and the steps to remediate them.

Executive Summary:

For non-technical stakeholders, we craft an executive summary—a high-level overview that outlines key findings, risks, and recommended actions. This ensures that decision-makers grasp the critical aspects of the VAPT outcomes.

High-Level Fixation Solutions:

Our commitment to securing your digital landscape is evident in the high-level fixation solutions we provide. We offer recommendations for addressing identified vulnerabilities, including prioritization and suggested timelines for implementation.

Certificate of Testing Completion (Optional):

For those seeking an extra layer of credibility, we offer an optional certificate of testing completion. This formal recognition underscores our commitment to excellence in VAPT.

In conclusion, at Valency Networks, our approach to Cloud Application and Configuration VAPT is a testament to our commitment to precision, expertise, and client satisfaction. We don't just test; we collaborate, secure, and empower your digital journey. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, ensuring the security of cloud applications becomes paramount. At Valency Networks, we take pride in our expertise in Cloud Application Pentesting, employing a meticulous approach that aligns with the five fundamental steps of ethical hacking. Let's delve into the intricacies of our process, the challenges posed by the OWASP Top 10 attacks for cloud, best practices in cloud security testing, and a comprehensive checklist adhered to by our ethical hackers.

The Five Steps of Cloud VAPT:

Understanding the Ethical Hacking Process:

  1. Reconnaissance:

    • How We Start:
      • Our journey begins with extensive reconnaissance, gaining insights into your cloud architecture, identifying assets, and understanding potential vulnerabilities.
  2. Scanning:

    • What Sets Us Apart:
      • Utilizing cutting-edge tools, we scan your cloud infrastructure for open ports, services, and potential entry points, creating a detailed map for subsequent testing. This is also aided by a properly curated checklist, which is meant to find various loopholes in cloud applications, during the penetration testing.
  3. Gaining Access:

    • Ethical Expertise:
      • Our certified ethical hackers leverage a combination of automated tools and manual testing to exploit identified vulnerabilities, simulating real-world cyber threats.
  4. Maintaining Access:

    • Ensuring Persistence:
      • Once access is gained, we focus on maintaining it to evaluate the effectiveness of security controls in place and assess potential long-term risks.
  5. Covering Tracks:

    • Leaving No Trace:
      • Ethical hacking requires a full-circle approach. We cover our tracks to ensure that the testing process itself doesn't leave any unintended impact on your cloud environment.

OWASP Top 10 Attacks for Cloud

Addressing Cloud-Specific Threats:

  1. Data Breach:

    • Our Response:
      • Rigorous testing of data encryption and access controls to prevent unauthorized data exposure.
  2. Insecure APIs:

    • Expert Analysis:
      • Scrutinizing API endpoints and ensuring secure authentication mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. Data Loss Prevention:

    • Our Strategy:
      • Assessing and fortifying data loss prevention measures to mitigate the risk of sensitive data leakage.
  4. Inadequate Logging and Monitoring:

    • Vigilant Oversight:
      • Emphasizing the importance of robust logging and monitoring systems to detect and respond to suspicious activities promptly.
  5. Account Hijacking:

    • Guarding Against Intrusion:
      • Assessing the strength of authentication mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access and potential account hijacking.
  6. Insufficient Identity and Access Management:

    • Our Expertise:
      • Evaluating IAM configurations to ensure proper user roles, permissions, and access controls.
  7. Configuration Management:

    • Configuring for Security:
      • Identifying and rectifying misconfigurations that may expose vulnerabilities in the cloud environment.
  8. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF):

    • Mitigating Web-Based Threats:
      • Conducting thorough testing to identify and rectify XSS and CSRF vulnerabilities.
  9. Serverless Security:

    • Securing Serverless Architectures:
      • Addressing the unique challenges posed by serverless computing environments, ensuring security without servers.
  10. Supply Chain Attacks:

    • Supply Chain Resilience:
      • Evaluating the security of third-party components and dependencies to prevent supply chain attacks.

Best Practices in Cloud Security Testing

Guiding Principles for Robust Security:

  1. Continuous Testing:

    • Our Commitment:
      • Advocating for continuous testing to adapt to evolving threats and maintain a proactive security stance.
  2. Collaboration with DevOps:

    • Agile Integration:
      • Integrating security seamlessly into the DevOps lifecycle to identify and address vulnerabilities early in the development process.
  3. Comprehensive Training:

    • Empowering Teams:
      • Providing ongoing training to development and IT teams to enhance awareness and understanding of cloud security best practices.
  4. Regular Audits and Assessments:

    • Periodic Vigilance:
      • Conducting regular audits and assessments to identify and address emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
  5. Incident Response Planning:

    • Ready for Anything:
      • Developing and regularly updating an incident response plan to ensure a swift and effective response to security incidents.

Cloud Pentesting Checklist

Ensuring Thorough Assessments:

  1. Scope Definition:

    • Clearly defined scope to focus testing efforts and prevent unintended impacts.
  2. Comprehensive Reconnaissance:

    • In-depth information gathering about the cloud environment.
  3. API Security Testing:

    • Scrutinizing API endpoints for security vulnerabilities.
  4. IAM Configuration Review:

    • Evaluating Identity and Access Management configurations.
  5. Data Encryption Assessment:

    • Rigorous testing of data encryption mechanisms in place.
  6. Network Security Analysis:

    • Assessing network configurations and firewall rules.
  7. Serverless Environment Testing:

    • Specialized testing for serverless architectures.
  8. External and Internal Vulnerability Scanning:

    • Identifying vulnerabilities from both external and internal perspectives.
  9. Social Engineering Simulation:

    • Simulating social engineering attacks to assess human vulnerabilities.
  10. Post-Exploitation Analysis:

    • Analyzing the impact of successful exploits and potential avenues for escalation.

Cloud Security Testing Surveys and Research

Being one of the top cloud security companies, we have witnessed many cloud SaaS applications’ security incidences and gathered many important statistics. We are sharing few below.

  1. Cloud Security Adoption Trends:

    • According to a survey by Flexera in 2021, 92% of enterprises reported having a multi-cloud strategy.
    • Gartner predicted that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers, compared to 10% today.
  2. Challenges in Cloud Security Testing:

    • A report by Ponemon Institute in 2021 found that 64% of organizations struggle with visibility into cloud infrastructure, leading to security challenges.
    • The "State of DevOps" report by Puppet and CircleCI in 2021 highlighted that 38% of respondents faced challenges integrating security into their DevOps practices.
  3. Security Testing Tools and Technologies:

    • The "State of DevOps" report also noted that 33% of high-performing teams integrated security tools early in the development process, showcasing a shift-left approach.
    • According to the SANS Institute's "2021 Cloud Security Survey," 74% of respondents reported using cloud security posture management (CSPM) tools.
  4. Incident Response in Cloud Security:

    • IBM's "Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020" highlighted that the average time to identify and contain a data breach was 280 days, emphasizing the importance of robust incident response.
    • The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) reported in 2020 that 27% of organizations experienced a data breach due to misconfigured cloud storage.
  5. Compliance and Regulatory Concerns:

    • A survey by Netwrix in 2021 found that 54% of organizations struggled with compliance in the cloud, with data residency and sovereignty being major concerns.
    • The "2020 Cloud Threat Report" by Oracle and KPMG noted that 89% of organizations were not confident in their ability to assess the security of their cloud providers.
  6. Budget Allocations for Cloud Security:

    • According to Gartner in 2020, global spending on cloud security was projected to reach $585 million, representing a 33.3% increase from the previous year.
    • A report by ESG in 2020 revealed that 56% of organizations planned to increase their spending on cloud security over the next 12-18 months.
  7. Cloud Security Training and Awareness:

    • A survey by (ISC)² in 2020 found that only 47% of respondents believed their organization provided adequate cloud security training.
    • According to the "2020 Cloud Security Report" by Cybersecurity Insiders, 52% of organizations cited lack of training and expertise as a major barrier to cloud adoption.
  8. Conclusion:

    In the realm of cloud application pentesting, precision, expertise, and collaboration are non-negotiable. At Valency Networks, we go beyond testing; we partner with you to fortify your cloud infrastructure against evolving threats. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our adherence to ethical hacking principles, meticulous testing methodologies, and ongoing efforts to stay at the forefront of cloud security. Choose the expertise that goes beyond testing—choose Valency Networks.

Cloud VAPT Case Studies

1. E-Commerce Startup - India




A leading Indian e-commerce startup faced a severe data breach, compromising customer trust and financial transactions. Cybercriminals exploited vulnerabilities in the payment gateways, leading to unauthorized access and potential misuse of sensitive customer data.

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks conducted an extensive VAPT, identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in the e-commerce startup's payment processing systems. Through rigorous testing, the team enhanced encryption protocols, reinforced access controls, and implemented secure coding practices, ensuring a robust and secure payment infrastructure.

2. HealthTech Startup - USA


Healthcare Technology


A healthcare technology startup in the USA encountered threats to patient data due to cloud vulnerabilities. The potential exposure of sensitive medical records raised concerns about regulatory compliance and patient privacy.

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks performed comprehensive penetration testing, revealing vulnerabilities in the cloud architecture. The team implemented robust security measures, including network segmentation, encryption, and regular security audits to achieve compliance with HIPAA regulations. This ensured the confidentiality and integrity of patient data.

3. Fintech Startup - India


Financial Technology


A fintech startup in India faced security challenges as financial transactions were susceptible to cyber threats. The risk of unauthorized access, fraudulent activities, and compromise of sensitive financial information posed a significant threat to the startup's credibility.

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks conducted in-depth VAPT, uncovering vulnerabilities in the financial transaction processes. The team implemented multi-layered security controls, encryption protocols, and real-time monitoring to fortify the fintech platform against potential threats, ensuring the security and integrity of financial transactions.

4. EdTech Startup - Australia


Education Technology


An Australian edtech startup discovered unauthorized access to student information, raising concerns about data privacy and regulatory compliance. The compromise of student records could lead to reputational damage and legal repercussions

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks executed thorough penetration testing to identify and remediate vulnerabilities in the cloud infrastructure. The team implemented secure access controls, encryption for sensitive data, and regular security training for staff to ensure the protection of student information and compliance with data privacy regulations.

5. Renewable Energy Startup - Germany


Sustainable Energy


A German startup focusing on renewable energy faced critical infrastructure vulnerabilities that could potentially disrupt energy grids. The risk of cyber attacks on connected energy systems raised concerns about the reliability and security of sustainable energy sources.

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks conducted a comprehensive VAPT, uncovering vulnerabilities in the startup's energy grid infrastructure. The team implemented intrusion detection systems, secure network configurations, and regular security audits to fortify the cybersecurity posture of the renewable energy startup, ensuring the stability of energy grids.

6. Logistics Tech Startup - USA


Logistics and Supply Chain


A U.S.-based logistics tech startup encountered threats to real-time tracking and inventory systems. The potential compromise of logistics data could lead to disruptions in the supply chain, impacting the efficiency and reliability of the startup's services.

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks executed thorough penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities in the logistics tech platform. The team implemented secure APIs, encryption for data in transit, and enhanced access controls to safeguard real-time tracking and inventory systems, ensuring the integrity and security of logistics data.

7. AgriTech Startup - India


Agricultural Technology


An Indian agtech startup faced cybersecurity challenges as farming data and IoT devices were exposed to potential cyber threats. The compromise of agricultural data could lead to disruptions in farming operations and compromise the reliability of IoT devices.

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks conducted extensive VAPT, identifying vulnerabilities in the agtech startup's cloud-connected systems. The team implemented secure IoT protocols, encryption for agricultural data, and regular security assessments to fortify the startup against cyber threats, ensuring the security and reliability of farming operations.

8. TravelTech Startup - Brazil


Travel Technology


A travel tech startup in Brazil encountered vulnerabilities in its booking platform, jeopardizing user information and payment details. The potential compromise of travel bookings could lead to financial losses and damage the startup's reputation.

Valency Networks' Solution:

Valency Networks performed in-depth penetration testing, uncovering vulnerabilities in the travel tech platform. The team implemented secure coding practices, encryption for payment transactions, and continuous monitoring to fortify the booking platform against potential cyber threats, ensuring the security and integrity of travel bookings.

Pentesting Commercial Cloud Based Apps

Valency Networks specializes in performing VAPT of commercial cloud based applications such as Microsoft Azure cloud, Amazon AWS cloud and google cloud platform. Please click links below to know more about the technical details.

Microsoft Azure Pentesting Services
Amazon AWS Pentesting Services
Google Cloud Platform Security

Author Avatar

Prashant Phatak

Founder & CEO, Valency Networks

Location: Pune, India

Prashant Phatak is an accomplished leader in the field of IT and Cyber Security. He is Founder and C-level executive of his own firm Valency Networks. Prashant specializes in Vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) of Web, Networks, Mobile Apps, Cloud apps, IoT and OT networks. He is also a certified lead auditor for ISO27001 and ISO22301 compliance.As an proven problem solver, Prashant's expertise is in the field of end to end IT and Cyber security consultancy to various industry sectors.