Penetration Testing Services

A penetration test emulates the real-world threats and attack vectors your higher education institution is likely to encounter. We identify the weaknesses and demonstrate the impact before an attacker does and help prioritize resources to protect your organization.


The sophistication of attacks from recent data breaches show that identifying vulnerabilities requires more than simply running a vulnerability scan against your assets.


While identifying a vulnerability is useful, being able to demonstrate how vulnerabilities can be combined and exploited gives you a better understanding of the overall risk.


Being able to quantify the risks your organization faces helps you to better prioritize your resources and make data-driven decisions to protect your organization.

Benefits of Penetration Testing

Reduce Attack Surface

SIG offers Cybersecurity-Reduce-Attack-Surface services

Understanding what ports and services are exposed and how an attacker may use the information available to attack is a critical first step in defending your network. SIG Cyber will evaluate your attack surface, and provide tailored recommendations to minimize the avenues an adversary can exploit.

Gain Visibility of Security Gaps

Gain a holistic view of the blind spots and gaps in your security posture. Having a third-party security expert assess your security uncovers things that your internal team may have overlooked by being too close.

Test Effectiveness of Security Controls

Test the investments your security team has implemented to ensure they are configured correctly to thwart attacks, and whether they can stop a dedicated attack against your organization.

Justify and Prioritize Security Budgets

A penetration test can assist you in justifying and prioritizing the budget your organization needs for critical security controls, saving money over the long run and preventing unnecessary expenditures on security products not a good fit for your organization.

Meet Compliance Objectives

Penetration testing is a necessary step in many compliance regulations. Having a third party expert assess your security posture is a necessary step to ensure you are meeting the due diligence requirements to secure the data you must protect.

What SIG Cyber Delivers

An external penetration test emulates an attacker trying to break into your network from the outside. The goal of the engineer performing this assessment is to breach the perimeter and prove they have internal network access. This test includes:

  • Open source reconnaissance against the organization
  • Full port scan covering all TCP ports and the top 1,000 UDP ports of the targets in scope
  • Full vulnerability scan of the targets
  • Manual and automated exploit attempts
  • Password attacks

This assessment is designed to target and take advantage of the human-element to gain access to your network. This is done using a variety of methods to get an employee to click on something they shouldn’t, enter their credentials or otherwise provide them when they shouldn’t, or divulge information that may assist an attacker in breaching your network. The goal for the engineer performing this assessment is to gain information that may assist an attacker in future attacks, gather credentials, or gain a foothold on the internal network. This assessment will include:

  • Phone-based attacks
  • Spear phishing attacks
  • Bulk phishing attacks

An internal penetration test emulates an attacker on the inside of your network. This could be either an attacker who is successful in breaching the perimeter through another method or a malicious insider. The goal of the engineer in this module is to gain root and/or domain administrator level access on the network, and gain access to sensitive files. Activities include:

  • Active and Passive network reconnaissance including traffic sniffing, port scanning, LDAP enumeration, SMB enumeration, etc.
  • Vulnerability scan on all in-scope targets
  • Spoofing attacks such as ARP cache poisoning, LLMNR/NBNS spoofing, etc.
  • Manual and automated exploit attempts
  • Shared resource enumeration
  • Password attacks
  • Pivoting attacks

A physical penetration test is an assessment of the physical security of your premises. Our engineers will attempt to gain access to your facility by identifying weaknesses and/or using social engineering. Once inside, our engineers will attempt to gather sensitive information, gain access to sensitive areas such as the data center, and attempt to gain internal network access.

A wireless penetration test is a comprehensive evaluation of the wireless networks in your organization using automated and manual methods. Areas covered include:

  • Password attacks
  • WEP/WPA cracking
  • Guest wireless segmentation checks
  • Traffic sniffing attacks
  • SSID spoofing
  • Rogue access point discovery

Vulnerability scanning is a regular, automated process that identifies the potential points of compromise on a network. A vulnerability scan detects and classifies system weaknesses in computers, networks and communications equipment and predicts the effectiveness of countermeasures. Our engineers will conduct this scan for you and use our expertise to remove false positives and produce a risk-prioritized report.

A web application penetration test is an in-depth penetration test on both the unauthenticated and authenticated portions of your website. The engineer will test for all of the OWASP Top-10 critical security flaws, as well as a variety of other potential vulnerabilities based on security best practice. Activities include:

  • Website mapping techniques such as spidering
  • Directory enumeration
  • Automated and manual tests for injection flaws on all input fields
  • Directory traversal testing
  • Malicious file upload and remote code execution
  • Password attacks and testing for vulnerabilities in the authentication mechanisms
  • Session attacks, including hijacking, fixation, and spoofing attempts
  • Other tests depending on specific site content and languages

An API penetration test emulates an attacker trying to exploit vulnerabilities within your API that may allow him to bypass authentication controls, access sensitive data, or otherwise disrupt the service. The goal of the engineer performing this assessment is to comprehensively review your API for OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities and exploit any vulnerability that may allow the engineer to bypass security controls. Our API Penetration Testing includes:

  • Method and parameter fuzzing
  • Injection attacks, such as SQLi, XSS, XPath, Command
  • Authentication bypass and privilege escalation attempts
  • Authorization testing to assess the security of data in multi-tenant configurations including: Direct object references, Client or user impersonation, Authorization bypass, and Information Leakage between clients
  • Analyzing headers and error messages for information disclosure
  • Identification of unnecessary information returned or data leakage
  • Analysis of server-level transport encryption for security best practice