Cloud Pentests

Review methodologies for Cloud Configurations.

Overview of test methodologies for your cloud setup.

We support penetration testing of systems in the following cloud environments:

  • Amazon AWS
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Microsoft Azure

While we perform many of the same tests on different cloud configurations, each environment has unique testing requirements.

Common Requirements

Cobalt assesses your selected cloud environment, as well as all internal and external components. Cobalt follows an industry standard methodology primarily based on:

The Cobalt team of pentesters do not need access to the underlying web application source code, unless you specify it as a requirement.

We follow an industry standard methodology primarily based on the OWASP ASVS Testing Guide. Our team takes the following steps to ensure full coverage:

  • Target scope reconnaissance
  • Component enumeration
    • Based on automated component discovery
  • Automated component configuration assessment
    • Detail risks, based on Center for Internet Security (CIS) best practices
  • Automated / manual review of externally exposed services
    • Basic vulnerability assessments
  • Architectural design analysis
  • Report, triage, and retest
    • Requires tests of at least two (2) credits

Cloud pentest flow

In general, the cloud providers that we work with no longer need to know before we perform our pentests. However, each cloud provider may have their own procedure. We’ve included links to procedures that we know of in the section for each provider.

Source IP Addresses

Cloud providers may need to include IP addresses associated with pentest traffic in their allowlist. We’ll share these addresses when you create an actual pentest.

Testing Parameters

When you create a pentest that involves a cloud provider, we’ll share the information that your cloud provider may require, including:

  • Peak bandwidth
  • Peak queries per second
  • Escalation traffic requirements
  • Emergency contact information

Amazon AWS

Our pentesters need access to test your AWS systems. To that end, you should prepare:

  • A dedicated AWS account for each pentester, with access to each target system.
    • Identity and Access Management (IAM) API credentials for each affected AWS account.
      • Include the following managed policies for the pentest user or role:
        • SecurityAudit
        • ViewOnlyAccess

These are the required policy Amazon Resource Names (ARN):

arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/SecurityAudit
arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/job-function/ViewOnlyAccess

You should also include the architecture of your cloud configuration.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Our pentesters need access to test your GCP systems. To that end, you should prepare:

  • A dedicated GCP account for each pentester, with access to each target system.
    • Identity and Access Management (IAM) API credentials for each affected GCP account.
      • To provide API credentials, use a (service) account with Viewer and Security Reviewer permissions.

Microsoft Azure

Our pentesters need access to test your Azure systems. To that end, you should prepare:

  • A dedicated Azure account for each pentester, with access to each target system.
    • Identity and Access Management (IAM) API credentials for each dedicated account.

Other Cloud Providers

We’ve done pentests on other cloud providers. You can refer to the Common Requirements listed earlier.

Additional Requirements

You’re welcome to define additional test objectives. If you follow best practices other than OWASP, ASVS, or OSSTMM, let us know. Include a link or other documentation. If it’s a “well-known” security practice, our pentesters probably already know them!

If you have special instructions for a pentest, add them later, under Special Instructions.


Last modified November.11.2021