Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) helps organizations outsmart today’s hackers and hacking groups. The purpose of VAPT is to warn business owners about the potential security loopholes and vulnerabilities present in their internet-facing applications and networks. If these security flaws are exploited by hackers then it can cause a huge loss to a running online business. A compromised business application might end up losing reputation, revenue, and even customers.
The most critical feature of an ideal VAPT service provider is its efficiency to provide a comprehensive penetration testing report.
Without an effective VAPT report, the purpose of penetration testing goes in vain as it will be impossible for an organization to work on its vulnerabilities. Therefore, a penetration testing report becomes very important in gauging the current security level of your application & network and deciding on the next steps.
But what does an ideal VAPT or Pentesting report consists of? We have compiled a few factors that make a penetration testing report effective and powerful. Find out below.
What is a Penetration Testing Report or VAPT Report?
A Penetration Testing report is a document that contains a detailed analysis of the vulnerabilities uncovered during the security test, the risk they possess, and possible remedial steps. The Penetration Testing report gives you a complete overview of vulnerabilities with a POC (Proof of Concept) and remediation to fix those vulnerabilities on priority. It also gives a score against each found issue and how much it can impact your application/website.
Download Sample Penetration Testing Report (Pentesting Report in PDF Format)
We have designed a sample Penetration Testing report that will give you an idea of how vulnerabilities are reported and their impact score. Also, our security experts will share detailed POC (Proof of Concept) using screenshots, videos, or code.
Importance of Penetration Testing Report for Business
Like we discussed earlier, a cyber attack can not only pose a serious security issue, but it also has a severe impact on your business and its reputation.
The worst part is, the possibility of attracting bad guys on the internet does not depend upon the size of your organization. While the smaller organizations are perceived to be easier to hack, the large enterprises have data as their gold mine, making them attractive prey. So, irrespective of the nature of an organization, VAPT is the must-have security measure that organizations should adopt.
But, what is the business implication of a Penetration Testing Report along with security aspects?
There are plenty. But, we will discuss our top three:
1. Adherence to Security Benchmarks
Depending upon the country of your operation, there are a number of security benchmarks that your organization needs to adhere to. In order to comply with those benchmarks, you need a penetration testing report handy, as and when required.
2. Building trust
Every brand is a story that customers and clients connect to. There is a deep-rooted trust that binds your brand to clients and customers. However, according to research, about 59% of the customers live under a fear of their personal data being vulnerable. Also, over 54% of them believe that the companies don’t work for their best interest. VAPT exercise, when conducted frequently can help you build that trust among your most important stakeholders so that feel comfortable when doing business with you. These stakeholders can be anyone from investors to your end customer.
3. Comprehensive Evaluation
VAPT Report can provide you with a comprehensive evaluation profile of your network, applications or website. For the higher management, this acts as a single piece of document that they need to act upon and tackle the business risks.
How to create a powerful penetration testing report?
1. Detailed outline of uncovered vulnerabilities
The first and the most important component of an ideal pentesting report is an outline of all the vulnerabilities uncovered in VAPT and documentation on the basis of findings. Regardless of where the vulnerability lies in the application, a proper birds-eye view of the vulnerabilities gives your security and executive team a clear idea of the situation and the path ahead. A too technical or detailed approach will leave you and your team perplexed. In a good penetration testing report, you should also expect to see an explanation of where these vulnerabilities lie and how an attacker can manipulate them, preferably in laymen’s language.
2. Executive Summary & CVSS Score
Not all stakeholders are security professionals. Keeping this in mind you must provide an executive summary of the pentesting report for the decision makers. The executive summary does not provide technical details or terminology but the overview of the major findings explained in layman terms. You should keep the executive summary short, crisp, and well-formatted.
3. Assessment of the business impact
The next important component you should expect in a VAPT report is a detailed outline of the impact of the uncovered vulnerabilities on your business. By default, the numerical scoring assigned is mapped around Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). However, these scores often fail to take into account the severity of the vulnerabilities. Therefore, a pentester should employ more sophisticated ways to assign the scoring. For example, a scoring system that assigns both comparable scores (low/medium/high/critical) and an explanation regarding the extent of severity it possesses for the business, will work precisely.
4. Exploitation difficulty insight
It is also important to mention the time period for which the pentester was exploiting the website while staying unnoticed. And how much difficult it was to exploit the security loopholes. If it was easier for the pentester, it will be far easier for a hacker. It will also help you in understanding what you were doing wrong before, and after this report, you will be able to rectify them.
5. Technical Risks Briefing
The vulnerability risk rating (or CVSS score) is a straightforward way to indicate the severity of a vulnerability. It provides a quick understanding of the vulnerabilities at just a glance.
However, when it comes to eradicating those vulnerabilities, just a rating or score won’t be substantial. Thus, when drafting a penetration testing report you must provide an explanation of the highlighted vulnerabilities and technical risks. This briefing when coupled with contextualization adds even more weight to the report.
Without remedial advice, a penetration testing report is just a document containing a list of vulnerabilities. Without proper remediation or suggested mitigations, your website or network will continue to stay unsafe. Some VAPT service providers do not include the remediation steps in their reports, stay away from them!
Instead, look for a VAPT service provider that provides proper remediation steps along with the list of vulnerabilities in the pentesting report. Remediation advice varies for different vulnerabilities. For example, for some vulnerabilities, only installing a security patch will be enough whereas for others intervention of a development team might be required to rectify code vulnerabilities. In whatever situation, remediation steps provided by the VAPT service company come in handy.
Related blog – Penetration testing Company
7. Strategic Recommendations
Strategic recommendations are often overlooked by most VAPT service providers. But they are crucial and can define your organization’s outlook on security and shape your security strategies. Security is not just a destination, but a journey. In the absence of a defined security strategy, one-time security fixes can only do so much to protect your organization. Strategic recommendations from security experts will prove to be invaluable for your business, hence, look for a service provider that will give strategic recommendations to improve the working and security of your business.
Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) Report by Astra
Since one security loophole can bring your entire business to its knees, you should strive to get your application and network assessed for vulnerabilities. Astra security experts can help your business uncover every existing security issue and make your app & network flawless.
Key Highlights in Astra’s Penetration Testing Report
Astra’s Penetration Testing Report has the following key features:
- Industry Standard Security Testing: Astra’s security engineers carry industry standard security testing with over 1400+ tests that follows OWASP, SANS, ISO, and CREST guidelines and compliance requirements to test complex applications and networks thoroughly.
- Detailed Vulnerability Analysis: Astra’s Security Scan dashboard and pen-test report displays detailed analysis of vulnerabilities including the impact, severity, CVSS score, affected parameters and steps to reproduce each vulnerability with video Proof of Concepts (PoCs).
- Steps to Fix Vulnerabilities: For every identified flaw, the pentesting report consists security measures to prevent such flaws in future and it also displays remediation steps to fix each vulnerability.
- Graphical Representation of the Complete Pen-test Scan: The penetration testing report provided by Astra is crafted carefully with keeping each customer in mind. The report guarantees that your dev and security groups can rapidly and safely associate with pentest discoveries and resolve them easily.
- Easy to access: The penetration testing report can be downloaded easily from the Astra’s main VAPT dashboard. You can either download the report in the format of PDF or Email.
Related blog – Introducing our new Security Scan Platform
The features mentioned in the report can be categorized into the type of issue that has been identified, and the type of testing methodology carried out – as shown in the sample from Astra’s penetration testing dashboard.
The COVID-19 era has drastically changed how businesses operate online. During this time, we have seen more mature and advanced hackers targeting a large number of businesses worldwide. To ensure the safety of your business against potential threats, it is crucial that you perform VAPT periodically.
At Astra Security, we have helped hundreds of businesses identify and fix their vulnerabilities with our VAPT service. If you want our security experts to look into your web app, mobile app, or network and detect all underlying vulnerabilities for you, check out Astra’s VAPT services today.