Why is Pentesting So Expensive


A penetration test (pentest) is an authorized, simulated attack performed on a computer system to evaluate its security. Penetration testers use the same tools, techniques, and processes as attackers to find and demonstrate the business impacts of weaknesses in a system. If you have ever gotten a quote for a penetration test, you might have noticed how expensive they can be. Some companies can’t afford 30k pentests, and this is where using a company such as Redsentry can drastically reduce the price.

Professional Resource

Highly skilled and experienced penetration testers are in high demand due to the complexity of the job and the lack of talent available. This is a major factor in driving up the cost of a penetration test, since companies must retain a skilled labor force. It can take several years of experience for penetration testers to hone their skills and requires continuous education to keep up their skill sets, since new technologies, techniques, and vulnerabilities are constantly changing.

Manual vs Automated

As stated earlier, it can be expensive paying for in-depth and accurate penetration testing. When doing the audit, you typically get billed based on the number of hours it takes the testers to perform the audit. One way to help reduce the cost of these billable hours is to utilize automated tools in addition to manual testing. Red Sentry utilizes custom built tools to scan for low hanging fruit that would otherwise have to be performed manually by a penetration tester. It may take a penetration tester 10 hours to find something that an automated tool could discover in an hour. Arming our testers with top notch tools is one way Red Sentry is able to drive the price down for our customers.

Size of Scope

Another major factor in the price of a penetration test is the size of the scope. For example, a small application with a few pages will cost a lot less than an application with a hundred pages. Before Red Sentry quotes a penetration test, we will scope out the project to determine how many hours of work it will take. Red Sentry will never over-scope a project to increase the cost of the engagement. Every billable hour is carefully examined to make sure our clients get an accurate estimate and that the billable hours are not inflated. 


Penetration tests can be very expensive depending on the vendor you decide to hire. Red Sentry takes several measures to help reduce the cost for our customers, since we know not everyone can afford a 30k pentest. If you need a fast and affordable solution, Red Sentry is the right choice for your company.

Discover more cybersecurity gems: Compliance in cybersecurity: A matter of forward thinking.

Alex Thomas
CTO, Founder
Alex started his career as an ethical hacker, eventually working as a penetration tester, hacking into fortune 500 companies all day long. Alex invented the Red Sentry software platform, a tool that could help people take action before they were victim to a hack. Pairing this software with a team of seasoned pentesters, Red Sentry has created a hybrid approach that allows businesses to get a thorough manual pentest quickly, while also utilizing the Red Sentry software, to ensure year around security.
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