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HMH Consultants & Security Services

London, UK & Houston, TX

Cyber Training

Cyber Assessments – Network, Application and Physical.


A penetration test, also known as a pen test, is a simulated cyber attack against your network systems to check for exploitable vulnerabilities. Pen testing can involve the attempted breaching of any number of systems, (frontend/backend servers) to uncover vulnerabilities and again access to sensitive data.

Pentests provide realistic insight into potential security gaps within your organizations networks, IoT devices, web and mobile applications. Proactively testing these environments would help identify and mitigate risks.


Recent research suggests the average user has some 70 or 80 online accounts. Business users may have twice that number. This simply demonstrates the huge volume of web applications along with an exponential growth of the number of transactions. To that extent, proper Security Testing of Web Applications now an essential aspect of an organisations web presence.

Ultimately the aim of Application Security Testing is to check whether the confidential data stays confidential or not (i.e. it is not exposed to individuals/ entities for which it is not meant for) and the users can perform only those tasks that they are authorized to perform.


Physical assessments embrace Social engineering; an uncomfortable subject. The assessor will go out of his/her way to make friends with and the abuse this friendship to undermine members of staff. Social Engineering ranges from “stalking” someone to learn about the target or organisation to walking up to people smoking outside the firedoor, starting to chat and then following that person back in the building. The assessor relies on predictable human behaviour to collect information and gain access to restricted areas.

Vulnerability Scanning Assessment

A vulnerability scan is the first assessment we recommend.

This scan focuses on conducting a dynamic assessment of the whole system and is used to highlight potential security vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. The report pertaining to this assessment grades each vulnerability according to the cyber common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS). The vulnerabilities found within this scan are the initial steps a hacker looks for before launching a full attack


External Infrastructure Assessment

This assessment is aimed at assessing the external internet facing infrastructure of the clients company.

This assessment is designed to highlight and grade in severity of the vulnerabilities found in the system and indicate the foot holds a hacker would find and then exploit to gain illegal access to your system.


Data Breach Discovery Assessment

This assessment is performed by an intelligence analyst using years of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), dark web investigation experience and knowledge of black market data sites to gather information relating to personal and company data for sale and use in cyber crime. This would include but not exclusive to sensitive documentation, company usernames and passwords, social security numbers and any other form of data that has formed part of a data breach.


Web Application Testing

This assessment is the process of proactively identifying vulnerabilities within your company website or web applications. Such vulnerabilities could lead to the loss of sensitive, confidential and financial information while also allowing a hacker access into your system. This assessment can be done according to a scope of work or as a blind test designed to probe and explore all aspects of your web application security.


Internal Infrastructure Assessment

This assessment is primarily aimed at identifying attack routes within the client’s system and local area network (LAN).

This is used to mirror a hacker’s methods and direction in the system once an initial foothold has been established.


Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning

What is the difference between vulnerability scan and penetration test?

Vulnerability scans are great weekly, monthly, or quarterly insight into your network security, while penetration tests are a more thorough assessment of your overall information security posture.

Vulnerability scans

A vulnerability scan is an automated, high-level test that looks for and reports vulnerabilities[1]. Not all vulnerabilities are able to be exploited in order to execute a hack, though that may change in the future.  Typically, all external IPs and domains are scanned and these may or may not be reviewed by a consultant.  Some scans offer trend reports that show how the organisation manages vulnerabilities.  PCI-DSS requires such scans on a quarterly basis.

Vulnerability scans can be conducted at both the network and application level, though different tools look for different types of vulnerabilities.

Penetration tests

Penetration testing goes beyond vulnerability assessments, in that the tester examines each vulnerability and manually tries to exploit a vulnerability in order to prove the vulnerability is indeed exploitable and that data assets are available through the exploit.  The goals of penetration testing are:

  1. To determine whether and how a malicious user can gain unauthorized access to assets that affect the fundamental security of the system, files, logs and/or data.
  2. To confirm that the applicable organisational controls, to meet whatever law, regulation, standard or internal policy are in place.

PCI-DSS requires such a test on an annual basis.

Penetration Tests can be conducted at both the network and application level, though different tools look for different types of vulnerabilities to exploit and require very different skillsets in the consultant. At the network level the consultant needs to understand server and software configuration, at the application layer their skills are focused on code.

[1] The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically, technologically or emotionally