Microsoft doesn’t perform Azure penetration testing of your application for you, but we do understand that you want and need to perform testing on your own applications. That’s a good thing because when you enhance the security of your applications you help make the entire Azure ecosystem more secure.

Test the overall strength of corporate security (technology, processes, and people) by simulating the goals and actions of an attacker.

As Microsoft states on its website, regular penetration testing of Azure resources and patch tracking for all critical security points will help protect your cloud environment and prevent data leakage or loss during attacks.

What is Azure Penetration Testing

A penetration test is a popular methodology for testing the security of a system. SECLINQ conducts the test utilizing security experts who are not part of the organization’s IT or application development departments. They study the system the way an attacker would do when planning an attack. The goal is to find security gaps through information gathering, vulnerability analysis, and reporting.

SECLINQ team assesses the security posture and conducts vulnerability management to improve the security posture in Azure. This testing includes vulnerability scanning, testing and recommending remediation of vulnerabilities on Azure resources.

The penetration testers perform extensive manual testing on top of automated scans. The testers then present detailed vulnerability reports to give you full visibility of the security risks on Microsoft Azure.

Benefits of penetration testing Azure assets

The main advantage of a penetration test is understanding the current state of the security of your IT environment.

The penetration testing report allows you to understand and fix known vulnerabilities in your IT assets, network, and websites. The priority list clearly states which vulnerabilities should be fixed immediately, which ones should be fixed next, etc. This ensures that your efforts are always focused on the most severe remaining vulnerabilities. It will definitely identify risks you didn’t know about, but it will also show you – albeit with negative data – areas that are already well protected.

Some penetration testing software can expose vulnerabilities due to misconfiguration issues or poor cyber security, such as missing patches or default passwords. These are simple, fast, and inexpensive solutions that will immediately improve your attitude towards cyberspace.

Above all, this enhances your cybersecurity protects your most sensitive data and promotes business continuity. And of course, preventing breaches and other security incidents also helps avoid data protection fines or lawsuits against data subjects.

As a result, you can ensure that Azure infrastructure can withstand cloud-based attacks, validate the internal and third-party integrations, comply with regulatory requirements, ensure the strong Azure cloud authentication and validate the logging, monitoring, and cloud defense controls.

Azure Penetration Testing Steps

Tests on the endpoints to uncover the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top 10 vulnerabilities including:

  • Initial access and data collection
  • Enumeration
  • Identifying the attack surface
  • Automated vulnerability scanning
  • Manual penetration testing
  • Privilege Escalation
  • Lateral Movement test
  • Persistence

Common Azure security

As per Microsoft, there are six functional areas for built-in Azure security capabilities:

  • Operations
  • Identity
  • Applications
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Compute

Here are the common vulnerabilities:

  • OS Credential Dumping
  • Remote Services vulnerabilities
  • Insecure Cloud Storage
  • Unsecure/Leaked Credentials
  • Account manipulation
  • Azure NSG inbound rules configured with ANY
  • Unrestricted access to Azure AD administrative portal

Azure Restrictions

During a penetration test, the following actions are prohibited by Microsoft:

  • Scanning or conducting tests on other Azure customer assets
  • Accessing data owned by other customers
  • Conducting any DDoS attacks
  • Conducting any intensive network fuzzing against Azure virtual machines
  • Any tests that generate a huge amount of traffic through automated testing methods
  • Attempt phishing or any social engineering attacks on Microsoft’s employees
  • Utilizing any services that violate the acceptable usage policies as mentioned in the online usage terms

Creating multiple test or trial accounts to test cross-account access vulnerabilities is allowed. However, using these test accounts to access other customers’ data is prohibited.

Schedule Azure Penetration Testing 

The timeline for Azure penetration testing may differ a little depending upon the scope of the test. Therefore, SECLINQ offensive security team can help you define the scope and objectives of the test to be able to focus on the results.

Make penetration testing a standard part of your build and deployment process. Schedule regular penetration testing and vulnerability scanning on your deployed applications, and monitor endpoints, network access and attacks.