Offensive Security is a branch of information security that focuses on preventing, detecting, and responding to cyberattacks. It is an area that involves the exploitation of vulnerabilities, the creation of pentests, security breach discovery, and the active monitoring of the networks searching for threats. It can also involve the creation of apps and security tools to detect, prevent and answer cyber threats.
As part of offensive security, we list the following activities:
Pentest (Penetration Test)
The pentest (Penetration Test) is a tool that helps identify and correct security vulnerabilities proactively. Besides, it helps prevent fraud and other security violations and comply with legal and conformity requirements.
It also helps to determine if a safety solution is adequate to the organization’s needs and if it is managed efficiently. Pentests are also helpful in evaluating the resistance to external attacks, helping to ensure infrastructure and systems remain safe.
Red Team Methodologies
The Red Team pentest is an approach that mimics the tactics and procedures of an actual attack. The goal is to identify vulnerabilities and help the organization prepare against real threats. This kind of test involves simulated attacks that test the system and the organization’s resilience to hostile action, for instance, attempts to steal data and sabotage or destabilize the IT infrastructure.
The Red Team pentest can be used to test the security of computer programs, apps, networks, mobile services, IoT devices (Internet of Things), on-premises systems, and even how ready the organization’s security team is to deal with real threats.
White box Pentest
The white box pentest is a kind of pentest that focuses on analyzing the source code and functions of an application. The goal is to find hidden security vulnerabilities not visible during black box pentests.
During a white box pentest, developers check the applications’ source code and database settings, looking for security flaws that attackers can explore.
Code analysis tools are used to detect common programming errors that can lead to a successful attack. They can also search for security vulnerabilities that may be present in the source code, such as data overflow, SQL (Structured Query Language) injection, and other types of attacks.
Black Box Pentest
The black box pentest consists of carrying out a security test in a system without having access to internal information about it. The goal is to spot vulnerabilities using only external information, such as the IP address, open doors, services and protocols being executed. During the test, the teams evaluate the system’s security by making connection attempts and trying to identify potential security flaws. By the end of the test, they provide a report detailing their discoveries and recoveries to improve the system’s safety.
Grey Box Pentest
The gray box pentest is a pentest technique that shares external knowledge with internal knowledge of an application besides automated test tools. It is used to discover vulnerabilities in a system. The goal is to spot vulnerabilities or security flaws before an attacker might exploit them.
Breach and Attack Simulation
Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) is a simulation of a real attack and perimeter violation. They normally involve testing how secure an organization’s digital infrastructure is to identify potential vulnerabilities. They are carried out by emulating a non-authorized access invasion to confidential systems and information.
The simulation typically involves several tools and techniques to obtain access, such as exploring poor password protection, network traffic analysis, and exploiting incorrect system settings.
The goal is to identify and prioritize potential system frailties and develop strategies to mitigate or eliminate them. Simulation results may help organizations to prepare and better answer real attacks. They allow organizations to take proactive measures to strengthen their security, such as adjusting configurations, improving awareness campaigns, and updating software.
Five scenarios to use breach and attack simulations in an organization:
- Test and evaluate resistance against brute force attacks.
- Assess the security of user credentials.
- Test if the security monitoring system is active
- Identify and address security vulnerabilities in applications
- Simulate phishing attacks to verify user sensitivity to threats
Vulnerability Assessment is a security assessment process that aims to identify and classify security vulnerabilities in a system or infrastructure.
It is used for identification but also to help teams correct potential risks before they become real problems and expose the system to attacks or threats.
The vulnerability assessment aims to ensure systems are designed, configured and maintained to minimize or eliminate existing risks.
Several vulnerability analysis tools can be used to spot and classify existing vulnerabilities. These tools may include vulnerability scanners, static and dynamic analysis, and security audits.
Vulnerability assessment may also guide teams regarding how essential the correction of a given kind of asset is for the business, expediting the mitigation and focusing on the right problem. They also help understand the risks attached to these assets so the company can discuss strategic decisions and planned investments.