What Is The Cost Of Penetration Testing?
In today’s world, one of the biggest challenges that digital businesses usually face is cyber threats. Since the issue is fast becoming a day-to-day struggle, companies need to make information security a critical component of their businesses. Although there are several different cybersecurity measures that organizations can use, one of the most effective approaches is penetration testing.
Penetration testing or Pen testing is a cybersecurity technique that organizations utilize to find, identify, and exploit vulnerabilities in their security systems. This approach is pretty much effective as it allows corporations to gain better insights into how their digital systems behave. Apart from that, penetration testing also tends to help companies establish trust with their clientele.
Like many business operations, penetration testing requires monetary investment. A pen test can cost as low as $4,000 and as high as $100,000. Three key factors that influence the price of pen testing are the complexity of the security system, company size, and the experience level of the pen tester.
There’s no denying that penetration testing can be a lot expensive to perform. However, it’s worth noting that the security measure is capable of saving your firm a lot more than what you’re investing. To find out everything you need to know about the cost of carrying out penetration testing at your organization, all you need to do is read on.
What Is Penetration Testing and Why Is It so Important?
So, you’ve been told to perform penetration testing on your company’s security system. The question is; do you understand the importance of having this security measure in place at your organization?
Of course, I’m asking this question because penetration testing can sometimes be expensive to carry out. And without having a deep understanding of the security measure, you might feel reluctant to invest thousands of dollars into it.
What exactly does penetration testing assess?
Penetration testing is more of a simulated attack on your computer system to find and exploit vulnerabilities. One of the advantages of having a good pen testing measure in place is that it’ll keep you rest assured that your system is free from hacking.
By having an effective penetration testing measure in your organization, here are the key areas that should be assessed:
- Web application – this aspect primarily deals with the security of your web-based applications.
- External network – this assessment will focus on testing the effectiveness of your systems, such as OS, routers, firewalls, etc.
- Internal network – this is the aspect of pen testing that will simulate an attack to understand the security capabilities of your internal systems and networks.
What is the result of pen testing?
According to the Chief Information Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, pen-testing offers organizations three main results.
First, it helps companies to identify vulnerabilities and threats. Furthermore, the security measure also helps to assess how your system can react to threats and attacks. The most important part of pen testing is that it’ll provide you with an excellent measurement of continuous improvement.
Types of Penetration Testing
Before I proceed to talk about the cost of carrying out the penetration testing at your company, you need to first understand that the security measure has different types.
- A white box penetration test
White box penetration test is the first type of penetration testing that you can use for your systems. The interesting thing about this method is that the hacker will be offered system and background information, making it easier to understand what to test.
- A black box penetration test
Another type of penetration testing is the black box test or blind test. Unlike the white box test, this method will only provide the hacker with little or no background information regarding the system. What this means is that the hacker will have to be highly experienced to understand what to test.
- Gray box penetration test
Gray box penetration testing sits in between the white box and black box testing. What this means is that the hacker will get system and background information but it won’t be as sufficient as that of white box pen-testing.
- Double-blind test
A double-blind test or covert penetration test is a process, in which the hacker does the penetration testing without informing your internal team. The purpose of this method is to understand how effectively your internal team can respond to attacks.
- Internal penetration test
An internal penetration testing is a process whereby a hacker gets authorized access to a security system. The aim is usually to find out how the system will behave if one of its elements gets compromised.
- External penetration test
For external penetration testing, the hacker won’t have access to the internal system of the company. Instead, he’ll only launch his attack on the isolated systems outside the site of the main system.
What Is the Cost of Penetration Testing?
Now, let’s go back to the burning question; what is the cost of penetration testing?
To answer the question, I’ll say there’s no fixed price for penetration testing. That’s so because the cost can be as low as $5,000 or as high as $100,000.
Furthermore, you need to understand that certain factors influence the price of penetration testing. Let’s have a quick look at them below:
- Size of the company
The size of the company plays a pivotal role in how high or low penetration testing will cost. It’s simple; a small firm with less complex systems will certainly not cost much when compared to a large organization, using a complex system.
- Experience level
Another factor that influences the cost of penetration testing is the experience level of the hacker you’re hiring. If you run a large firm with complex systems, my advice is that you opt for experts and worry less about the cost.
What method is the hacker using to perform pen testing? What tools is the hacker using? The answer to these questions will determine what penetration testing will cost your company.