Security Audit

How Much Does Penetration Testing Cost?

Updated on: February 23, 2024

How Much Does Penetration Testing Cost?

The average cost of a penetration test ranges from $2500 to $50,000. Penetration testing costs are a function of the type of targets, the number of targets, the quality of the pentesters, and the testing methodologies used.

Here’s a list of types of Pentests and their costs.

Types of Penetration Testing Average Pentest CostPentest Cost Decision Variables
Web Application Penetration Testing$5,000 to $50,000 per PentestNumber of unique dynamic & static pages in the web app
Network Penetration Testing$150 - $1000 per DeviceNumber of IPs & devices in the network
Cloud Penetration Testing$5,000 - $50,000 per PentestCloud services in use & number of cloud servers
Mobile Application Penetration Testing$5,000 - $40,000 per PentestPlatforms the app supports (iOS, Android, etc.)
SaaS Penetration Testing$5,000 - $30,000 per PentestUnique roles, tech stack, and static & dynamic pages in the SaaS app
API Penetration Testing$5000 and $30,000 per PentestNumber of unique APIs & end-points in each API

The prices for pentesting change based on the number of assets and their components to be tested. Over the years, the demand for penetration tests has surged while there is a shortage of pentesters available. This has led to a rise in the cost of penetration tests. For example, testing a feature-rich web application requires more time, resources, and expenses than testing a simple one-page marketing website.  

What Factors Affect Penetration Testing Costs?

factors influencing pentest costs

Most penetration testing services give tailored quotations since their prices differ based on the number of targets, pentester experience, and methodology. Factors on which pentest pricing depends: 

1. Complexity of Target

The cost of a pentest is proportional to the complexity of the target, such as the number of pages, APIs, etc. A pentest for a simple web app on a single server costs around $5,000, while a pentest for a complex system with interconnected servers and different tech stacks ranges around $10,000 to $50,000. 

2. Methodology of Pentesting

Choose the pentest methodology after considering the price since each has its own merits. External pentest vs internal pentest or black/grey/white box are a few methodologies to consider. Manual black-box pentest costs more than the automated black-box pentest. White and grey-box attacks have different prices due to the time, effort, and resources involved in identifying vulnerabilities.

3. Experience of Pentesters

Look for companies whose pentesters are experts with relevant certifications (OSCP, CREST, CEH, GPEN, etc), the latest tech knowledge, and good communication skills to provide valuable remediation assistance.  Companies with skilled pentesters will quote more because of their service and accreditations.

4. Remediation Assistance For Found Vulnerabilities

Pentesters can provide valuable information to make remediation a breeze. Look for a solution that provides remediation assistance by pentesters through chats, emails, or calls. It’s better to avoid pentest companies that consider the pentest complete once the vulnerability report is generated. 

5. Type of Assets For Pentest

Choose a pentesting company that can test multiple assets like web, mobile applications, networks, APIs, and cloud infrastructure. The processes of detecting vulnerabilities for each asset and its specific features can cause a variation in pricing.  

6. Timeline For Penetration Test

Pentest costs are influenced by the timeline, which changes based on assets and compensates for short timelines, labor, and technology. Pick a pentest service that can make the necessary arrangements to meet urgent timelines due to compliance or product release.

Types of Penetration Testing And Their Cost

Usual targets for penetration tests are web and mobile applications, network and cloud infrastructures, and APIs. These assets are tested to find, exploit, and gain insights into their vulnerabilities. Here, the type and number of assets for pentesting influence the cost. 

1. Web Application Penetration Testing

Web application penetration testing is the hacker-style assessment of web apps to identify and exploit vulnerabilities such as SQL injections, & misconfigurations to patch their security. The web application pentesting cost ranges from $5,000 to $50,000 based on the number & complexity of web applications. 

It is one small security loophole v/s your entire website or web application

Get your web app audited with Astra’s Continuous Pentest Solution

2. Network Penetration Testing 

Network penetration tests are testing of internal networks by scanning with port and network scanners to detect vulnerabilities such as open network ports, misconfigurations, outdated software, and malware. External penetration testing costs for networks are around $150 – $1000 per device. 

3. Cloud Penetration Testing

Azure, GCP, and AWS cloud pentests are carried out after the approval of a formal request with pentester information, IP addresses, and proposed testing date and time. Vulnerabilities like SQL, XSS, and CSRF are detected and exploited to gain insights into the vulnerability’s severity, possible impact, and remediation measures. Cloud penetration testing price ranges between $5,000 – $50,000.

4. Mobile Application Penetration Testing

Mobile app pentesting is the intrusive testing of mobile apps to detect & exploit vulnerabilities such as insecure authentication & authorization and misconfigurations. Mobile application pentests cost around $5,000 – $40,000 based on the number of applications and their complexity. 

5. SaaS Penetration Testing

SaaS penetration testing refers to exploiting vulnerabilities within web interfaces, APIs, networks, and other components of a SaaS app to find and remediate vulnerabilities. Prices for a SaaS pentest range from $5,000 to $30,000 per asset. 

6. API Penetration Testing

API penetration testing is performed on application programming interfaces (APIs) to assess the strength of their security controls & detect vulnerabilities. API pentests are priced between $5000 and $30,000 per asset. 

Different Penetration Testing Methodologies And Their Pricing

Penetration testing methodologies and cost

Having decided on the type of assets for pentesting, the next question is what testing methodology you need to lock in on pricing. Pentesting methodologies are the POV from which the pentest is carried out, i.e., from an insider or outsider perspective with different levels of privilege.  

Pentesting MethodologyPricing
Black-Box Penetration Testing$5,000 - $50,000 per asset
White-Box Penetration Testing$500 - $2000 per asset
Grey-Box Penetration Testing$500 - $50,000 per asset

1. Black Box Penetration Testing 

In this methodology, the pentester is not given any system information or prior privileges for testing. Black-box pentesting costs around $5,000 to $50,000, which can be explained since it is the closest to an actual attack. 

Pro Tip: Choose black-box pentesting if you’re looking to thoroughly assess your security posture from an external perspective by replicating the activities of a malicious hacker. 

2. White Box Penetration Testing

Before the test, the pentester is provided with the system’s background information, such as source codes, credentials, and internal software. It is ideal for examining an asset’s internal infrastructure and costs around $500 to $2000 per asset.

Pro Tip: White-box pentesting is suitable if you want to examine your asset’s security from the internal perspective of a malicious insider, vulnerable code, or an unaware employee. 

3. Grey Box Penetration Testing 

It is a methodology where the pentester is given limited information like login credentials. A mix of white and black box testing is ideal for insider or social engineering & threat testing and average costs around $5,000 to $50,000.  

Pro Tip: Choose a grey-box pentesting approach to simulate internal and external attack scenarios to gain security insights from both black and white-box perspectives. 

Why Astra Pentest is Your Best Choice?

Astra Security Pentest

Astra Security offers hacker-style penetration testing for websites,  mobile apps, the cloud, APIs, networks, and SaaS. The pentest pricing plans for Astra Security are: 

  • Scanner – $1,999 per year
  • Pentest – $5,999 per year
  • Enterprise – $7,999 per year

Astra Security provides unlimited vulnerability scans and essential PtaaS features like an intuitive pentest dashboard and customizable PDF pentest reports. Security experts vet pentest scan results to weed out pesky false positives. 

Astra’s security experts perform manual pentests to exploit critical vulnerabilities detected by the constantly updated vulnerability scanner, which tests for over 9,300 vulnerabilities. Astra uses AI to create test cases for your organization’s business logic based on the technology you use. 

Astra’s intuitive pentest dashboard facilitates real-time vulnerability reporting & collaboration, reducing the patch time for developers. The tool can be easily integrated with CI/CD tools like Slack, Jira, Jenkins, and GitHub.

Once the remediation and rescans are complete, a publicly verifiable penetration testing certificate is given. Other reasons why Astra Security outsmarts other pentesting solutions out there are:

  • Offers compliance scans (HIPAA, SOC2 pentest, PCI-DSS pentest, ISO 27001)
  • Cloud security and source code reviews
  • Vulnerability PoCs 
  • Remediation assistance

Let experts find security gaps in your cloud infrastructure

Pen-testing results that comes without a 100 emails, 250 google searches and painstaking PDFs.


Penetration testing is a smart investment that guards your assets against security breaches, legal & remediation expenses, and revenue & reputation loss. The cost of a pentest is justified when its ROI is the total costs of a data breach. Hence, a trusted and thorough penetration test is ideal for your organization’s security.

Choose the right penetration testing company for your needs by considering factors like pricing, scope, number of assets, and required timeline. Astra Security is a pentesting solution that provides upfront pricing and an array of exciting features to simplify pentesting. 

Pen Testing Cost – FAQs

How much does a Pentest cost?

An average penetration testing cost is between is $2500 to $50,000 and the pricing various based on multiple factors such as target, asset type, timeline, expertise of pentesters and more. For example, network pentest pricing is based on a number of devices.

What should you look for in a pentesting solution provider?

When choosing a trusted and reputed third-party pentesting services provider, look at customer reviews, pentesters accreditations, availability of vulnerability management dashboard, rescans, and pentest certifications, along with the estimated timeline for completing the pentest.

What is a penetration testing quote? 

Penetration testing quotes are prices put forth by penetration testing companies. They help organizations compare and decide between different pentest providers’ features and price points. Quotes vary depending on the scope and number of targets. 

This post is part of a series on penetration testing, you can also check out other articles below.

Chapter 1. What is Penetration Testing
Chapter 2. Different Types of Penetration Testing?
Chapter 3. Top 5 Penetration Testing Methodology to Follow in 2024
Chapter 4. Ten Best Penetration Testing Companies and Providers
Chapter 5. Best Penetration Testing Tools Pros Use – Top List
Chapter 6. A Super Easy Guide on Penetration Testing Compliance
Chapter 7. Average Penetration Testing Cost in 2024
Chapter 8. Penetration Testing Services – Top Rated
Chapter 9. Penetration Testing Report

Aakanchha Keshri

Aakanchha is a technical writer and a cybersecurity enthusiast. She is an avid reader, researcher, and an active contributor to our blog and the cybersecurity genre in general. To date, she has written over 200 blogs for more than 60 domains on topics ranging from technical to promotional. When she is not writing or researching she revels in a game or two of CS: GO.
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