Internal attack and penetration testing, also known as internal security assessment, is a crucial process conducted within an organization to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in its internal network infrastructure, systems, and applications. Unlike external penetration testing, which focuses on identifying external threats, internal attack and penetration testing simulates attacks from within the organization's own network, mimicking the actions of malicious insiders or compromised accounts. The primary objective of internal attack and penetration testing is to evaluate the effectiveness of the organization's security controls and measures against potential insider threats, unauthorized access, data breaches, and privilege escalation. By adopting the perspective of an attacker with insider knowledge, security experts can identify critical flaws that could be exploited by internal threat actors.

During an internal attack and penetration test, security professionals employ various methodologies and techniques to exploit vulnerabilities. They may attempt to gain unauthorized access to sensitive systems or data, escalate privileges, manipulate or exfiltrate data, or launch other malicious activities that an insider threat might carry out. The testing process typically involves thorough reconnaissance, vulnerability scanning, exploitation, and post-exploitation activities to assess the impact and scope of successful attacks. The benefits of internal attack and penetration testing are manifold. It provides organizations with valuable insights into their security posture, allowing them to identify and remediate vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by actual attackers. By simulating real-world attack scenarios, organizations can enhance their incident response capabilities, refine security policies and procedures, and strengthen the overall security culture.

Overall, internal attack and penetration testing plays a vital role in proactive risk management and helps organizations bolster their defenses against insider threats, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their critical assets and data.

Internal Penetration Test follows documented security testing methodologies which can include:

  • Port Scanning and System Fingerprinting
  • Services Probing and Vulnerability Identification
  • Manual Vulnerability Testing and Verification of Identified Vulnerabilities
  • Exploit Research and Service Exploitation
  • Application Layer Testing
  • Firewall and ACL Testing (Data Exfiltration testing)
  • Lateral Movement
  • Administrator Privileges Escalation Testing
  • Password Strength Testing