Security is an essential part of any business. There are multiple ways a system can become compromised which is why one needs to ensure high quality modern technologies are applied, such as SSL certificates, firewalls, physical machinery protection, and many others. To keep your company safe from potential security attacks you will need to undertake constant performance and security monitoring. Penetration testing has shown itself to be the best method of discovering any potential security breaches and in this article we will detail the potential advantages, disadvantages and how much does penetration testing cost. We will also include practical recommendations and case studies showing the benefits available to companies for implementing appropriate security protection.
Penetration testing is a process of discovering possible vulnerabilities within a system, application, website, etc. It aims to protect the system from unauthorized access and possible weaknesses within the network infrastructure and also helps to improve the configuration of an application. When a company isn't efficiently protected, it leaves a coding vulnerability that could lead to sensitive data being accidentally damaged or exposed to the public. Around 69% of organizations in the U.S. do not believe their anti-virus protection or firewalls can effectively protect them from attacks. The security test cost is a small price to pay to safeguard your data and systems.
Needless to say, a weak security system can result in financial and reputational losses for a company. Ponemon has carried out a research with over 400 companies and the results have shown that globally the average cost of stolen records has reduced however, the attacks that do happen are now on a much larger scale and more financially damaging. The average company cost per breach has reached almost $7.5 million in the U.S and almost $5 million in the Middle East and this is why any potential issues should be eliminated as soon as possible.
A highly skilled professional who typically performs a penetration test is more likely to spot system vulnerabilities than any specialized software due to the fact a living person can perform an investigation based on their previous experiences.
In 2017 cyber attacks were recorded every 40 seconds resulting in total losses of $5 billion (an increase from $325 million dollars in 2015). This figure is set to increase to an attack every 14 seconds resulting in total losses of $21.5 billion by 2019. Industries that suffer the most are medical and financial which account for losses of $380 and $245 per capita respectively. Improved security could have prevented all these attacks and saved billions of dollars globally.
43 percent of the attacks are performed on small business. Out of those , 62% are phishing and social engineering attacks. Web-based attacks make up for 64% of all attacks. 59% of companies experience malware attacks. The calculation of losses due to attacks depend on several factors, which include the damaged data, reputation, machinery, loss of customers, and partners. The total damage inflicted on companies worldwide has reached $100 billion. The number of the attacks increases every year, and the targets include big corporations as well as small businesses and individuals.
An average cost of a penetration test can vary from $4,000 to $100,000. When done correctly, it’s worth every penny. Mainly, because you are getting a specialist or a team of specialists who will work on finding any possible way your system can be affected. Later, you receive a recommendation regarding the discovered vulnerabilities and, when necessary, continuous system support. Another factor that affects penetration testing costs is the regularity with which you perform it. As many other assessments, pen tests are necessary on a regular basis, to ensure you comply with all the standards and no new issues appear. Depending on the complexity of your system and the frequency of updates, the recommended testing regularity is once or twice per year.
On the one hand, software automated performance checks are performed. Yet, the quality of such tests is generally not sufficient. On average, the software will cost you around $1,000-$2,000. Still, it is impossible to advise on the priority of holes discovered in the system which have to be taken care of first. This is something that only a professional can advise on. This point is essential as your company might end up spending thousands on fixing something that is not critical .
Due to the uprising risks, many companies are looking for efficient ways to protect themselves. The specialists say that $1 trillion will be spent on cybersecurity between 2017 and 2021. Only 38% of the companies claim they are prepared for the upcoming attacks. Hence, penetration tests are a way to protect yourself. Below we list the information on the types of testing.
Application testing. Web applications are quite complex. Hence, they have many possibilities for vulnerability investigation including internal and external testing. The difference from a regular vulnerability test is the exploitation of possible weak spots in the system. In most cases, the pen testing price can vary between $2,000 and $8,000 and more. The final decision will depend on the number of roles in the application and the aim of the testing.
We have already mentioned, that a penetration test can include many options. Every company that provides the service adjusts the penetration testing pricing depending on a few factors:
The tools can be divided into several categories:
The tools might create a lot of data to be processed by a specialist; thus, should be customized to fit the requirements of a certain company.
A pen test should be performed by a certified specialist with experience in the field. This is extremely important as it can influence not only the results of a test but also the potential breaches of the system in future. A highly-skilled developer performing a test will help with distinguishing the weaknesses as well as with fixing and preventing them in future. Besides, there is also a danger of damaging the system during the test. This is way less likely with a specialist.
There is no one answer that determines how much does penetration testing cost as the number of variables in each situation is different. Most companies that have a fixed price for a pen test will not help you to improve your security due to limitations of the testing tools used.
The decision of how much to charge for pen testing depends strictly on the contractor. Yet, this is the case when a few thousands can save your company millions and the hassle of reinstating your reputation. Discussing the terms and the scope of work in advance will also give you more clarity.
At Hacken, we take security extremely seriously, and all the checks are performed according to the highest standards. If you have any questions about the topic or need a consultation, feel free to contact our Team!
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