How To Choose The Right Penetration Testing Company For Your Business?

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Protecting the digital assets of your firm requires careful choosing of the penetration testing company. Choosing the right penetration testing vendor can significantly improve your company’s cyber security. Many questions arise while selecting a cybersecurity service, How to ensure that a penetration testing company is right for you?  what type of penetration test does a business require? How to evaluate the vendor?

This guide will provide answers to your queries as well as important tips on assessing vendors, comprehending their processes, and ensuring they meet your cybersecurity requirements. Learn how to choose a partner that improves your security posture and make an informed decision.

Criteria For Choosing the Best Penetration Testing Company 

How can you find a company that offers qualified manual testing, proven practices, and robust methodologies?

Before choosing a penetration testing company you need to identify the type of testing for your business.

1. Define the type of penetration testing you require

According to the type of penetration testing, the tools and expertise required will also be different, which changes the cost and the cybersecurity service you choose.

Primarily you should have an idea about what you want out of a penetration test. The following criteria will help you determine what kind of assessment you need and a guide to selecting the right penetration testing service.

  1. Area of infrastructure you need to assess 
  • Web application pentest
  • Mobile application pentest
  • Network application pentest
  1. Techniques
  • Black box
  • Grey box 
  • White box mode
  1. Project Type
  • Cloud computing test
  • Network test
  • Social engineering tests
  • Red team 

While choosing penetration testing companies you need to list the key factors that characterize top-notch penetration testing service providers.

2. Methodology

Make sure that the vendor can provide industry-recognized pen testing methodologies. Some companies utilize automated scanning for faster outputs, but there are security issues that require a flexible and creative professional approach. So manual testing can identify if a methodology is strong or weak. Popular methodologies are :

  • Open Web Application Security Project Top 10
  • Open-Source Security Testing Methodology Manual 
  • Information System Security Assessment Framework 
  • Penetration Testing Execution Standard
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology SP 800-115
  • SANS CWE 25

3. Expertise & Experience

An expert penetration test vendor often plays a vital role in maintaining your brand’s reputation. Make sure your vendors have a proven record of providing successful penetration testing. Evaluate the potential vendor’s previous work including the years of experience, the industries they have engaged in, certificates, and qualifications of their professionals. Since the cybersecurity industry is vast, having a partner experienced in diverse industries can be beneficial.

Penetration test vendors with a good reputation among the cyber security community and who have been around for many years can be an optimal choice since they have experience in vivid industries and deploy industry-recognized pen testing methodologies to solve unique problems.

4. Customer Feedback

Established penetration test vendors often provide a tailored approach that meets your needs. Reputed pentest vendors will communicate with you during each step of pentest to understand the organization’s goals, infrastructure, and compliance requirements and to mitigate any confusion. Ensure that they take into account your suggestions and feedback as well.

Make sure their customer service model aligns with you. If your company requires an expert review report and mitigating logical flaws, then manual penetration testing can be a better choice for you. Unlike automated testing, manual pentest carried out by a professional tester can detect and formulate responses for vulnerabilities such as blind SQL injection attacks, logic flaws, and access control vulnerabilities. so ensure that your vendor provides manual penetration testing along with automated scanning.

5. Penetration Testing Certification

Certification is one of the key features that can help you determine the authenticity of cybersecurity services. Ensure that your provider is ISO 27001 certified and that they comply with GDPR, SEC, and CMMC.

Certifications available in different skill levels, knowledge, and expertise vary depending on their skill level. There are three skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Some well-known credentialing organizations are 

  • Offensive Security – Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) and Offensive Security Web Expert (OSWE)
  • CompTIA
  • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) 
  • International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council)
  • InfoSec Institute. 
  • Burp Suite Certified Practitioner
  • SANS 
  • GPEN 
  • GWAPT 
  • CEH

They provide high-quality courses and leading pen testing certifications.

Questions to Ask Potential Penetration Testing Vendor

To understand the functioning of a cybersecurity service, you need to enquire about the expertise, methodologies, test certifications, experiences, and regulatory requirements in detail.

For this, you need to have effective communication with the potential vendor. The following is a questionnaire that will help you to start with.

1. Certifications and qualifications

  • Does your company have a liability insurance policy?
  • What are the certifications your company holds?
  • What are the qualifications of the professional who carries out pen tests?
  • Does your company have liability insurance?
  • How do you keep track of your team’s latest certifications and training?

2. Methodologies

  • what kind of processes and methodologies does your company employ?
  • How can you ensure that your professionals use industry-recognized pen-testing methodology?
  • How much of the penetration test is tools-based?

3. Manual & automated

  • Will I be allotted with a project manager?
  • Can you share more details about the manual effort that goes into a penetration test?
  • How long will a typical penetration test take if conducted by your professional?
  • How much of your test is automated?

4. Communication

  • How will you keep me updated about the testing?
  • Is my service required during the penetration testing?
  • What are the options for retesting?
  • How will the pen test effectively communicate their findings?

5. Experience and expertise 

  • Can you share some of the references of the pentest conducted of a similar scope?
  •  What are the industries in which your company has expertise?
  • What are the research and contributions of your company towards cybersecurity?

6. Report

  • Can you share some example assessment reports?
  • What is the pot-test support provided by your company?
  • What are the things covered in your test report?

7. Security

  • How long will you keep a customer’s data?
  • How will you secure the data given by a customer?
  • Has there been any incident of security mismanagement or data leak?
  • Do you outsource any services?

The Significance of Post-test Support and Clear Reporting

The pentest report is not the last stop for penetration testing, the importance of an experienced penetration vendor will come into effect during the post-test support. Read the report carefully, understand essential vulnerabilities that exist, and evaluate strategies to eliminate these vulnerabilities.

The insight of a vendor with expertise in different environments and the ability to identify and mitigate threats in a timeframe can be of utmost use. All vulnerabilities may not cause the same risk, you need to identify the impact and prioritize them to set an action plan.

The penetration testing report is the high-level technical assessment summary that includes all the details of actions, tools, and processes implemented during the tests. It also provides proper assessment regarding security risks, vulnerabilities, and suggestions for mitigating security issues which can help your brand from a security breach. Given the importance of reporting, the quality of reporting determines the credibility of cybersecurity services.

While choosing a penetration testing company evaluate their previous reports. A good report will contain tools, methodologies performed to determine vulnerabilities, an executive summary, a list of vulnerabilities, and suggestions to keep the systems robust and secure

Running around looking for a competent penetration test vendor can be a tedious task, but you can never compromise the security of your business data. When selecting the right cyber security service,  consider factors including cost-effectiveness, methodologies, expertise, reputation, effective communication, and feedback.

Ultimately the penetration testing vendor you choose will be the one that recognizes your business objective and provides necessary insights through effective communication.

The guide can give you an edge to evaluate a vendor based on their industry expertise, previous work, feedback, and cost.

1. What criteria should businesses use to select a penetration testing service?

While selecting a penetration testing service there are many criteria to consider. Industry-recognized pen testing methodologies used, years of experience, tailored customer service to meet your organizational goals, providing post-test support with quality reporting, proper certifications, qualified professionals, budget-friendly, time-frame, and effective communication. Analyze each factor to choose what is best for you.

2. How do you evaluate the expertise of a penetration testing provider?

Ans: You can evaluate the expertise of a penetration testing provider by analyzing 
Their previous experiences
Certifications since that signify their credibility
The methodologies they implement
Industries of expertise
Post-test support
The details included in their report
The company’s reputation within the cyber-security community
Their customer feedbacks
Their contribution to research and innovation within the cybersecurity community

3. What questions should businesses ask potential penetration testing vendors?

Businesses should ask questions regarding all the essential criteria that will help them determine which vendor’s approach suits them the most. The following are some questions.
What are the certifications your company holds?
What are the methodologies used by your company?
What are the industries in which your company has expertise?

Picture of Zuhair Elambilassery

Zuhair Elambilassery

Zuhair, our CEO, brings 10 years of cybersecurity expertise to our organization. With 5 years as a successful cybersecurity entrepreneur and 5 years as a seasoned security engineer and consultant, he has made significant contributions to renowned companies like Exotel, Storilabs, Uber, Flipkart, and OLA Cabs. Zuhair's wealth of experience and strategic insights ensure our organization remains at the forefront of cybersecurity advancements.

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