What Is a Penetration Testing Consultant?
A penetration testing consultant is a professional individual who has the necessary tools and know-how to execute a penetration testing assessment. A penetration test can perform a wide variety of services focused on examining the security of IT systems and assessing how to improve defense mechanisms to prevent the theft, misuse, and concession of hardware and data in your network.
It’s crucial for all business owners who have products and services related to IT to hire a penetration testing consultant to ensure that their programs and applications are not at cyber risk of any unwanted security attacks. Find the best pen testing consulting experts for your company on Guru, one of the top online freelance marketplaces, today!
What Is Penetration Testing?
Penetration tests, or ‘pen tests,’ evaluate the strength of a computer system, network, application, or software against weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The assessment is done by penetration testers who attempt to breach the security infrastructure as an attacker would but in a safe environment; this allows them to detect weak spots and errors and test defense mechanisms.
Penetration testing forms a large part of an organization’s cybersecurity effort; application penetration testing provides great value as it gives a company a stable and measurable overview of the robustness of its security features.
The Goals of Pen Testing
The ultimate goal of penetration testing is to expose all of an IT system’s weak spots so that developers and business owners may implement countermeasures to ensure that these can never be points of access for attackers to compromise their programs and data security. Here’s a breakdown of why you need a penetration testing assessment for your business:
Determine the Feasibility of Attacks
Penetration testing shows how feasible certain types of attacks are on your IT system and the risk of your security solutions. Through multiple tests, you’ll be able to better see which types of security hacks you’re most likely to be at risk of, whether it’s external, internal, or wireless.
Penetration tests help you pinpoint specific weak spots that attackers could take advantage of to hack your system or steal your data. After identifying these, your security team can then appoint fixes and countermeasures to prevent them from happening.
Assess the Impacts of Successful Attacks
If a simulated cyber attack is successful, this allows businesses to assess the potential repercussions and prepare strategies to combat any negative effects should the worst-case scenario happen.
Test the Ability of Defenders
Once new defense mechanisms have been built, subsequent pen tests can test the ability of these new defenders to make sure that they now effectively fix the problem and prevent any new attacks.
Justify Increased Security Investment
Application penetration testing gives you a better idea of how your business can withstand any unwanted cyber attacks. Should you realize that you need a little bit more backup, the results of the testing can justify any increase in investment needed for heightened security, whether as personnel or technology.
What Services Does a Penetration Testing Consultant Provide?
Penetration testing consultants, or pen testers, use tools, techniques, and processes that attackers utilize to simulate cyber attacks on IT systems within a safe environment. Consulting services do this to find, exploit, and report security flaws and demonstrate the business impacts of these system vulnerabilities. They’re in charge of evaluating the robustness of a system and providing support on how to best improve security features to prevent unauthorized security attacks.
Penetration Testing Security Consulting Services
Penetration testing consultants offer a range of services and solutions that focus on different aspects of a network and system’s security. Here are some types of cyber security pen tests that they can offer to do:
External Penetration Testing
External penetration testing evaluates the perimeter defenses of an IT system. It involves a wide variety of infrastructure for penetration testing, including hardware, mainframes, and other devices.
Internal Penetration Testing
Internal penetration testing assesses layered defenses against internal security threats. Here, testers and consulting experts look at internal security controls, firewall rules, etc., and provide insights on how IT teams can enhance defenses from the inside to mitigate risk.
Wireless Penetration Testing
Wireless networks are often overlooked in testing, but they can be your business’s Achilles heel during cyber security attacks. Wireless network penetration testing evaluates your wireless network security, segmentation, and access point configurations, and identifies ways an attacker could breach your wireless network and its clients.
Physical Security Tests
Attackers don’t just get in through your infrastructure. They can penetrate the physical aspects of your business, as well. Some pen testers and consulting experts offer physical testing for a more comprehensive view of your risks to attacks such as tailgating, badge cloning, lock-cloning, etc.
Custom Security Tests
Some cyber security attacks may be specific to the industry you’re in or the type of computer system you’re employing. So many penetrating testing consultants provide services for customer testing across devices, software, or threat models relevant to your business.
Benefits of Hiring Pen Test Consultants
Hiring a professional penetration tester will help you safely execute security tests, improve your overall defenses, and receive personalized reports and remedies for your business. Here are some reasons why you should go on Guru to find your remote penetration testing consultant today:
Get an Overview of Your Infrastructure
A penetration testing consultant can give you a holistic look at your system’s network and infrastructure—inside and out. You can get insights on where you’re doing well and how well you can improve your services, and have a better idea of how to go about your strategies concerning your security.
Improve Your Security
Pen consulting experts are trained to help you enhance your security measures by providing you with sound support and direction; security consulting services can help you get your money’s worth when it’s time to make your network investments.
Receive Tailored Remedies
Get targeted and prioritized remedies from infrastructure penetration testing. Security testing can help you increase your defenses simply, at pace, and at cost-effective prices.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Penetration Testing Consulting Services?
The cost of hiring a penetration tester, and the cost of executing pen tests in general, can range from $4,000 to $100,000 depending on the type of security tests that need to be done. A small, non-complex business with a simple system or app can expect to spend rates for the assessment at the lower end of the range. But large organizations with complicated systems and network solutions will naturally shell out more. It’s important, then, to find pen testers who will charge you a fair rate for their consulting services—you can find these security assessment professionals on Guru.
Responsibilities of a Penetration Testing Consultant
A penetration testing expert does more than just run a couple of simulated attacks on your network and security infrastructure. Here’s a list of the responsibilities that you can expect security consulting experts to take once you hire them:
Code attacks to simulate system infiltrations
Provide insights on how hackers can exploit security systems (and related human elements) to gain access to secure systems
Perform penetration tests on computer systems, networks, and apps
Create new testing methods to determine weaknesses of your network
Perform physical security assessments
Pinpoint possible methods and entry points for attacker entry
Research, evaluate, document, and discuss assessment findings with relevant teams
Review and provide feedback on security fixes
Establish plants to improve existing security and defenses
Offer necessary security education and awareness
Stay up-to-date on the latest security threats (e.g. hacks, malware, etc.)
Hiring a Penetration Testing Consultant
Now that you know what to expect from a penetration testing consultant, it’s time to hire security consulting services for your organization. But before you do, here are some tips to help you find the right penetration assessment expert:
Know Your Goals
Establish your needs for the project, including your testing requirements, objectives, and budget. These will help you procure the right services for the right price, as well as narrow down your search on Guru. Having a clear idea of what you’re looking for with penetration testing services will also help you weed out too-good-to-be-true deals for high-quality services.
Consider Credentials and Reputation
The security of your systems and network is in the hands of your penetration testing consultant, so you’ll want to find one that you can trust—someone who has the credentials to do their job well and the reputation to provide you with the best security assessment services. If you have the budget, you’re better off hiring pen testers who have certifications to back up their knowledge and skills.
Many business owners become hands-off during security tests, leaving everything to the consulting. And while that seems like a logical approach, the best penetration testing consultants will involve you in the process, offering transparency in their work so that you can better understand your organization’s security concerns and collaborate on mitigating risk.
Hire a Freelance Penetration Consultant on Guru Today
Cybersecurity is a top priority for many organizations nowadays, so hiring pen testers can be difficult due to high demand for their services. Luckily, you can easily find some of the best cyber security professionals on Guru. Simply upload a job post or search for a penetration consultation on the search page to find the right candidate who fits your security requirements and goals. Hiring cyber security consulting experts is easy; plus, you can manage their work, payments, and communications right on the platform. Find the perfect hire on Guru today!