Security Audit

Penetration Testing Cost On Average: 5 Things That Determines

Updated on: October 31, 2022

Penetration Testing Cost On Average: 5 Things That Determines

Article Summary

Penetration testing cost depends on multiple factors, and it is difficult to land on a definite figure. But here it is, upfront pricing for penetration testing with explanation.

How much does a penetration test cost?

The average cost of a penetration test for websites is between $2500 and $50,000. The cost for Pentesting mobile apps and web apps is between $1500 and $5000. The quotes vary further for Pentesting cloud infrastructure, network, and devices. It is usually between $400 and $2000.

  • White box penetration testing : $500 – $2000 per scan
  • Black box penetration testing : $10,000 to $50,000 per scan
  • Grey box penetration testing : $500 to $50,000 per scan

Further, a pentest by an individual cybersecurity professional usually costs more as compared to a pentest service. Costs of a traditional pentest may come down by 31% with a pentest service. Getting penetration testing by a company also cuts down the completion time by 60%, says research.

Introduction

Once you decide that you need a penetration test for your online business, the next obvious question that pops up is – how much is penetration testing priced at?

Other common concerns that often follow include: 

  • What criteria penetration testing pricing depends upon?
  • What price will I be looking at when conducting a web app pentest, a network pentest, a mobile app pentest, or a permutation and combination of these?
  • Does the dearest pentest always mean the best?

If you are also wondering about the right answer to these questions, here it is.

Also Checkout- GCP Security | Continuous Penetration Testing: The Best Tool You’ll Find in 2022

Pen testing costs according to testing styles

Different penetration testing styles cost different.

White box penetration testing cost

White box testing is a style of penetration testing in which the pentester is provided with the background of the system beforehand.

A white box pentesting is usually the cheapest penetration testing style. It may cost you somewhere around $500 to $2000 per scan.

Black box penetration testing cost

Black box testing is a pen-testing style in which the pentester is provided with almost zero information about the system beforehand.

A black box pentesting is the costliest of the three penetration testing styles. The costs range from $10,000 to $50,000 per scan.

Also Read: API Penetration Testing: What You Need To Know

Gray box penetration testing cost

Gray box testing is a penetration testing style in which the pentester is provided with some information about the system beforehand.

The cost of Gray box pentesting ranges somewhere between the above two types.

Penetration testing costs according to type

Penetration testing types Average penetration testing cost
Website/web apps$2500-$50,000 per scan
Network & network devices (Router, switches, modem, keys, etc)$100-$200 per device
Cloud$600-$800 per scan
Mobile apps$1500-$5000 per scan
SaaS$1500-$3000 per scan
Penetration testing costs

What is a penetration test?

Penetration testing checks the ‘stamina level’ of your whole web system with a series of technical attacks. It diagnoses the web application and network system and provides a comprehensive report of:

  • Vulnerabilities
  • Strengths
  • Key work areas
  • Scope of improvements for the whole setup.

If you wish to learn more about the penetration testing process, we’ve covered it in great detail in our blog post: What is Penetration Testing (In Cyber Security)- Definition, Purpose and How to Perform

Why penetration testing is important?

If you are still on the fence here’s why you must get penetration testing for your business:

  1. A penetration test finds out most lurking vulnerabilities in your system that may be exploited by hackers. A timely vulnerability disclosure & remediation save you tonnes of money and spares you the embarrassment following a cyber attack or data breach.
  2. The cost-value ratio of a penetration test is huge. It positively impacts your organization’s security & business decisions.
  3. Penetration tests also help in acquiring & retaining key certifications (such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, etc) often necessary for your business operations.
  4. A secure application builds customer trust.

Also Read: Top Pentest Tools In India | 10 Best Cyber Security Audit Companies [Features and Services Explained]

What Is A Penetration Testing Quote? 

Penetration testing quotes refer to the prices put forth for penetration testing services by companies. Such penetration test quotes help organizations compare and decide between the features, specifics, and price quotes offered by different pentest providers.

It is crucial that organizations take multiple quotes before deciding on one since it helps them understand which company can offer them the best deal and required features within their budget. 

 Penetration testing quotes vary depending on:

  1. The scope of testing. 
  2. Based on assets that need to be tested. 
  3. Company size and employee strength.

Factors determining penetration test cost depend upon

Most penetration testing services prefer not to disclose their pricing and rely on one-on-one quotations. This is because penetration test prices tend to differ widely from application to application.

Coming to the factors on which pentest pricing depends upon. Here they are:

  • Size: The cost of a penetration test is directly proportional to the scale and complexity of the organization. Size refers to the number of employees and branches of an organization, complexity refers to the complexity of applications, servers, IP addresses, facilities, and database that is involved. 
  • Scope: Every pen test follows a scope declaration by the organization as a roadmap for the testing. The scope defines priority areas to be tested in your application or network such as – the number of pages, APIs, test cases, network devices, etc. It also puts forward the objective of the organization in conducting the testing.
  • Methodology: Pentesting price can also vary as per the methodology and comprehensiveness of the test. Different methodologies have different focus areas and consist of different set of tests. Adding or removing specific tests, again, affect penetration testing cost.
  • Experience: An established company charges more based on its service record, accreditations, and experience. This is because with experience comes the competence so necessary to carry out this job without breaking the system. With a trusted service, you can also be sure of the safety & privacy of your organizational details.
  • Remediation: Most penetration tests end post reporting the vulnerabilities. Some services, however, go the extra and assist you in fixing those vulnerabilities. That sometimes, adds up to the overall costs.

Standard pricing for penetration testing is not the norm in the security audit & penetration testing world. That said, there are penetration testing providers who challenge this norm by having a set of standard pricing for their services. For instance, at Astra Security, we offer three standard plans: Basic, Expert, & Elite.

Check out: Astra Security’s penetration pricing for websites | Penetration Testing Quote

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

Average penetration testing cost

How much does a penetration test quote come to?– The average Pentest cost for websites is between $500 and $1000. The cost for Pentesting mobile apps and web apps is between $700 and $5000. The cost varies further for Pentesting cloud infrastructure, network, and devices. It is usually between $400 and $2000.

Further, a pentest by an individual cybersecurity professional usually costs more as compared to a pentest service. Costs of a traditional pentest may come down by 31% with a pentest service. Getting penetration testing by a company also cuts down the completion time by 60%, says research.

Also Checkout- GCP Security | Why Firewall Penetration Testing is Essential to Your Security Strategy

Pen testing costs according to testing styles

Different penetration testing styles cost different.

White box penetration testing cost

White box testing is a style of penetration testing in which the pentester is provided with the background of the system beforehand.

A white box pentesting is usually the cheapest penetration testing style done by penetration testing companies. It may cost you somewhere around $500 to $2000 per scan.

Black box penetration testing quote

Black box testing is a pen-test style in which the pentester is provided with almost zero information about the system beforehand.

A black box pentesting is the costliest of the three penetration testing styles. The costs range from $10,000 to $50,000 per scan.

Gray box penetration testing quote

Gray box testing is a penetration testing style in which the pentester is provided with some information about the system beforehand.

Penetration testing companies charge gray box somewhere between the price ranges of both white and black box pen tests.

Penetration testing costs according to type

Penetration testing types Average penetration testing cost
Website/web apps$500-$1000 per scan
Network & network devices (Router, switches, modem, keys, etc)$100-$200 per device
Cloud$600-$800 per scan
Mobile apps$600-$800 per scan
SaaS$1500-$3000 per scan
Penetration testing costs

Also Read: Website Penetration Testing- A Complete Guide

Does the costliest penetration testing mean the best?

There’s no direct answer to this. Many a time, pen-testing costs are high due to the extensive testing plans. Other times pentesting costs are proportional to the credentials of the security researcher.

To choose the best option for you, you need to have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve with the test. If your application does not really require or is not at a stage to go through extensive tests, you can opt that out and go for moderate pentest instead.

Experience and accreditations can be extremely valuable in security testing, so paying extra for that is not actually a bad idea. Testing the ins & outs of an application is a very delicate matter and should be handled with utmost care & attention, which often comes with experience.

Further, getting a pentest from a trusted company ensures that your application is thoroughly tested, detecting all existing security flaws, thus ensuring overall security.

How often should I perform a penetration test?

To decide on the most suitable penetration testing frequency for your organization you need to thoroughly understand your application & network, as well as your security objectives.

For instance,

  • If you roll out new app features, updates, & fixes frequently, you may need to test your application’s security more often. Monthly pentests would likely work best for you in such a case.
  • If you roll out new features, updates & fixes every quarter, you can go for quarterly pentests, or after every new release.
  • If your organization is not big on new feature additions but wants to uphold security at all times, a quarterly pentest would work well for you too.
  • If your only concern is to acquire and retain certifications, you can opt for yearly penetration testing services.

Also Read: A Complete Guide to Cloud Security Testing

What to look for in a pentesting service/solution provider?

When choosing a trusted and reputed third-party penetration testing services provider, look at 

  • Customer reviews
  • Security person’s accreditations
  • Detailed plans and methodology
  • Vulnerability management dashboard
  • Retesting after remediation facilities
  • Warranty possibilities
  • Certifications
  • Turn around time
  • Team and communication, among the very first things.

Besides, you can also ask for a case study, known companies they worked with, customer reviews & testimonials, etc.

Also Read- Pentest Related FAQs

Astra’s penetration test pricing – complete details

Astra security offers comprehensive penetration testing services for websites, web apps, mobile apps, cloud, network, and saas. We have three penetration testing plans for web apps: Scanning, Expert, & Pentest. Astra offers various packages with different penetration testing quotes.

The first plan comes with weekly vulnerability scans, and essential features like the pentest dashboard, scan behind login, and PDF reports. The Expert plan comes with a expert vetted scan, integration with CI/CD tools, Jira, Slack, etc, unlimited vulnerability scans and compliance reporting on top of everything included in the Scanning plan.

The Pentest plan takes things a few notches higher with vulnerability assessment and pentesting by security experts once a year, cloud security reviews, business logic testing, and a publicly verifiable VAPT certificate on top of everything included in the Expert plan.

Cost of Web App Pentesting with Astra Security:

  • Scanning plan – $99 per month
  • Expert plan – $199 per month
  • Pentest plan – $399 per month

The cost of mobile app pentesting and cloud penetration testing depend on multiple factors and it is diffucult to put a one size fits all price on that. However, you can talk to the security experts at Astra to learn the exact cost of Pentesting your mobile app or cloud infrastructure.

Let experts find security gaps in your cloud infrastructure

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

Astra Pentest provides an intuitive pentest dashboard that facilitates real-time vulnerability reporting & collaboration for each vulnerability, thus cutting the vulnerability fixing time for developers.

Other reasons why Astra Pentest suite shines among other services out there:

  • Hacker-style penetration testing (with over 3000+ tests)
  • Developer-friendly intuitive dashboard
  • Real-time vulnerability reporting (first set of vulnerabilities added within 24 hours)
  • Direct collaboration (no email threads)
  • Vulnerability PoCs & selenium scripts
  • Fixing advice
  • Rescans
  • Detailed reports
  • Publicly verifiable certificates.

Also check out the new features added to our pentest dashboard.

Penetration Testing Cost
Image: Astra’s Pentest Dashboard (Vulnerability Details)

Conclusion

Spending a little extra money on external penetration testing is not an extravagance but a wise investment as it can save the system from an exploit or a breach and prevent it from getting into a security muddle. A data breach can cause irreparable damage to an organization’s reputation hence a trusted and thorough penetration testing is insurance for the technical setup of your organization.

Considering a pentest for your platform? Talk to us with the chat widget below!

Pen Testing Cost -FAQs

1. How long does a penetration test take?

Penetration testing for websites, and apps take up to 10 days. For cloud infrastructures like GCP and AWs it takes up to 5 days.

2. How much does pen testing cost?

The cost for pen testing ranges between $99 and $399 per month for web apps and SaaS sites. The price varies quite a bit for mobile app pentesting and cloud pentesting.

3. Why choose Astra for penetration testing?

3000+ tests, adherence to global security standards, intuitive dashboard with dynamic visualization of vulnerabilities and their severity, security audit with simultaneous remediation assistance, multiple rescans, these are the features that give Astra an edge over all competitors.

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 2022
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 2022
Chapter 8. Penetration Testing Services – Top Rated
Chapter 9. Penetration Testing Report

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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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