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Discover Penetration Testing Goals and Objectives in 2023

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In the digital age, cybersecurity is paramount. As our dependency on technologies increases, so does the threat of cyberattacks. One crucial security measure against these threats are the primary penetration testing goals. Also we should consider the penetration test cost involved. 

Penetration Testing Goals

Understanding the Primary Penetration Testing Goals

Let’s start by asking ourselves again – what is the primary goal of penetration testing, and what is its purpose?

What is the primary penetration testing goals?

The goal of Penetration (Pen) Testing is simple – identify weak spots in your security system. These are the gaps that attackers could exploit, and we want to find them before they do.

Whether running a multi-vendor system or an ‘in-house’ developed application, Pen Testing is your best bet for finding security risks.

Penetration testing is a crucial strategy to outsmart cybercriminals. By scrutinizing networks and devices such as routers and switches, we can uncover and reveal vulnerabilities that malicious actors may exploit.

The end goal? Either your network fends off the simulated attack, or the ‘hacker’ (read: penetration tester) succeeds. Either way, you learn something valuable about your security system.

What is the primary purpose?

The purpose of penetration testing goal goes beyond just finding security holes. It’s about measuring how feasible it would be for an actual attacker to compromise your systems or end-users and evaluating the potential consequences of such a breach.

At its core, the main objective of a penetration test is to bolster your security posture by identifying weaknesses in a network, machine, or piece of software.

It’s about finding vulnerabilities, testing the effectiveness of your current security controls, and, ultimately, enhancing the overall security posture of your organization.

Differentiating Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing

What differentiates vulnerability assessment (VA) and penetration testing (PT)? They’re often used interchangeably, yet the two have key differences.

vulnerability assessment and penetration testing

VA and PT aim to discover vulnerabilities in your websites, networks, systems, and applications.

However, while PT seeks to exploit these gaps, VA scans for known vulnerabilities and generates a report for risk mitigation.

Combining these two (VAPT approach) gives you a comprehensive view of the threats facing your applications, helping you better protect your systems and data from malicious attacks.

Regarding operation, vulnerability scanning occurs within your security perimeter, while PT is performed outside.

Unveiling the End Result of a Penetration Test

So, what should you gain at the end of a penetration test?

The result is a comprehensive, insightful report. This report should include an executive summary of findings, a breakdown of the testing process, and security recommendations.

The test evaluates your organization’s ability to protect its networks, applications, endpoints, and users from attempts to circumvent its security controls.

By the end of each pen test, you should confidently say that your network, systems, and processes have been either secure or insecure.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools can help monitor end-user devices continuously to detect the threats like ransomware and malware and alert immediately.

The report should provide an overview of deliverables, risk prioritization, and recommendations for remediation. It should encourage collaboration with stakeholders to mitigate and resolve any found vulnerabilities.

Understanding the Factors Influencing Cost of Penetration Testing

Like any other service, the cost of penetration testing is affected by various factors.

These factors range from the complexity and size of your systems to the scope of the test and the level of detail in the final report.

Also, the cost may vary based on any additional services or customization options you opt for.

Different regions have different pricing models. For instance, the cost range for penetration testing services in the USA and UK will differ.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Primary Purpose of Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is like a security checkup for computer systems, networks, or applications. It’s done by authorized hackers who try to find and exploit weaknesses in the system, just like real attackers would. The main goal is to uncover any security problems and understand how vulnerable the system is to attacks. By doing this, organizations can learn about their weaknesses and get recommendations on how to make their systems safer. The purpose is to find and fix problems before bad guys can take advantage of them. So, it’s like a proactive way to keep things secure.

What is penetration testing with example?

Imagine a company has a super-secret vault where they store valuable items. They want to make sure the vault is secure and protected from any burglars. So, they hire a team of experts called “security testers” to test the vault’s security.

The security testers start by examining the vault, looking for any weak spots or vulnerabilities that a thief could exploit. They might check the locks, walls, alarms, and other security measures. Then, they try to break into the vault using different techniques that real thieves might use.

For example, they might try picking the lock, finding hidden entrances, or disabling the alarm system. If they manage to get inside the vault, it means they found a security flaw that needs to be fixed.

After the testing, the security testers provide a report to the company with detailed information about the vulnerabilities they found and suggestions on how to improve the vault’s security. This helps the company make the necessary changes to protect their valuable items.

In simple terms, penetration testing is like a game where authorized “sneaky” experts try to break into a company’s security system to find any weaknesses. By doing this, the company can fix the weaknesses and make sure their assets are safe from real criminals.


In an age where cyber threats are ever-increasing, regular penetration testing is not just recommended but necessary. It’s an investment in your organization’s security and set a penetration testing goal could save you from potentially catastrophic breaches. 

So, let’s prioritize robust cybersecurity – starting today!