Tips For Selecting A Penetration Testing Provider

Protecting your business from cyber attacks is a necessity in today’s global digital age. Whatever your business, and whatever the level of security you need, you want to be sure that if someone was trying to access your systems or attempting to attack your business, you can have all the protection you require to stop this from happening. That is why getting a Penetration Test completed is now a requirement for many businesses, but how do you know to choose an organisation that can complete the work and can be trusted to do a great job? 

In this article, you will learn about why you need a penetration test and how to choose a Penetration Testing Provider. 

Why You Need Penetration Testing

We live in an ever interconnected and globally digital world, and whilst that opens up a window of opportunity for many businesses and individuals, it also comes with potential issues and threats. A penetration test is one of the key ways to discover an organisation’s security threat, and help personnel learn how to handle any type of break-in from a malicious entity. Pen tests serve as a way to examine whether an organisation’s security policies are genuinely effective.

Some of the key reasons why penetration testing is vitally important includes: 

  • Risk assessment and management
  • Compliance and regulations
  • Identify and fix vulnerabilities
  • Developing efficient and robust security measures
  • Boost business development

How to Choose a Penetration Testing Provider

There are many many organisations offering pen testing – which can be a challenge for those seeking these services. As with anything that provides a lot of choice, understanding who is trustworthy, can complete the tasks required and also, being reputable within the industry can be a difficult task for any person tasked with identifying the right business for the job. 

Trustworthiness is one of the main priorities when it comes to something like PEN testing as your organisation will be giving access to all company data and security measures for testing purposes – so it is a priority to get it right!

How do you go about choosing a pen testing provider? Here are some tips:

Credentials and Quality Standards

One of the key things with choosing anyone who comes into your organisation, is getting an understanding of their credentials and quality standards. You need to thoroughly assess the credentials of pen testing providers, and you may also get your team or an external provider to go through these. 

The other element is quality standards. When selecting your third party provider, quality standards like the ISO 27001 certification is an example quality standard to look for (as for BlueFort Security). 

Experience, Case Studies and Reviews

As with any reputable company, there will be case studies and even first hand recommendations and reviews that you can use to get a better understanding of how well the organisation works. However, sometimes new organisations may use scrupulous third party review sites to give 5* ratings – so you must investigate the reviews equally as much as the credentials. 

Reputable pen testing organisations will have the required experience, demonstrated from case studies and reviews – usually found on site and you can – or should – contact the clients who have given feedback to verify the validity of the recommendations. 

Examine their Pen Testing Process

Experienced, professional pen testing organisations will follow defined processes that they can clearly show you and provide examples of such tests in a timely manner. 

The Penetration Testing Execution Standard is the industry standard. Look out for this as an explanation when asking about the Pen Testing Process. 

Assess their Pen Testing Reports

This is something that should be obvious to anyone who knows about these tests, but is less obvious to inexperienced managers requiring the test. A PEN test comes with a report, and the final stage of the PTES process involves reporting the identified vulnerabilities and recommended remedial actions. This is what you are looking for as an organisation, so getting this information is key. It’s important to review some example reports from pen testing organisations, to make certain they could be followed and understood.

Pen Testing Specialists or Generalists?

You want to be able to understand if they are specialists or generalists when it comes to PEN testing. Some cybersecurity organisations do everything when it comes to protecting an organisation from cyber attacks, whilst others have specialisation and a focus on pen testing. If you’re looking for a specialist, getting a clear picture of their field of specialisation is key.

Flexibility and Delivery Expectations

You also run an organisation which has many things to think about and will have business needs which are essential to the day-to-day running and function of the business. So you want to select a pen testing organisation that is adequately flexible to cope with changing requirements (e.g. times during which  testing can be carried out).

But, you also want a PEN tester that can equally deliver in a timely manner. You don’t want a test carried out and then you have to wait for weeks to get a report back – especially if some of the cyber threats could be extremely dangerous to the operations of your business.

Cost & Testing Frequency

Pen testing isn’t a ‘do-it-once’ activity. It must be repeated regularly to stay ahead of the hackers. Organisations without scalable pen testing solutions tend to be vastly more expensive than those with optimised processes. 

Automated or Manual Testing

There are two types of testing, automated and manual testing. Automated pen testing processes and tools provide the best value for money and it should therefore be verified that organisations provide automated testing.

However, a professional pen testing service recognises where manual testing is needed and is capable of providing it.

Specialist organisations can give you a clear insight into which is going to be the best solution for your organisation. 

Data Security and Insurance

You must assess pen testing organisations for their data security processes. Why? Because you are giving your organisation’s details to a third party, you wouldn’t give your house keys to a stranger, this is essentially the same thing.

Also you want to verify that the pen testing organisation has the necessary insurance.


Selecting a PEN testing organisation can be tricky and navigating who is best placed to the best job is essential. Following the tips highlighted in this article can help you get a better understanding of who to select and the reasons behind choosing them in the first place. 

If you are looking to get a better understanding of where your organisation’s cyber weaknesses lie, Bluefort’s Evolve IT Services can not only help you to get a much better understanding of these threats but also provide you with the solutions to protect your organisation in the long term.

Call 01252 917000, email or get in touch with us via our contact form.

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