Security Assessment

How Much Does a Pentest Cost? A Detailed Breakdown!

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CyStack Editor

Content Executive @ Marketing Team|March 28, 2023

How much does a pentest cost? – This is a good question when you are about to apply a penetration test for your organization.

Unfortunately, there is no definite figure because penetration testing costs are affected by multiple factors, such as testing styles, types, the project’s complexity, experiences of the service team, remediation, etc.

Worry-free; however, here we help break down the pentest costs in detail for your reference.

Check now!

How Much Does a Pentest Cost?

Average costs of penetration testing

We have conducted a survey and collected all penetration costs to get a neutral answer on the topic: how much does a pentest cost?

By Types

Pentest typesAverage cost
Website or web appsBetween $2500 and $50,000 per scan
Mobile appsBetween $1500 and $5000 per scan
SaaSBetween $1500 and $3000 per scan
CloudBetween $600 and $800 per scan
Additional quotes on infrastructure, networks, and devices (router, modem, switches, keys, etc.)Between $100 and $200 per device
Table 1: Pentest costs by types

Above are the average pentest costs by type.

The testing for websites or web apps (not including the device and network) is very pricey, landing between $2000 and $50000 per scan.

This is understandable because web apps are the most targeted by cybercriminals. Mobile apps are less expensive, from $1500 to $5000 per scan, followed by SaaS and Cloud penetration testing.

In addition, there are additional quotes for network, cloud infrastructure, and devices. They are usually $100 – $200 per device, equivalent to $400 and $2000.

By Styles

Pentest stylesAverage cost
White boxBetween $500 and $2000 per scan
Grey boxBetween $500 and $50,000 per scan
Black boxBetween $10,000 and $50,000 per scan
Table 2: Pentest costs by testing styles

Some third parties quote their pentest services by testing styles, including white, grey, and black. The clarification is based on the level of access and knowledge granted to the pen-testers in the first place.

Supposing you choose the white-box pentest, you will need to pay from $500 to $2000 per scan. That time, be ready to grant the testers the system’s background in advance.

The next level is grey box testing, costing $500 – $50000 per scan. The pentest experts are provided internal access, such as network infrastructure, lower-level credentials, and application logic flow charts to exploit higher-risk vulnerabilities.

Black-box testing is the most difficult and costliest, around $10,000 and $50,000 per scan. Almost no information is given beforehand, and the pen-testers have to attack the system as real-life attackers.

5+ Factors That Affect a Pentest Cost

How much does a pentest cost? – Detailed breakdown here

The average pentest costs mentioned earlier will help you to plan a budget. Now, it is time to get insight into factors that might adjust the actual pentest prices.


Since it is impossible to test everything in one go, your organization and the penetration service providers must agree upon a specific scope within a timebox. Then, both parties will follow the signed scope as a roadmap for the testing and pricing.

Accordingly, the scope defines what and what not to be tested in specific metrics such as the number of parties involved, how many pages, test cases, APIs, network devices, addresses, facilities, and applications are concerned.

The more you aim to accomplish, the more you have to pay.

The complexity of the project

Projects that require a more comprehensive pentest process will cost more.

Take the testing styles above: white box, grey box, and black box, for instance. Since the testers already have access and system knowledge in the white box case, they make less effort to detect and exploit the vulnerabilities. As such, the cost of the white box style is the lowest. The complexity in the grey box is higher. Meanwhile, that of the black box attacks is the highest.

The size is another complex aspect. It refers to the number of branches and employees in an organization. The bigger the size is, the more entry points for attackers to penetrate. In other words, the pentest becomes more complicated and expensive.


The methodology indicates the manner of organizing and executing the penetration test. You can understand it is similar to the testing styles above. Or the methodology is also known as automated or manual penetration testing.

We suggest the automated methodology for organizations that do frequent testing. Running automation tools allows them to address pertinent threats and risks timely rather than waiting for a test to be manually scheduled. In addition, those tools free up penetration experts to pay attention to other tasks to detect more vulnerabilities. More importantly, the automation tools might charge fees on the frequent running basic, and they require a good operational knowledge base.

On the other hand, manual penetration tests offer a higher likelihood and flexibility in discovering and mitigating vulnerabilities. The experts involved can also review the reports on hand. Unfortunately, manual penetration is even more expensive than automation because it employs human resources and takes weeks to complete.

Thus, it would be best to consider the frequency and urgency needed to solve the vulnerabilities to select a suitable methodology.

Tester qualifications & experience

Although automated tools are helpful, they have been newly introduced in the last few years. Penetration services still depend heavily on manual human resources. That said, you have to scan the qualifications and experience of the pen-testers before hiring them.

Some reliable qualifications behind the credentials of penetration service providers include CISSP, GIAC, OSCP, or CEH. In addition, you must also consider the number of projects of the providers and how long they have been working in the industry.

Remember, though: higher-qualified and experienced experts will be more expensive.


Most providers only support reporting the penetrating vulnerabilities, while some help with fixing the problems and retesting – with additional remediation costs. If your organization has little knowledge and experience in handling vulnerabilities, you had better go with the latter choice.

Pentest Services by CyStack

Based in Vietnam, CyStack is among cybersecurity and information security leaders. The company offers various security products and services to combat cyber vulnerabilities and threats in the digital age, of which the penetrating services are used by hundreds of organizations worldwide.

Why should you hire pentest experts at CyStack?

  • Experts with over ten years of experience in providing pentest consultation and services.
  • Qualified human resources who have earned top security certificates: CISA, CEH, OSCP, and CHFI.
  • An effective Crowdsourced Penetration Testing solution – 7 times more effective than the traditional solutions.
  • Three methodologies are available: white box, grey box, and black box, supported by automated tools and manual effort.
  • Real-time reports and comprehensive instructions on fixing bugs.
  • Helpful and responsible remediation involved retesting and fixing bugs.

How much does a pentest cost at CyStack? >>> Get a Quote now!

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