Planning Your Pentesting Budget Effectively

Estimated read time 3 min read

like any investment in your company’s infrastructure and security, pentesting comes with its own set of costs. Understanding and planning for these costs can seem daunting. Yet, with a bit of strategic thinking and insight, it’s completely manageable.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process. By following these steps, you’ll be able to effectively plan for pentesting costs, ensuring your business stays safe without breaking the bank. Let’s dive into the process and demystify the world of pentesting cost planning.

How to plan for pentesting costs

Step 1: Assess Your Needs

To plan for pentesting costs, first assess your needs. What systems need to be tested? Are you focusing on specific applications, or your entire network?

For example, if you run an e-commerce business, your main concern may be the security of your website and customer data. In contrast, a tech company may need to test multiple applications, networks, and databases.

Understanding your needs helps estimate initial costs. Keep in mind, the wider the scope, the higher the cost.

Step 2: Allocate a Budget

Next, determine how much to spend on pentesting. This should be part of your annual IT budget, not an afterthought.

To give you a rough idea, small companies might set aside $4,000 to $15,000 for pentesting, whereas large corporations could allocate $30,000 or more. But these figures can vary, so do your research.

Step 3: Prioritize Based on Risk

Not all systems are equal in terms of risk. Some, if compromised, could cause more damage than others. Identify these critical systems and prioritize them.

For example, a system that stores customer credit card information is a high-risk target. A breach here could lead to financial loss and reputational damage. Such systems should be at the top of your pentesting list.

Step 4: Select the Right Service

Choose a pentesting service that offers good value. The cheapest option might not be the best. Instead, look for a service with good reviews, relevant expertise, and a clear method of reporting their findings.

Ask for sample reports to get an idea of how thorough they are. Remember, a pentest is only as good as the report that comes out of it.

Step 5: Plan for the Future

Pentesting isn’t a one-time thing. Cyber threats evolve constantly, so should your defenses. Regular pentesting helps keep your security up to date.

Ideally, conduct a pentest at least once a year. For high-risk systems, consider doing it more often. Also, plan a test after major changes to your systems, like after launching a new application or implementing a significant update.

Final Thoughts

Planning for pentesting costs might seem complex, but it’s worth the effort. Proper planning ensures you invest wisely, safeguarding your business from cyber threats. Always remember, when it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is better than cure.

Reza Rafati

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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