Major Limitations of Cloud Pentesting you need to know

icon Posted by: Hasan Sameer
icon November 2, 2022

In Brief: 

What is the Purpose of Cloud Pentesting? 

Penetration testing is a type of offensive security test on a system to determine its resistance against malicious activities. The purpose of cloud pentesting is to find and eliminate every security gap within your cloud environment before hackers do and exploit them. There are different methods, both manual and automatic available for getting the best test results. Also, there are some legal and technical challenges that might come in the way of cloud pentesting to fulfilling its purpose. We will have a close look at these challenges in the further sections of the blog.  


of companies, or even more after the data has been recorded are hosting at least some of their digital assets in the cloud.


of cloud-using organizations are facing data privacy and security challenges.


of organizations have suffered a security incident in their public cloud infrastructure within the last 12 months.


of all security incidents in the cloud environment are caused due to security misconfigurations.

Limitations of Cloud Pen Testing 

Cloud penetration testing offers a wide range of benefits in terms of security and compliance management for the cloud environment. But there are a few limitations that always block the way. The following are major limitations of cloud pentesting you need to know: 

1. Sometimes it is quite difficult to get accurate results: The result of a cloud pentesting process is dependent on a lot of factors. These factors include the tools and techniques used, aspects of the cloud infrastructure tested, and the pen testing policies set by the cloud service providers. Variations in any of these factors might lead to variations in test results. You will get different results from one test to another.  

2. Testers do not have full access: When penetration testers are working in the on-premises environment, they have access to all the required system functionalities and data. They do not get the same level of access to the systems and data while working in a cloud environment. This makes the exploitation of vulnerabilities a bit more complicated process to execute. Some loopholes might get left uncovered because of this.   

3. There is a a considerable risk of data leakage: During the cloud penetration testing process, testers work in a shared environment. This leads to a a substantial risk of data leakage. Testers are in possession of your confidential information while they are executing the test. If they do not handle it with responsibility and care, this information might go into the wrong hands within no time.  

4.It might cost you higher: You cannot work with testers who have been involved in traditional penetration testing projects only. For cloud pen testing, you need to hire testing professionals with certain certifications or who have specific experience. This might go heavy on your pocket sometimes.  

There is no classic way or a set pattern to perform penetration testing over a cloud environment. It is all dependent on the client and their requirements. When you perform pen testing on different cloud providers and different technologies, you need to vary the approach. That is why it is important to gather knowledge about cloud services and the possible security misconfigurations in them before executing the test. Although it is particularly challenging for one tester to know about all cloud environments and the policies of every service provider. But That is not the only challenge in cloud penetration testing. The next section features the major challenges in cloud pentesting. 

Major Challenges in Cloud Pentesting

  • Lack of Transparency: There are a lot of cloud services that rely on third parties to manage their data centers. This leads to the user being unaware of where the data is stored. Also, the user has no idea about the software configuration. This is a lack of transparency, and it leads to security risks. 
  • Resource Sharing: In a public cloud, the services and resources are shared among multiple users. In a lot of instances, the service providers do not take adequate steps for the segmentation of all the users. This throws challenges for the tester to execute their plans. 
  • Policy Restrictions: Each service provider has its own cloud security policy. It restricts you perform penetration testing on some areas of the cloud infrastructure. 

Before You Go! 

  • No doubt, cloud pentesting is challenging and has its limitations. But with expert guidance, you can make the most of it. 
  • There are Cyber Security Consultant Companies like RSK Cyber Security help you out with cloud pentesting without any roadblocks. 



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