The relevance of Penetration test in securing cloud environment

Serena Gray
3 min readJan 29, 2024

On-premise cloud management, internal cloud environments, cloud perimeter, administration and development infrastructure are some of the key areas that need to be taken into consideration while pen testing is carried out in the cloud model.

The pen testing team should have the necessary expertise and skills to conduct pen testing in a cloud environment rewardingly. In this article, you will get to know the relevance of penetration test in securing cloud environment.

What is cloud penetration testing?

The security of an organization’s cloud-based infrastructure and applications is evaluated by carrying out a simulated attack. Through this, potential flaws, risks and vulnerabilities are identified proactively, so that an actionable remediation plan is provided to plug loopholes before it is exploited by hackers.

The platform of cloud penetration testing helps businesses analyze their security related misconfigurations and vulnerabilities and thus respond accordingly to strengthen their security posture. As cloud based businesses can be impacted by cloud cyberattacks, one of the key agendas of these specific businesses should be to implement penetration testing in cloud to secure their cloud infrastructure and avoid breaches.

Cloud penetration testing methods:

1. Black box testing: There is no access or knowledge of the cloud environment to penetration testers before the tests begin.

2. White box testing: Penetration testers have root-level or administrator access to the entire cloud environment. The knowledge of the systems is obtained by penetration testers through which a breach can be attempted before the tests begin.

3. Gray box testing: Limited access or knowledge of the cloud environment is obtained by penetration testers. This may include the layout of the IT system, details about user accounts or other specific information.

Following are the three steps used to leverage penetration testing in a cloud environment:

1. Evaluation: In this step, testers analyze the goals and needs of the security team, identify gaps and risks in the security program, identify vulnerabilities and perform initial discovery activities.

2. Exploitation: The information that has been obtained from the evaluation phase is used in ascertaining the specific pen testing methods that can be leveraged. The cloud environment is closely monitored by testers and deployment of appropriate testing methods takes place to know how the attacks are detected by the existing security tooling. The comprehensiveness of the overall security practices and programs is also taken into consideration.

Wherever appropriate, remediation activities are performed, so that the security vulnerabilities that have been identified can be resolved.

3. Carrying out the verification process: The remediation activities that were carried out in the previous phase are reviewed by testers. This review in turn makes sure whether the appropriate remedial measures have been properly applied or not.

Cloud penetration testing best practices:

1. The worst-case scenario should be analyzed: A live vulnerability might be uncovered by the cloud pen testing process that is being exploited by the attackers. In the worst-case scenario, the pen testing team should know how the issues can be identified and fixed quickly so that the damage can be mitigated.

2. The cloud environment needs to be properly mapped: The assets that are under command should be properly known by the cloud penetration testing team. This should include a list of test deliverables, the timeline for the testing process and suggestions as to how the discovered vulnerabilities need to be corrected.

3. The cloud shared responsibility model needs to be clearly understood: The security obligations should be properly understood by the customers and the cloud providers, through a concept known as the shared responsibility model. Before the cloud pen testing process is initiated, the specific security vulnerabilities should be known.

Conclusion: If you are looking forward to conducting penetration testing for your software product, then do visit online a leading software testing services company that will provide you with comprehensive methodology in order to implement pen testing successfully.

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Serena Gray

I work as a Senior Testing Specialist at TestingXperts. I am a testing professional accustomed to working in a complex, project-based environment.