The increasing threat of cyberattacks has forced business owners and enterprises to embrace new and innovative ways of enhancing the security of their networks, and many are now taking the idea of conducting regular penetration tests seriously. If you own a computer network that could be infiltrated by criminals with malicious intent, you need to hire a reputable penetration testing company to test your network consistently.
But how much does it cost to hire a penetration testing company, and what is the benefit of penetration testing? The answers to these questions vary based on the scope of your network.
The average cost of hiring a penetration company ranges from $4,000 to $100,000, depending on the various factors listed below. Small, non-complex companies cost less than large, multidimensional ones, and a black box pen test costs less than a white box test.
What Is Penetration Testing?
A pen test is an authorized simulated hack or cyberattack on a computer network, carried out by a qualified and experienced computer network security expert to assess the security situation of the network. The simulated cyberattack is meant to identify weak points in your network that can be exploited by real cybercriminals to infiltrate it.
When you hire a penetration testing consultant, make sure they have the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience to maneuver even the most complicated network security systems to identify their weaknesses. At the end of the test, the consultant should give you recommendations and advise you on what you need to do to improve the security of your network.
Their advice is part of a full risk evaluation that you should carry out periodically to stay aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your computer network. A pen tester usually identifies target systems and specific goals and then reviews the data available to determine the most effective ways to achieve those goals.
A penetration test target can be a ‘white box’ or a ‘black box.’ A ‘white box’ is a system through which background and network information is given to the pen tester in advance, while a ‘black box’ is a system through which only basic information is provided to the tester. When the two options are combined, they form a gray box pen test target.
For a gray pen test box target, only limited information about the network is shared with the pen tester. Aside from identifying your network’s vulnerabilities, a pen test also assesses the potential impact on your company, allowing the pen tester to suggest practical countermeasures to minimize the risk.
Nonetheless, the goals of a pen test can vary depending on the approved activity for each engagement–but the primary objective of every pen test should be to identify vulnerabilities so that you can fix them before nefarious actors exploit them to attack your organization.
How Much Does a Penetration Testing Company Cost to Hire?
While the primary goal of conducting any pen test is to identify the weak points in your network, the cost of hiring a pen testing consultant may vary depending on several key factors. Here are the main factors that determine the cost of hiring a penetration testing company for your network:
Objectives of the Test
The cost of your project will depend on the goals you want to accomplish. For instance, the cost of testing physical access to a small, family-owned business network is likely to be lower than that of testing a vast enterprise network with various remote transmission stations.
Also, you’re likely to pay more when testing all your digital platforms, including apps, networks, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices together than when you test them individually. The same applies to pen tests aimed at testing your company’s robustness to social engineering.
Scope of Work
Most pen testing companies base their charges on the size of work and the amount of time it’ll take to complete. The scope of work also includes the number of parties, networks, apps, facilities, and IP addresses involved. For example, if the pen testing process involves one IP address with a vast customer-facing web portal and numerous user roles, the tester will require more time to complete the test. Therefore, they’ll charge more.
The tester also considers the restrictions they’re likely to encounter during testing and the availability of support when needed. The more restrictions they encounter, the longer they’ll take to complete the test–this pushes up the cost of the project.
During the initial pen test, your tester will discover vulnerabilities that need to be corrected immediately. Once these loopholes have been fixed, the pen tester has to re-test the entire network to determine if the issues have been fixed completely. Re-tests need to be factored in when putting together the overall budget.
For the most highly skilled and experienced freelance penetration testers, Guru’s got your back! Take a look at our online search full of available professionals today, and you’re sure to find the perfect candidate to make sure your network becomes as secure as ever.