In a penetration test, a cybersecurity professional identifies vulnerabilities and attempts to exploit them in a simulated attack on a company’s systems. In most cases, the company being tested hires an accredited outside firm to conduct the evaluation. In this article, we’ll profile the top ten companies that provide penetration testing and related services.
NetSPI offers penetration testing as a service, including continuous monitoring and real-time reporting. Their pentesting services extend to applications, networks, and cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Their services include interactive vulnerability reports and real-time access to testing results.
Alongside breach and attack simulation services, NetSPI offers ongoing, 24/7 vulnerability assessments through its attack surface monitoring program. Their pentesting platform continually monitors clients for vulnerabilities, which their security consultants then manually investigate to assess the threat.
- Expert pen testing teams
- Real-time data analytics and reporting
- Interactive vulnerability reports
- Network, application, and cloud testing are available
- Red team services available
- Ransomware simulations
- Compliance-oriented testing
- Automated and manual testing options
- Internal and external pen testing
- Can incorporate social engineering
- Complex pricing
- Varies depending on test parameters
ScienceSoft offers a wide variety of services, including network, application, social engineering, and wireless penetration testing. They can also hone in on one of many compliance standards, including HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, SOC 2, and more.
ScienceSoft also offers red team penetration testing, in which they probe your systems without informing your IT team in advance. All testing services include comprehensive results analysis and reporting, as well as assistance in remediation of any vulnerabilities that are uncovered in the test.
- Black box, gray box, and white box pen testing is available
- Employs certified ethical hackers
- Compliance-specific testing options
- Red team penetration testing
- Remediation services
- Wide variety of penetration testing services are available
- ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 compliance-certified company
- False positives can occur
- Varies depending on test parameters, but typically $5,000 and up
Cobalt is a platform that helps match businesses with qualified penetration testers. It offers real-time collaboration features, aggregate data viewing, and dynamic reporting. The platform also works with a variety of assets, including web applications, APIs, network infrastructures, cloud services, and more.
Cobalt’s global talent marketplace helps find pen testers with the specific skills needed to address your company’s tech stack. Every member is vetted to ensure their capabilities, and direct collaboration tools allow you to remain in control as the work unfolds.
- Multi-surface penetration testing
- Automated testing
- Full testing lifecycle
- Real-time insights
- Comprehensive reporting
- Multiple integrations
- Shortened pen testing timelines
- Accelerated find-to-fix
- Access to on-demand experts
- Assists with PCI-DSS, SOC2, CREST, and HIPAA compliance
- Retesting for remediation confirmation
- False positives can occur
- Request a quote
Invicti is a web application vulnerability scanner that uses a Chrome-based crawler to identify risks in HTML5 websites, dynamic web applications, and more. The provided tools also help with asset discovery and detection, database security auditing, and framework vulnerability identification. Automated testing capabilities are a core part of the platform, and everything is highly configurable.
Any identified vulnerabilities are also automatically exploited when conducting tests with Invicti, but it uses a read-only format to ensure safety while confirming identified issues. Invicti is available as a cloud-based or on-premise solution.
- Comprehensive vulnerability scanning
- Out-of-date technology identification
- Automated application security testing
- Web asset discovery
- Dynamic + interactive scanning
- Remediation tracking
- Automatic report generation
- OWASP, PCI, and HIPAA reports
- Unlimited users with built-in permission controls
- Two-way integration options
- Continuous scanning
- Proof-based scanning to reduce false positives
- User-friendly interface
- URL-restricted licensing
- Request a quote
Astra is a comprehensive penetrating testing platform and SaaS tool that covers web applications, cloud infrastructures, mobile applications, and APIs. The full suite includes a vulnerability scanner that addresses OWASP top 10 and SANS 25 vulnerabilities, as well as tools for manual pen testing. Any scan results are reviewed by experts, leading to zero false positives. The scanner is also regularly updated and can operate continuously, ensuring you’re alerted to issues associated with new vulnerabilities.
From the vulnerability management dashboard, you can review scanning and remediation details with ease. Plus, you can set up penetration tests run by the company’s experts, giving you access to pen testers if you don’t have them available. When vulnerabilities are discovered, Astra also provides step-by-step remediation instructions.
- Continuous vulnerability scans
- Manual penetration tools for web, mobile, cloud, and APIs
- Vulnerability management dashboard
- Penetration testing by experts
- Assists with PCI-DSS, ISO27001, HIPAA, and SOC2 compliance
- Scanner rules are updated weekly
- Collaboration features that allow in-house personnel to consult with experts
- Compliance-specific scanning
- Login tools to limit the need for reauthorization during lengthy scans
- No free trial
- Limited integrations
Intruder is an online vulnerability scanner that can assess vulnerabilities across servers, cloud systems, endpoints, and websites. During the analysis, you can learn about misconfigurations, encryption weaknesses, known bugs, and missing patches. Intruder also offers ongoing, automatic surface monitoring and reporting to secure your environment against new threats.
Alongside automated scanning, Intruder also has a team of certified professionals who can conduct manual penetration testing or help manage vulnerability scanning. They can assist with extending your coverage, reducing time-to-fix, and triaging identified vulnerabilities to ensure the focus is on the highest-risk issues.
- Multi-surface vulnerability scanning
- Ongoing surface monitoring
- Automatic report generation
- Penetration testing support from experts
- Integrates with a range of platforms, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, Jira, Slack, and more
- Over 11,000 security checks
- Risk-level warnings
- Free trial available
- Reports could offer more detail
- Variable based on the number of applications, number of infrastructure targets, and selected service level
7. Core Impact
Core Impact is a penetration testing platform that leverages automation to simulate attacks on network infrastructure, web applications, endpoints, and more. It also comes with a comprehensive exploit library that’s regularly updated, as well as automated reporting options to capture critical information for remediation as vulnerabilities are identified. Automated retesting to confirm if remediation efforts were successful is also part of the platform.
Core Impact also offers access to pen testing professionals known as Core Agents, who can handle the technical side of the pen test.
- Real-time mapping and reporting during attack testing
- Automated test configurations
- Multi-tester sessions with data sharing and task delegation features
- Automate remediation validation and retesting
- Compliance-oriented reporting for regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS
- Intuitive interface
- Automation for simplicity
- Comprehensive exploit library
- Free trial available
- Limited reporting features
- Basic: $9,450/user/year
- Pro: $12,600/user/year
- Enterprise: quotes available on request
CyberHunter offers services including penetration testing, threat assessments, and security audits. Pen testing focuses on network perimeters, and includes steps like reconnaissance, enumeration, vulnerability scanning, social engineering, and exploitation, alongside ongoing threat analysis.
During the penetration testing, the CyberHunter team will identify issues and verify them through exploitation attempts, giving clear evidence that a vulnerability is a genuine risk. Additionally, they’ll discuss the information in a way that’s accessible to technical and non-technical professionals, communicating clearly with your team. Remediation guidance is provided, and free targeted retesting is available.
- Black box testing
- Social engineering
- Mobile application testing
- Web application testing
- Post-breach simulation testing
- Wi-Fi network testing
- Option to apply customer-driven and compliance-driven priorities
- Can act as a Red Team as part of an exercise
- Identified vulnerabilities categorized by risk level
- Assists with PCI-DSS, SOC 2, and HIPAA audits
- Cloud testing isn’t available
- Varies depending on the nature of the test
Rapid7 offers a variety of cybersecurity services, including penetration testing. Their experts will simulate a real-world attack on your system, and follow up with clear guidance to strengthen your company’s security. You’ll receive an attack storyboard that walks you through the chain, scorecards that assess your environment, positive findings that highlight what security controls are working, and remediation recommendations for identified issues.
- Real-world threat simulation by experts
- Comprehensive reporting to outline your security positioning
- Insights into what is working and what’s not working with your current security solutions
- Explicit guidance for remediation
- Penetration tests for web applications, mobile applications, IoT, social engineering, and networks
- Red team attack simulation options available
- Excellent for identifying hard-to-find vulnerabilities
- Assists with risk and compliance management
- Risk prioritization to focus remediation efforts
- No published pricing
- Varies depending on testing details
Secureworks is a managed threat prevention, detection, and response (MDR) solution for networks, mobile applications, web applications, and APIs. Additionally, the company offers penetration testing as a service, allowing you to quickly access expert pen testers to get meaningful insights about risks present in your environment. Their experts will simulate an attack and then produce in-depth reports profiling vulnerabilities and security recommendations.
The pen testing services are divided into categories, including external, internal, wireless, and physical penetration testing. Additionally, the company can create specialized or custom tests to explore specific parts of an environment, including IoT devices, firmware, robotic equipment, and more.
- Managed threat prevention, detection, and response services
- Pen testing services backed by security experts
- Internal, external, physical, and wireless penetration testing services
- Ransomware attack simulation services
- Cloud penetration testing
- Insider threat vulnerability assessment and testing
- Custom penetration testing is available
- Remediation from experts
- Penetration testing reports in two versions, including a variant for non-technical audiences
- False positives can occur
- Varies depending on selected services
How to Choose a Penetration Testing Provider
The first step in choosing a pen testing provider is to determine exactly what kind of test you’re looking for. Penetration tests come in many shapes and sizes – a white box application pen test looks very different from an external network test, for instance. A company that excels at one kind of testing might not even offer another type of pen test.
If you’re trying to satisfy a specific standard, such as SOC 2 or PCI DSS, you might need a specific kind of pen testing to become compliant. Some pen testing providers even specialize in specific compliance standards.
Make sure to consider the balance between automated and manual pen testing. Traditional pen testing uses automated tools to support manual testing, conducted by professionals, but many services lean more in one direction or the other. As you assess your options, think through where on the spectrum your needs might lie.
Crucially, you’ll want to review a company’s credentials. What kinds of experience and certifications do its pen testers have? Keep an eye out for certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Auditor, and Certified Cloud Security Professional.
As you narrow your options, you’ll likely hone in on three or four options. Time to line up some meetings to learn more about how each company approaches pen testing. This is a great time to ask for references – a credible company will be happy to put you in touch with previous customers.
Now is also the time to talk pricing. Most pen testing providers won’t offer a quote until they’ve had a chance to scope out the work involved. Once they’re clear on what you’re looking for, they’ll send over a proposal with a price tag to match.
As you approach a decision, you should have two or three proposals to choose from. Ultimately, your choice will come down to which team you trust and who you would like to work with – as well as how much you’re willing to budget.
Finally, you’ll want to consider what additional services they offer, especially when it comes to remediation and retesting. Many companies that offer pen testing will also help fix any issues they identify – for a price, of course. Some providers also include retesting in their proposals. The follow-through on a pen test can be just as important as the test itself, so you’ll want to take these services into consideration as you assess your options.