Getting started

This is a quick tutorial for users who want to get up and running with Canopy as quickly as possible. For more background and extended detail on using Canopy, see the User guide.

What is Canopy?

Canopy is first a solution to help go from results to a report as quickly as possible. However, Canopy goes beyond this to help manage the entire delivery process around an engagement, which is useful for managing the non-technical aspects of assessments. For additional background information on Canopy, see About Canopy.

Canopy uses a number of terms which should be familiar to most users. For a quick overview of key concepts in Canopy, see Key concepts.

What’s required to go from zero to report?

First, some basics

Canopy’s user interface is built around Google’s Material Design concept. Our aim was to build a user interface on principles which are well thought out and, importantly, common to users. That means Canopy’s user interface doesn’t have to be “learnt”, it should be (mostly!) obvious. Of course, Canopy is a “power user” app, and some additional knowledge is required. But for typical functions of a web application, common patterns are followed.

Logging in

User accounts in Canopy are linked to the user’s email address. The login panel accepts the username and password:


Logging out

In order to log out, click on the profile name and select Log out or via the main navigation menu (see below):


Reports start with a template

One of Canopy’s primary uses is to generate a report. In order to generate a report, a report template is required. Without a report template, it’s not possible to generate any reports from Canopy “out of the box”. Creating a report template is usually something we will help you with during the on-boarding process - this is to help you get up and running with Canopy ASAP. However, for users who want to create their own templates, more detailed information is provided in Report templates.

Once a template has been added to the system, it will appear in the Templates → Reports list and as an option when creating reports. For example:


Although it is not absolutely necessary to create a report template to start working with Canopy, it is a requirement to generate a report.

Canopy’s workflow

Everything in Canopy starts with a client. And so does our workflow. The following steps should be followed to go from a starting position - a new client - to the final deliverable - a report.

  1. Create a client

  2. Create a project

  3. Add phase(s)

  4. Add findings (manual, KB, tool sourced)

  5. Add assets and example evidence

  6. Clean up (grouping, removing, ignoring)

  7. Create report

  8. Peer Review / Quality Assure

  9. Generate the report document

All of the steps below assume you are already logged into the system and have a suitable user account to perform them.

Step 1: Create a client

Creating a client is a simple process. Navigate to the Clients interface and click the image6 button. You will be presented with a wizard to capture the details of the client and also to set the permissions:


A number of default user profiles have access to the client. For further information see Roles and permissions.

Step 2: Create a project

A project is a container for all of the phases and data (findings, assets, examples, etc.) collected during an engagement.

Adding a project can be done in several ways:

  • From the client’s projects list

  • From the main project list

When you initiate project creation, you can choose to create a project from a statement of work or from scratch, as is shown in the wizard:


Once the project is created, the User Access panel is displayed. This can be used to assign who has access to the project.


Who has access is different to who is scheduled to work on the project. The upcoming Scheduler feature will assist with assigning resources to a given project and its phases.

Step 3: Add a phase

Adding a phase is similar to adding a project, however, no permissions need to be granted - these are inherited from the project. Click on the image10 button. The following form will be displayed:


It is possible to create a retest phase. For further information on retesting, see Retesting phases [TODO].

Step 4: Add findings (manual, KB, tool sourced)

Step 4.1: Add a manual findings

Adding a manual finding is a typical task. To achieve this, click the + FINDING button. This will give you a basic form for adding a title and a rating.


Once created, you can then edit the finding and add further details.


WYSIWYG fields allow you to add rich content, including images. Images can simply be dragged and dropped into the WYSIWYG area. Once you’ve edited your finding, you can then save it and view the results:


You’ll notice that we have also set CVSS2 and CVSS3 ratings. This can be achieved using the calculators, shown below:



Step 4.2: Add findings from the KB

Adding findings from the KB is simple. Select the Add findings from KB option from the add finding menu:


This will give you a list of approved findings to select form, which can be easily added to the phase:


Step 4.3: Import tool data

Importing tool data is as simple as dragging and dropping the file onto the phase upload interface:


The tool data will be automatically imported and findings will be created. If a tool test case is linked to a KB finding, the KB finding will be added, and the detail from the tool (e.g. detailed examples, meta info) will be retained. By default, automatically generated KB findings linked to tool test cases are grouped, so if you need to report the original tool finding, you can disassociate the tool finding from the KB finding.

For further information on tool importing, see Adding a finding via tool imports.

Step 5: Add assets and example evidence

Apart from adding the content to the finding itself, sometimes it’s necessary to add multiple examples of where a finding has been found. Canopy allows you to do this through the use of examples. To add an example, select the option from the Assets and Examples section at the end of the finding screen:


An example can contain rich text and images, you can also add an asset to the asset field and it will be automatically associated with the finding:


Examples can store one or many instances of a finding. Examples are auto-populated from tools that separate them out from the main finding. See below for an example.

Step 6: Organise and clean up

If you’ve added data from tools, you probably have a lot of similar findings, excessive informational findings and potentially false positives. Rather than sending a 500 page report to your client, it’s probably desirable to clean up the findings before you create your report. There are three main approaches:

  1. Group similar findings together

  2. Mark findings as ignored / false positive

  3. Delete findings

Deleting findings is not typically recommended. It should only be used if you’ve imported/added the wrong findings. The reason is for ensuring you maintain a complete data set, which can eventually be analysed beyond the individual project/phase. However, Canopy does not restrict you from deleting findings - this is more of a good practice observation. The remaining strategies for cleaning up findings are explained below.

In an upcoming release of Canopy it will be possible to selectively include/exclude findings from reports, with filtering based on parameters such as assets.

Step 6.1 Group similar findings

Grouping of findings is one of the most powerful features available for testers. It allows you to take a selection of similar findings, and group them into a single finding. Some example scenarios of where this is useful include:

  • Grouping together multiple Microsoft missing patches

  • Grouping together multiple SSL/TLS misconfiguration issues

To group findings, click on the GROUP button. This will bring up the grouping dialogue:


This allows you to search and filter for the findings you want to group together. Once you’ve selected the findings you want to group, clicking Next will allow you to:

  • Add the findings to a KB finding: This will create a new finding, from the KB, and add the selected findings as children.

  • Add the findings to an existing finding: This will add the selected findings as children of the destination finding. This is useful when a “master” finding already exists in the project.

  • Create a new finding: This allows you to create a completely new finding, with the selected findings as children. You can also include the descriptions from each of the selected findings to help with writing a common finding (although many findings will lead to a lot of copied content to clean up).

Only one group can be created at a time.

Step 6.2: Ignore findings

There may be many findings you simply want to ignore. This is quite typical with informational findings that might come from tools. You can ignore a finding by setting the ignore flag on a single finding, or via the findings grid by selecting findings and selecting from the contextual menu:


Optional: Add findings to the KB

Once you gone through the process of making sure your findings are of a high quality, you can then add them to the KB. This can be achieved in the finding view, by clicking on the ellipsis menu and selecting the Add to KB option. The new KB finding will be added in an unapproved state, which means someone with the correct permissions needs to review and approve it before it can be used by other members of the team. For more details on the KB see Findings Knowledge Base.

Step 7: Create a report

Any user with admin permissions on a project can create a report. This is done from the project level via the + REPORT button. This launches the New Report wizard:

image24 image25 image26

This is a three stage process to select the required report template, choose the phase(s) to associate with the report and to set the report’s title and due date (required for issuing alerts on potential report delivery problems). Once the report has been created, you will be able to start working on the report’s content and also adding any necessary comments.


Step 8: Peer review (PR) and quality assurance (QA) a report

The PR/QA workflow is launched via the header section at the top of the report:


Once a PR or a QA is requested, the users with the PR/QA roles will receive a notification from the system. PR/QA requests are handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once a user has accepted a PR/QA request, no other users can accept it, unless it is put back in the PR/QA queue. For further information see Peer review/quality assurance.

Step 9: Generate a report

Once the report has been through PR/QA, the author can now accept the report and it will be marked as completed from a QA perspective.


It is not mandatory to follow the PR/QA process. However, it is recommended in most scenarios.

The report can then be clicked on for generation purposes:


Emailing of reports directly from Canopy will be added in an upcoming release.

Bonus Step: Tracking report status

As a Technical Manager or an Account Manager, it is very useful to be able to keep track of reports and to ensure that any potential slippage on an approaching deadline is caught as early as possible. Canopy has the ability to track reports at their different stages (draft, PR, QA and final). This can be accessed via the Reports main menu item, which provides the following view:


Further information

This document provides an overview of the most typical workflow in Canopy. If you’re also using the opportunities, phase scoping and statements of work functionality, see the appropriate user guide section for more detail. For further information in general on using Canopy in more detail, see the User guide. For information on setting up and administering Canopy, see the Administration guide.