Data security is critical to most modern businesses. But despite all your business’s efforts, how can you know how well your security is performing? The gap between your theoretical and practical cyber security can be a serious liability. This is an especially serious issue when a competent attacker targets your business. Cyber security penetration testing is the answer to that gap. So, let’s look into how it works and its value to your business relative to its cost.
What exactly is penetration testing?
Pen tests are a real-world test of your security, which includes feigned attacks on your systems and infrastructure. The idea is that you find out how good your security is by attempting to gain access. This serves to give you a full understanding of your security’s competencies and shortcomings. The goal is to discover all its shortcomings and fix them before a real attack takes place.
In Berezha Security, we consider pentest as one of the best ways of running a controlled attack simulation to uncover how malicious hackers might access your network and create some unexpected damages.
When should you get a pentest?
You should get a pen test when you already have security in place but aren’t completely sure about its efficacy.
If you don’t yet have comprehensive security infrastructure in place, then a pen test won’t reveal anything. It would be like having someone perform a mock burglary of your home without having anything except a normal lock in place as a deterrent.
If, however, your business has an untested but comprehensive security infrastructure in place, it might be time to do it. Only a penetration test will determine any shortcomings are.
Scoping is one of the most important parts of penetration testing, as it will determine the amount and type of potential engagement.
The price of the pentest depends on the scope of work and types – external, internal, or social engineering pentest.
Scoping is a stage of the assessment during which the company will come up with an accurate quote. This helps reduce the chance that you get charged more than necessary because of unforeseen circumstances.
The other purpose of the scoping stage is to ensure you get the pen test that best serves your needs. You want to maximize the value you receive from the investment. So, you will understand the goals of the pen test from the results of the scoping.
At Berezha Security Group, we normally offer scoping services before the start of any project and after it ends, we provide a free retest within 60 days of a grace period.
What are the factors of pentest cost?
Security penetration testing is charged based on time and complexity. Let’s review the most significant factors that influence your test’s final price.
- Internal or external
External and internal infrastructure pen tests have different price tags.
Internal network penetration testing puts your business’s security to the test against attacks from inside your network. These tests are more expensive than their external counterparts.
At Berezha Security Group, the internal and external pentest cost starts at $5,000 for small projects or small businesses. In most cases, it does not exceed $20,000 for the full-scope security assessment.
- Automated or manual penetration testing
You don’t necessarily need a qualified person who will oversee your testing process. However, choosing the manual route with a professional can take longer. But it ensures you don’t miss problems that automated programs often overlook. A manual test involves exploiting vulnerabilities manually. This is an important step if you want to know what a real attack by real people would look like.
Many companies selling these services will heavily rely on automation. This may make their services cheaper. But over-reliance on automation can easily lead to missing out on key weaknesses that a human would address.
- On-site or remote
On-site testing is often more expensive, but it’s also often necessary. Of course, having testers on-site implies higher expenses and more time for the professionals conducting the tests. In the case of internal network pen tests, an on-site presence is often needed.
Remote tests may suffice for many external network penetration test services. It can save you some money, as well. Just keep in mind, you may miss out on the oversight benefits of on-site professionals.
- Blackbox or whitebox
A methodology has a larger impact than most factors when it comes to pricing.
Black box pen tests replicate real attacks more closely. It means that the testers will attack your infrastructure, but they will not have any information regarding their target provided in advance. So, the professionals you hire will demonstrate how a real cybercriminal with no inside information would go about attacking your business.
White box pen tests are conducted by testers with full knowledge of your infrastructure. They conduct a mock attack using all the information you provide them with surrounding your network and systems. They normally also possess network maps.
Lastly, there’s the hybrid “grey box”. Grey box testers will have some of the information discussed above, but not everything.
Which one is cheaper?
Black box means the test is completed without first mapping out your security and accessing and assessing your business’s systems. So, it requires more time and therefore costs more money.
How much experience or expertise the tester has?
While it’s not always the case, more experienced testers will normally charge a premium. In particular, the more industry qualifications they possess, the higher their rate is likely to be.
At Berezha Security Group, all our mid-and senior-level consultants are OSCP, CISSP – certified. The average project team consists of 2 to 3 application security professionals and is managed by the AppSec Lead and the Project Manager. Despite a brilliant and experienced team of recognized security experts at BSG, we keep our services affordable, even for a small or medium-sized business.
Cybersecurity pen tests aren’t a single, uniform product. There are many types of security assessment services you can consider, and they’re all different.
You can refer to us with your security goal or target, and we will help you pick up the most effective security investment strategy for your business type and needs. Contact us now – get advice from our security expert.