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What security risks and threats are Cloud Penetration Tests designed to uncover?

icon Posted by: Hasan Sameer
icon October 27, 2023

In Brief:

How is Cloud Pen Testing Designed?

It is a methodical procedure for assessing the security of cloud-based systems. The process starts with thorough planning, establishing goals and scope, and comprehending the policies of the cloud service provider. Target assets are identified through information gathering, and then possible vulnerabilities are evaluated through threat modeling. Vulnerabilities in cloud setups and code can be found by automated and manual vulnerability scanning. Next, proficient penetration testers make a realistic attempt to exploit these weaknesses. They produce a thorough report, outlining the results and offering suggestions for correction. Validation at the end of the procedure verifies that the issues have been resolved. Maintaining cloud security requires regular cloud pentesting. Especially, since cloud environments are always changing to satisfy corporate demands and draw new threats.


of organizations pen-test their external infrastructure at least once a year.


of organizations say they suffered from a security incident in their public cloud infrastructure within the past year.


of cloud security breaches are caused by misconfigurations.


of respondents said that cloud pen testing is a critical part of their security posture.

Major Security Risks and Threats that Cloud Penetration Testing Uncovers

Cloud penetration tests are designed to uncover various security risks and threats specific to cloud-based systems. The following points explain the types of vulnerabilities and issues these tests aim to identify:

1. Data Breaches:

Unauthorized access to sensitive data stored in the cloud, such as customer information, intellectual property, or financial records.

2. Misconfigured Resources:

Incorrectly configured cloud services may expose data or systems to potential attackers. It is mainly due to open ports, weak access controls, or improperly set permissions.

3. Insecure APIs:

Vulnerabilities in application programming interfaces (APIs) that can be exploited to gain unauthorized access to cloud resources or manipulate data.

4. Weak Authentication:

Identification of weak or easily guessable passwords and ineffective authentication mechanisms, potentially leading to unauthorized access.

5. Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks:

Identifying vulnerabilities that could be exploited to launch DoS attacks, disrupting cloud services or making them unavailable.

6. Data Loss:

Identifying potential data loss scenarios due to misconfigurations, accidental deletions, or malicious actions.

7. Security Misconfigurations:

Detection of improperly configured security settings and rules that could result in security breaches.

8. Elevated Privileges:

Determining if any unauthorized users or entities have excessive privileges that could be exploited.

9. Shared Resource Risks:

Assessing the security risks associated with multi-tenancy and shared resources within cloud environments, like the possibility of data leakage between tenants.

10. Compliance Violations:

Identifying violations of regulatory and compliance standards, which could result in legal consequences and financial penalties.

11. Network Vulnerabilities:

Evaluating the cloud network infrastructure for weak points that might be exploited for unauthorized access or data interception.

12.  Container and Orchestration Risks:

Assessing the security of containers and orchestration platforms for potential misconfigurations or vulnerabilities.

13. Application-Level Threats:

Identifying vulnerabilities in cloud-hosted applications, such as web application flaws or insecure application code.

14.  Data Encryption Weaknesses:

Evaluating the strength of encryption methods used to protect data in transit and at rest.

15.  Inadequate Logging and Monitoring:

Ensuring that proper logging and monitoring mechanisms are in place to detect and respond to security incidents.

Key Benefits of Cloud Pen Testing

Cloud penetration testing offers several key benefits:

  • Scalability: Easily adapt testing resources to match your cloud infrastructure’s scale.
  • Cost Efficiency: Reduce the need for on-premises hardware and save on maintenance costs.
  • Accessibility: Test from anywhere with an internet connection, enhancing flexibility.
  • Rapid Deployment: Quickly set up testing environments and execute assessments.
  • Realistic Testing: Mimic real-world attack scenarios to uncover vulnerabilities.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Regular assessments help maintain security in dynamic cloud environments.
  • Compliance Assurance: Meet regulatory requirements by demonstrating security measures.
  • Data Protection: Ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data in the cloud.
  • Scalable Reporting: Generate comprehensive reports to facilitate remediation efforts.
  • Collaboration: Enhance teamwork among remote testers and stakeholders for improved results.

Before You Go!

  • As we can see, cloud pentesting can uncover and highlight almost every security flaw within your cloud environment.
  • However, it is not something that is recommended to do by yourself. It takes a lot of experience and expertise to execute such a process with precision.
  • You must seek assistance from a cyber security consultancy near you that provides great cloud penetration testing services.


  • Cloud Penetration Testing
  • Cloud Pentesting

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