When it comes to penetration testing, the UK is home to some of the best companies in the world. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? In this article, we will review 10 of the top penetration testing companies in the UK and discuss what makes them stand out from the competition.
We’ll also take a look at some of the key features that every pentest company should offer. So whether you’re looking for a self-served tool or in need of more comprehensive support, you’ll be able to find the perfect pentest company for your business here.
Here is the list of the top 10 penetration testing companies in UK
- Astra Security
- Aardwolf security
- CyberQ Group
10 top pen testing companies UK
|Penetration Testing Company||Services offered|
|Astra Security||Automated and manual pentesting, vetted scans with zero false positives, CI/CD integration, scan behind login, vulnerability management, and pentest certificate|
|Redscan||Vulnerability management, CREST certified pentesters, tailored reporting|
|Blaze||Web app penetration testing, physical pentest|
|Aardwolf Security||Pentest by NCSC certified security experts|
|Breachlock||Pentest on demand, monthly automated scanning, follows OWASP methodology|
|Intruder||Vulnerability management, manual pentesting, tailored reporting|
|Dhound||Pentest on demand, web app pentest, network penetration testing|
|CyberQ Group||Continuous breach detection, cyber due diligence|
|Netsparker||Vulnerability management, application security audit|
|Acunetix||Vulnerability scanning, compliance reporting|
How does a penetration testing company work?
The penetration testing process is designed to find vulnerabilities in your system before an attacker does. It simulates real-world attacks so you can identify and fix weaknesses before they’re exploited.
When you hire a penetration testing company in the UK, they follow a mostly similar methodology to detect vulnerabilities in your systems.
They apply a combination of automated scans and manual probing to find and exploit vulnerabilities to help you understand the risk associated with each vulnerability.
Penetration testing methodology
Reconnaissance: The first stage of the attack where the pentester gathers information about the target system.
Scanning: The second stage is where the pentester uses automated tools to identify potential vulnerabilities.
Gaining Access: The third stage is where the pentester tries to exploit the vulnerabilities they’ve found to gain access to the system.
Maintaining Access: The fourth stage is where the pentester attempts to maintain their access and create a backdoor for future access.
Covering Tracks: The final stage is where the pentester attempts to clean up their tracks and cover their tracks so as not to be detected.
What makes penetration testing important for your business?
There are many reasons why penetration testing is important for your business. Here are some of the most common ones:
Security posture management:
Penetration testing can help you understand your security posture and identify areas for improvement.
By identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities, penetration testing can help you manage risk more effectively.
Many regulations and standards require penetration testing as part of your compliance program.
In the event of a breach, demonstrating that you’ve taken steps to secure your systems can help limit damage to your reputation.
Why is it important to choose the right penetration testing company in the UK?
Security audits and penetration testing are naturally feared by organizations often more than the cyber attacks these are designed to stop.
There are many reasons behind this.
A pentest process can be long, tiring, and expensive. It often involves human hours put in by the employees of the target company. That cannot be good news for business. Moreover, the mail trail that follows the pentest is often long enough to confuse the developers trying to fix the issues.
Pentest customers are often thrown into further darkness after the pentest.
With the right penetration testing service, you can go through the pentest process without facing any of the issues. The right penetration testing company will be attentive to your specific needs, provide you with a solution that is easy to use and navigate and help you with the interpretation of the report and execution of the fixes.
5 things to look for in a penetration testing company
When looking for a penetration testing company in the UK, here are some of the things you should look for:
A good pentest company will offer a self-served tool that is super easy to navigate and minimizes the effort required from the users.
Manual pentest capabilities
The company should also have manual pentest capabilities to supplement the automated scans. The manual scans are not supposed to replace the automated scanners but to augment their capabilities and validate the results.
The report should be actionable and easy to understand. It should also include remediation steps. Some UK penetration testing companies go ahead and include video PoCs to reproduce the vulnerabilities to make the task easier for developers.
Thorough remediation support
When we say thorough remediation support, we mean easily navigable guidelines, video PoCs, and in-chat or in-call assistance from security experts.
Publicly verifiable certificate:
Once you have fixed all the vulnerabilities indicated by the pentest company and produced evidence for the same in the re-scans, the pentest companies should give you a publicly verifiable certificate that declares you secure at that point in time. Please note that this is not equivalent to a compliance certificate.
Top 10 penetration testing companies in the UK
Now that you know what to look for in a penetration testing company in the UK, let us expose you to some of the best in the business. See if you can find the right fit among these.
1. Astra Security
Astra Security is a power-packed security company with two superb products –
Astra Website Protection & Astra Pentest Platform
As you can imagine, we will be focusing on the pentest product in this article.
Astra’s pentest platform is a comprehensive solution to your security testing needs with 3000+ test cases, a host of integrations, continuous pentesting, and compliance reporting features.
Here are some key features
Astra security is a well-rounded company that offers a wide array of features. We are going to pick the ones that set them apart from the crowd.
- CI/CD integration: You can easily integrate Astra’s pentest suite with your SDLC and never worry about pushing vulnerable code into production.
- Scan behind logged-in pages: Authenticate the automated scanner once with the help of Astra’s login recorder and you shouldn’t worry about authentication for scanning behind the login page.
- Contextual collaboration: Astra gives you the opportunity to collaborate with a security expert to fix vulnerabilities that your developers might be stuck with.
- Video PoCs: On top of step-by-step guidelines, Astra’s security engineers add video PoCs to the pentest report to help you reproduce and fix vulnerabilities.
- Publicly verifiable certificate: On completion of the rescan after fixing the vulnerabilities Astra awards you a safe-to-do-business certificate that is publicly verifiable. While it is not a compliance certificate, it can prove crucial during a vendor review.
On top of these, Astra Security comes with vetted scans to ensure zero false positives. The scanner is optimizable for single-page apps and a bunch of different frameworks.
And it comes with a stellar dashboard that apart from making vulnerability management a breeze lets you control the website protection product as well.
Redscan is a penetration testing company based out of the UK that has been in business for over ten years. They are one of the few companies to be ISO 27001 certified and have a Cyber Essentials certificate to their name.
They offer two types of penetration tests –
External Network Penetration Test: In this test, Redscan’s team attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in systems that are publicly accessible from the internet such as web applications, email servers, and DNS servers.
Internal Network Penetration Test: As the name suggests, Redscan’s team tries to identify vulnerabilities within systems and networks that can only be accessed from within an organization’s network perimeter. This usually includes file shares, print servers, and database servers.
Redscan employs a team of over 20 penetration testers that are all CREST qualified. The company is also one of the few to be PCI DSS compliant.
Some key features:
- Vulnerability management
- Tailored reporting
- Secure Infrastructure
- Experienced penetration testers
Blaze is a penetration testing company with a difference. The company was started by two former members of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – Andrew Rose and Will Dormann.
The company has a team of penetration testers that are all CREST qualified and have experience working with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Blaze offers four types of penetration tests –
Web Application Penetration Test: In this test, Blaze attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in web applications such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and directory traversal attacks.
Network Penetration Test: As the name suggests, Blaze tries to identify vulnerabilities within network infrastructures such as routers, switches, and firewalls.
Wireless Penetration Test: In this test, Blaze attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in wireless networks such as WEP and WPA encryption attacks.
Physical penetration test: In this test, Blaze’s team attempts to gain physical access to a building or premises by bypassing security systems such as CCTV and alarm systems.
Blaze also offers a range of other services such as red teaming, incident response, and digital forensics.
4. Aardwolf security
Aardwolf is a penetration testing company based out of the UK. The company was founded in 2016 by two former employees of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – Alex Lomas and James Foster.
- NCSC-certified penetration testers
- ISO 27001 certified
- Cyber Essentials Plus certificate
- PCI DSS compliant
Breachlock is a UK-based Penetration Testing as a Service company (PTaaS) of great repute. They offer continuous monitoring, web app pentest services, cloud security testing, and social engineering detection services.
Some key features include
- Pentest on demand
- Monthly automated scanning
- Manual application pentest
- OWASP-compliant web app scanning
Intruder is a dedicated vulnerability scanning tool with coverage across platforms. They also offer manual pentesting for an elevated price point. Intruder offers you a number of integrations. They have a decent user interface and they provide an actionable report.
Some key features
- Vulnerability management
- Tailored reporting
- Integrations with popular bug trackers
Dhound is a penetration testing company that offers services such as web application penetration testing, network penetration testing, and social engineering. The company is based out of the UK and has a team of qualified penetration testers.
Some key features
- Pentest on demand
- Web application penetration testing
- Network penetration testing
- Social engineering
8. CyberQ Group
CyberQ focuses on creating future-proof security solutions. Their goal is to build a platform that can successfully root out vulnerabilities from increasingly spread-out and public assets. They help with securing agile workforces and enabling digitization.
Some key features are
- Continuous breach detection service
- Managed Security Operation
- Cyber due diligence
Netsparker is a global player in the web application security market and it has been around for quite a while. Netsparker offers a powerful vulnerability assessment program with a bunch of interesting features like the ability to penetration test web applications deployed on cloud services.
Some key features of Netsparker are
- Web Application Penetration Testing
- Vulnerability Management
- Application Security Audit
Acunetix is a software company that provides web application security solutions. The company’s flagship product, Acunetix WVS, is a web vulnerability scanner that can be used to scan websites for SQL injection, XSS, and other vulnerabilities.
Some key features of Acunetix are
- Web Application Security
- Vulnerability Management
- Compliance Reporting
Penetration testing is important for your business. It helps you manage your security posture, assess risk, and ensure compliance. When choosing a penetration testing company, look for one that offers self-serve tools, manual pentesting capabilities, actionable reports, and thorough remediation support. With features like that, you cannot go wrong.