The 5 Hidden Costs of Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing Costs

As the cyber security landscape evolves and the importance of safeguarding digital assets grows, the penetration testing market has witnessed an influx of companies offering their expertise.

Yet, among these varying options come different penetration testing costs and service levels. The question arises: are all penetration tests created equal? Is it wise to cut corners on cost? While penetration testing is undeniably a critical aspect of data security, many organisations fail to account for the concealed expenses tied to these services. Can you truly be certain that the initial estimates—both in terms of time and price—are an accurate representation of the final tally?

From the preparatory stages to potential downtime, understanding the intricacies of penetration testing costs can be instrumental in making a well-informed decision.

Drawing from more than two decades of experience, this article outlines essential penetration testing cost considerations that should guide your choice of a penetration testing provider.


1. Preparation costs: Prior to the commencement of actual testing, a series of preparatory steps are essential. These include scoping out the testing, identifying target systems, and acquiring the necessary tools and equipment. Such preparatory efforts often demand specialised expertise and can consume a considerable amount of time. Notably, understanding the scope of the testing is paramount. At Daisy, for example, customers are meticulously informed about the covered aspects and the anticipated duration of the testing up front- this transparency eliminates any surprises or hidden costs down the road.


2. Testing costs: The core testing phase can be a substantial expense, particularly when engaging third-party testing companies. The costs here vary based on the complexity of the systems and the extent of the testing. Day rates fluctuate depending on the chosen supplier’s skill set and the quality of service delivered. It’s crucial to consider the bigger picture rather than being solely swayed by the day rate. Some providers may offer seemingly low day rates only to extend the project duration or inflate costs later. Daisy is committed to delivering a transparent and final cost estimation.


3. Remediation costs: Once the testing phase concludes, the organisation must take steps to rectify identified vulnerabilities. This could involve extensive investments in software updates, patches, and system reconfigurations. Ensuring effective remediation is a critical, albeit often overlooked, aspect. Addressing these vulnerabilities can be pricey, necessitating a secondary test to verify their resolution.


4. Downtime costs: A poorly planned testing and remediation processes can inadvertently lead to periods of downtime, negatively impacting daily operations and revenue. However, penetration testing should not result in such disruptions or downtime. All Daisy testing is designed to be non-disruptive and therefore business operations can run as normal.


5. Certification costs: In numerous industries, securing third-party certification for systems is a requirement. This entails additional expenses for testing, documentation, and ongoing compliance tracking. Obtaining certification post-testing can incur supplementary costs. In contrast, Daisy’s process includes an executive report and a completion certification at no extra charge.



In light of these considerations, the age-old adage “buy cheap, buy twice” rings especially true when selecting a penetration testing provider. It’s imperative to demand a comprehensive upfront breakdown of all penetration testing costs as part of the original quote.

In a world where digital threats are ever evolving, securing your organisation’s data and systems demands more than a cursory approach. It entails a holistic understanding of the costs involved in penetration testing. By carefully assessing the preparatory, testing, remediation, downtime, training, and certification costs, you equip yourself with the knowledge needed to choose a provider that not only aligns with your budget but also delivers true value and security.


For more information, take a look at the benefits of penetration testing here.

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