Application penetration testing

Web penetration testing is focused on finding security vulnerabilities in a target application environment that could let an attacker obtain unauthorized access to the application or exploit its functionality to gain access to sensitive information, underlying OS, or conduct unauthorized actions (i.e. transactions in a banking application). Unlike vulnerability assessment activities, goals of penetration testing include ensuring all vulnerabilities identified are exploitable and can be combined to create an attack chain. However, penetration testing does not focus on achieving specific goals like adversary simulation or Red Team activities, including in scope all potential compromise scenarios.

Social engineering assessments

Social engineering is an attack that requires human interaction, persuading employees of the target company to act, such as opening a malicious document or providing authentication credentials.
While the social engineering delivery method is usually assumed to be email, many other channels such as SMS messages, calls, or social media may be used in the assessment. During the test, spear-phishing attacks are preferred, where a user’s personal information and position in the company are used to enhance a pretexting scenario, improving the success rate.
Usually, social engineering attacks are carried as a part of an adversary simulation assessment.

Adversary simulation

Adversary simulation can provide a different insight into a security infrastructure. While penetration tests are used to test potential vulnerabilities with no regard to stealth, evasion, lateral movement and the Blue Team’s ability to detect and respond to attacks, adversary simulation assessments allow to completely emulate the actions of a malicious individual and trigger proper security team response. While not a replacement for a complete penetration test, such an assessment can provide valuable insight into protection capabilities of a company against a real-world attack.