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What is web application penetration testing?

Web application penetration testing services proactively assess applications to identify vulnerabilities, such as those that could lead to the loss of sensitive user and financial information. Web applications play a vital role in business success and are an attractive target for cybercriminals, so regular web app pen testing is essential.

Redscan is a CREST-certified web app pen testing company. Our expert team, which includes Certified Web Application Testers (CCT APP), are hugely experienced at performing web application penetration testing and website security testing and can help your organisation to identify and remediate a wide range of risks.


Web application vulnerabilities

Redscan’s web application penetration testing service can be commissioned to assess both proprietary web applications developed in-house as well as those from third party vendors.

Testing includes assessing applications for vulnerabilities listed in the OWASP Top 10, the Open Web Application Security Project’s ten most critical application security risks. Our web application security testing team will help to identify vulnerabilities including:

  • Injection flaws
  • Authentication weaknesses
  • Poor session management
  • Broken access controls
  • Security misconfigurations
  • Database interaction errors
  • Input validation problems
  • Flaws in application logic


Our web application security testing methodology

Web application pen testing can be both authenticated and unauthenticated. The methodology below outlines how Redscan approaches a ‘blackbox’ unauthenticated assessment where few details are shared with the tester in advance of an assessment taking place.

01. Scoping
02. Reconnaissance and intelligence gathering
03. Vulnerability discovery
04. Exploitation
05. Reporting and debrief


Redscan’s web app pen testing experts work with you to define any websites and applications in scope and devise an appropriate testing strategy.


Reconnaissance and intelligence gathering

Our web application penetration testers use the latest intelligence gathering techniques to uncover security and technical information about the websites and applications in-scope.


Vulnerability discovery

Our web application penetration testers use their offensive security expertise and knowledge of the latest hacking tools to identify exploitable security vulnerabilities.



Once vulnerabilities have been identified, our pen testers develop and execute a plan to exploit them, but in a safe way that avoids damage and disruption.


Reporting and debrief

Once a web application security test is complete, our testers document key findings and supply prioritised remediation guidance to help address any identified exposures.


What are the benefits of web app penetration testing?

Web app penetration testing provides a proactive approach to assess web applications and uncover vulnerabilities that could lead to unauthorised access and data exposure. Pen testing can be used to assess the architecture, design, configuration and/or implementation of apps.

A web app pen test will look for critical risks in apps developed in-house or those from third party vendors, including injection flaws, authentication weaknesses, security misconfigurations and flaws in application logic.

Web app penetration testing enables companies to achieve key outcomes to enhance the overall security of their application. These include improving access control, developing strong authentication and session management controls, ensuring compliance and checking the configuration of firewalls.


Process for web app pen testing

Process for web app pen testing

A web app penetration test includes key steps that are completed in a cyclic pattern until no more vulnerabilities are found. The process focuses on the environment and the setup process, aiming to replicate the techniques used by attackers. Following the scoping phase, the testing process begins with collecting information about the web app, mapping the network it is hosted by and investigating any potential points of attack. An extensive threat modelling exercise is conducted prior to attack execution, and the test will conclude with a custom report, listing vulnerabilities by severity and ease of execution, and providing prioritised remediation guidance.

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What our customers say

4.8/5 - based on 51 Reviews
“The penetration testing that Redscan performed provided some very credible findings and outlined clear improvements that we were able to implement. The whole process raised the bar of our cyber security defences.”
Head of Cyber Security
Specialist Bank
"Redscan gave us the professional service and quick turnaround that we needed to meet our tight deadlines."
IT Manager
Financial Markets Association
“Redscan’s hands on approach identified security flaws that had previously been overlooked by other vendors.”  
Technical Operations Manager
Spread Betting Firm
"Should I need any security testing again in the future, Redscan would be my first port of call!"
Project Analyst/Developer
Life Insurance Provider
“We have been very impressed by the quality of Redscan’s engagement, communication and reporting. We will not hesitate to use them for any future testing requirements.”      
Information Security Officer
Investment Advisory
“Redscan has given us a third party stamp of approval for our IT security and the reassurance to know we are as secure as possible.”
IT Manager
Investment Advisory


Types of Penetration Testing

Network Infrastructure Testing

Redscan rigorously investigates your network to identify and exploit a wide range of security vulnerabilities. This enables us to establish if assets such as data can be compromised, classify the risks posed to your overall cyber security, prioritise vulnerabilities to be addressed, and recommend actions to mitigate risks identified.

Agile Pen Testing

Integrated into your software development lifecycle (SDLC), Kroll’s agile penetration testing services are designed to help teams address security risks in real time. This ensures that every product release, whether it is a minor bug fix or a major feature, has been vetted from a security perspective.

Cloud Penetration Testing

With specific rules of engagement set by each provider, cloud penetration testing is not straightforward. Our range of custom cloud security assessments can help your organisation overcome these challenges by uncovering and addressing vulnerabilities that could leave critical assets exposed.

Wireless Testing

Unsecured wireless networks can enable attackers to enter your network and steal valuable data. Wireless penetration testing identifies vulnerabilities, quantifies the damage these could cause and determines how they should be remediated.

Social Engineering

People continue to be one of the weakest links in an organisation’s cyber security. Redscan’s social engineering pen test service includes a range of email phishing engagements designed to assess the ability of your systems and personnel to detect and respond to a simulated attack exercise.

Mobile Security Testing

Mobile app usage is on the rise, with more and more companies enabling customers to conveniently access their services via tablets and smartphones. Redscan carries out in-depth mobile application assessments based on the latest development frameworks and security testing tools.


Our security qualifications

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Frequently asked questions about web app pen testing

What is web application penetration testing?

A web application penetration test is a type of ethical hacking engagement designed to assess the architecture, design and configuration of web applications. Assessments are conducted to identify cyber security risks that could lead to unauthorised access and/or data exposure.

Who performs a web application penetration test?

Redscan web application penetration testing is performed by a team of CREST CCT APP certified professionals that have a deep understanding of the latest tactics and techniques that adversaries use to compromise web applications.

What information is needed to scope a web app pen test?

The information needed to help scope a web application security test typically includes the number and types of web applications to be tested, number of static and dynamic pages, number of input fields and whether the test will be authenticated or unauthenticated (where login credentials are unknown/known).

Which web application security testing tools are used?

Penetration testing for web applications not only requires knowledge of the latest web application security testing tools but also a deep understanding of how to use them most effectively. To assess web app security, ethical hackers leverage a range of specialist tools. These range from specialist pen testing platforms (such as Cobalt Strike, Metasploit Pro and Kali Linux), to networking tools (such as Wireshark), and custom-developed tools and exploits written using Python, Java and PowerShell.

How long does it take to perform a web application security test?

The time it takes an ethical hacker to complete a web application penetration test depends on the scope of the test. Factors influencing the duration include the number and type of web apps assessed, plus the number of static or dynamic pages and input fields.

Is web app testing right for your business?

Web application pen testing can be highly beneficial for your business if you develop proprietary web applications in-house or use an app provided by third party vendors. It can help to reduce the financial and reputational costs of a security weakness being uncovered in your app after it’s gone to market or has been shared with your customers. While web application pen testing provides many advantages, your business may benefit from other types of security assessments. Depending on your organisation’s specific requirements, other types of assessments include mobile application security testing, agile pen testing, cloud penetration testing and scenario-based testing. A good offensive security provider should be able to advise you on the most appropriate choice of assessment for your organisation.

What is the difference between web app testing and network penetration testing?

While web app pen testing focuses on identifying security vulnerabilities in applications, network penetration testing, also known as infrastructure penetration testing, aims to identify cyber security vulnerabilities that could be used to compromise on-premises and cloud environments. Unlike web app testing, which looks at the app environment and the setup process, network pen testing looks at potential issues inside and outside an organisation’s network perimeter.

What is the difference between web app testing and vulnerability scanning?

Web app pen testing focuses specifically on identifying security vulnerabilities in web applications while vulnerability scanning is an automated approach that aims to provide a broader overview of potential security risks, looking at aspects areas such as networks, servers, routers, mobile devices, websites and network applications. As a subset of vulnerability assessments, automated vulnerability scans are run via commercial scanner services or platforms on network infrastructure or application components.

What happens at the end of a web app pen test?

After each web application security test, the ethical hacker(s) assigned to the test will produce a custom written report, detailing any weaknesses identified, associated risk levels and recommended remedial actions.

How much does a web application penetration test cost?

The cost of a web application penetration test is determined by the number of days it takes an ethical hacker to fulfil the agreed scope of the engagement. To receive a pen test quotation, your organisation will need to complete a pre-evaluation questionnaire, although Redscan’s experts can support you with this.

Meet some of our team

“Our remit is to think creatively to find solutions that will help keep your organisation more secure. We’re continually improving our knowledge of how adversaries think so that we can better identify security weaknesses and enhance detection of new and emerging threats.”
Security Consultant
Philip Veness
“We aim to make sure that your organisation gets the best possible value from a pen test. We'll talk you through the assessment at every stage and answer any questions you might have along the way.”  


Security Consultant
Teiss Awards 2020 Winner

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Keep your business safe by protecting your networks, systems and apps with our penetration testing services.

  • One of the highest accredited UK pentesting companies
  • A deep understanding of how hackers operate
  • In-depth threat analysis and advice you can trust
  • Complete post-test care for effective risk remediation
  • Multi award-winning offensive security services
  • Avg. >9/10 customer satisfaction, 95% retention rate

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Chief Research Officer

As Chief Research Officer in Kroll's Cyber Risk team, Mark is responsible for driving continuous improvements to our services. One of the UK’s leading security professionals, Mark is a lifetime CREST fellow.