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Web Application Penetration Testing Methodology Hero
Learn more about our methodology and the steps used in our web application penetration testing engagements.

RedTeam Security's Web Application Penetration Testing Methodology

RedTeam Security's web application penetration test service utilizes a risk-based approach to manually identify critical application-centric security flaws in all in-scope applications. RedTeam Security's web application penetration test combines the results from industry-leading scanning tools with manual testing to enumerate and validate vulnerabilities, configuration errors, and business logic flaws. In-depth manual application testing enables us to find what scanners often miss.

Using this approach, RedTeam Security's comprehensive Web Application Penetration Test covers the classes of vulnerabilities outlined in the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top 10 and beyond:

  1. Injection
  2. Broken Authentication
  3. Sensitive Data Exposure
  4. XML External Entities (XXE)
  5. Broken Access Control
  6. Security Misconfiguration
  7. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  8. Insecure Deserialization
  9. Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities
  10. Insufficient Logging & Monitoring

RedTeam Security’s web app penetration testing methodology is a consistent process based on industry-standard practices used for each pen test we perform. Experience has shown our clients and us that our proven web application penetration testing methodology works.

Information Gathering

The information-gathering phase consists of Google search engine reconnaissance, server fingerprinting, application enumeration, and more. Information gathering efforts result in a compiled list of metadata and raw output to obtain as much information about the application's makeup as possible. Reconnaissance includes web application footprinting, metafile leakage review, service enumeration, and operating system and application fingerprinting. The purpose of this step is to map the in-scope application and prepare for threat identification collectively.

During the Information Gathering phase, RedTeam Security will:

  • Use discovery tools to passively uncover information about the application
  • Identify entry points into the application, such as administration portals or backdoors
  • Perform application fingerprinting to identify the underlying development language and components
  • Send fuzzing requests to be used in the analysis of error codes that may disclose valuable information that could be used to launch a more targeted cyber attack
  • Actively scan for open services and develop a test plan for the latter phases in the security assessment

Through testing, RedTeam Security's penetration testers actively try to force your web applications to leak information, disclose error messages that can be exploited, or reveal versions and technologies used.

Threat Modeling

With the information collected from the previous step, the testing process transitions to identifying security issues in the application. This typically begins with automated scans initially but quickly morphs into manual testing techniques using more pointed and direct tools. During the threat modeling step, assets are identified and categorized into threat categories. These may involve sensitive information, trade secrets, financial documents, etc.

During this phase, RedTeam Security will:

  • Use open source, commercial, and internally developed tools to identify and confirm well-known vulnerabilities.
  • Spider the in-scope application(s) to effectively build a map of each of the features, components, and areas of interest
  • Use discovered sections, features, and capabilities to establish threat categories to be used for more manual/rigorous testing (i.e., file uploads, admin backdoors, web services, editors)
  • Send fuzzing requests to be used to analyze error codes that may disclose valuable information that could be used to launch a more targeted attack.
  • Build the application's threat model using the information gathered in this and the previous phase to be used as a plan of attack for later phases of the penetration test
  • Upload vulnerability information to the customer portal for those vulnerabilities that exist but will not be exploited due to time constraints or risk to devices.

Vulnerability Analysis

The vulnerability analysis step involves documenting and analyzing vulnerabilities discovered due to Information Gathering and Threat Modeling. This includes the analysis of output from the various security tools and manual testing techniques.

During the Vulnerability Analysis phase, RedTeam Security will:

  • Compile the list of areas of interest and develop a plan for exploitation
  • Search and gather known exploits from various sources
  • Analyze the impact and likelihood for each potentially exploitable vulnerability
  • Select the best methods and tools for properly exploiting each of the suspected exploitable vulnerabilities


Unlike a vulnerability assessment, a penetration test takes the additional step of exploitation. Exploitation involves establishing access to the application or connected components by bypassing security controls and exploiting vulnerabilities to determine their real-world risk. Throughout this step, we perform several manual tests simulating real-world exploits incapable of being performed through automated means. During a RedTeam Security web application penetration test, the exploitation phase consists of heavy manual testing tactics and is often the most time-intensive phase.

As part of the Exploitation phase, RedTeam Security will:

  • Attempt to manually exploit the vulnerabilities identified in the previous phases to determine the level of risk and level of exploitation possible
  • Capture and log evidence to provide proof of exploitation (images, screenshots, configs, etc.)
  • Notify the client of any Critical findings upon discovery
  • Upload validated exploits and their corresponding evidence/information to the project portal for client review


The reporting step is intended to compile, document, and risk rate findings and generate a clear and actionable report, complete with evidence, for the project stakeholders. The report will be delivered through the customer portal.  If a customer requests, a presentation of findings will occur via an online meeting.

During this phase, RedTeam Security will perform the following:

  • Ensure all findings have been uploaded to the project portal for client review
  • Create the web application penetration test report, along with evidence.  This will go through an internal review process that then is uploaded to the client portal for review
  • Additional meetings may take place to ensure the client understands the findings and recommendations for mitigation or remediation


To perform a comprehensive real-world assessment, RedTeam Security utilizes commercial tools, internally developed tools, and some of the same tools hackers use on each and every assessment. Once again, we intend to assess systems by simulating a real-world attack, and we leverage the many tools at our disposal to effectively carry out that task.

Automated vs. Manual Testing

RedTeam Security's approach consists of about 80% manual testing and about 20% automated testing - actual results may vary slightly. While automated testing enables efficiency, it effectively provides areas of interest to further explore through manual testing.  At RedTeam Security, we believe that an effective and comprehensive penetration test can only be realized through rigorous manual testing techniques and experience.

Free Remediation Retesting

If there are items you choose to remediate after you received your Web Application Pen Test Report, RedTeam Security is available to retest those remediations and will issue an updated report. Let us know once you have completed those remediations, and we will schedule your retest.  

Let’s Get Started Today, Schedule a Free Consultation With RedTeam Security

At RedTeam Security, we understand the hard work and level of detail that goes into application development (we’re highly experienced developers!), so we know first-hand how easy it can be to miss some security points. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know this. They’ll be waiting to actively seek to exploit these weaknesses through various attack vectors, such as SQL injection, social engineering, phishing, injecting malware, or by exploiting other web application vulnerabilities. To combat these bad actors, we’ll perform a risk assessment and vulnerability assessment to help us fully understand your configurations and identify any potential weaknesses. Once this is achieved, we’ll use our robust testing tools to see how your web application stands up to our pen-testing.

Our goal is to help your team zero in on critical issues, understand any potential security vulnerabilities, and help you to identify solutions to ensure your web applications are the strongest they can be from a cybersecurity standpoint. Through the vigorous processes established in our testing methodology, our experienced pentesters will find any weaknesses and help you increase your security posture to prevent future data breaches or other exploits. About 80% of our application penetration testing is manual testing, with 20% being automated vulnerability scan testing. To learn more about web application security testing, schedule your free virtual meeting with a RedTeam Security expert today at 612-234-7848.

Get a Customized Proposal

Use our Scoping Questionnaire to provide us with the necessary information to put together a proposal for you. Please be as thorough as possible with your responses, as it helps us ensure an accurate and complete proposal.
If you're interested in application penetration testing, you may find this article helpful when formulating your responses: Understanding Application Complexity For Penetration Testing.

If you have any questions, contact us at (952) 836-2770 or schedule a meeting. We will follow up promptly once we receive your responses. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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Dedicated Client Portal

Interact in real-time with your RedTeam security professionals on our user-friendly client portal and see firsthand as the team closes in on your company data.

Certified Security Experts

Our trusted security professionals hold certifications from the leading industry organizations, including OSCP, CASS, CPT, CISSP and more.

Research-Focused Approach

We hold industry-leading certifications and dedicate part of every day to research the latest exploit techniques to ensure our clients remain protected from evolving online attacks.

Free Remediation Testing

Once your team addresses remediation recommendations, RedTeam will schedule your retest at no additional charge.
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