Penetration Testing Contract: What Should Be Included?

A penetration testing contract is a document that outlines the requirements and expectations of both parties. It’s essential to read through this contract carefully before signing it to make sure you know what you’re getting into! This blog post will discuss what should be included in your penetration testing contract and how to use it as a guide for creating one yourself.

What Is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a technique to evaluate the security of an application by attempting to attack it. It can be used as part of software development processes and for IT risk management purposes, such as information systems auditing or due diligence activities that assess control effectiveness and identify remediation actions. Penetration tests may also be carried out as “gray box penetration testing” operations where both the attacker’s IP address and their point of entry are known to those carrying out the test; this might be done with permission from senior management if required (for example to demonstrate compliance) but would not usually provide sufficient information for external regulatory assessment/certification audits.

How to Choose a Penetration Testing Provider?

Many factors should be considered when choosing a penetration testing provider. In this blog post, we will focus on the most important ones:

1. Experience

The security industry is very dynamic, and it’s challenging to keep up with all changes in technologies and toolsets/frameworks being released every day. An experienced firm has seen these things come and go over time, making them better at protecting their clients from attacks using tactics or techniques they have not previously been exposed to. A good example would be how certain products were vulnerable by default for many years – until someone discovered it could lead to data leakage via an attack vector – but had no patches available because they hadn’t thought about that possibility themselves! If you are considering a penetration testing firm, you should ask them about their experiences in the industry to make sure they don’t have any blind spots.

2. Toolsets & Frameworks

Penetration tests are only as good as the tools used and how well they complement each other during an engagement. For example, if one tool can automate specific manual process steps, there may be no need to use another tool. However, it should still be tested for vulnerabilities since not all issues will be found by automation alone! On the other hand, if you are not familiar with security software, this may not be a good fit for your organization since it requires knowledge of using these tools correctly. While some organizations prefer using open source solutions or free/trial versions of commercial products, others feel more comfortable working with licensed software which often comes with additional support from vendors and technical resources who best understand how these applications work under real-world conditions.

3. Business Model

While there are many different types of penetration testing models available on the market today, they can essentially be seen as being one of two leading families:

  • Fixed Scope/Fixed Price – A predetermined amount is paid based upon an agreed set of activities or “scope” which will typically include time allotted for analysis and reporting back findings in addition to any deliverables required by the client such as written reports or presentations during meetings etc. It’s important that both parties agree upfront about what should be included because additional work might end up costing you more than expected if it is not included in the original contract. Any additional work that is required due to lack of clarity/misunderstanding during negotiation can sometimes be charged at a higher rate for labor hours since this will require specialized resources who are generally very expensive compared to standard engineers working on other projects within your organization.
  • Time & Materials – You pay an hourly rate based upon actual time worked plus any expenses incurred by the penetration testing team while executing tasks such as travel, equipment rental etc… If you choose this model then make sure these costs are clearly defined before signing anything.

What should be included in a Penetration Testing Contact?

When creating a penetration testing contract, several things should be included to protect both parties involved. Some of these items fit the scope, schedule, and deliverables expected from each party. It would be best if you also had sections for defining what is being tested, who approved the project’s acceptance criteria, and how you will handle any issues that may arise throughout your time working together.

  • First off, it is important to outline the goal of this project so everyone knows what they’re working towards! This can simply be stated in one sentence or paragraph at most depending on its complexity level. Make sure to explain why this testing needs to happen along with providing all stakeholders with necessary background information about their role within your organization. Also don’t forget potential risks that may arise and how these can be mitigated!
  • Next, you need to outline the schedule. Outline what days and times testing will take place as well as any necessary meetings that need to happen prior to starting your work. If there is a specific deadline for this project such as a software release date, make sure it’s included here so everyone knows when they should expect results from your penetration test! You also want to provide an estimated duration of time required for each area being tested including: network architecture review, internal applications review and external services (such as web) evaluation. Finally end with all stakeholders agreeing on next steps after the final day of testing has passed along with confirming who is responsible for following up on issues within their own areas of the organization.
  • Finally, you must outline what deliverables will be provided by your company when testing is complete along with any specific requirements needed from their side in order for them to accept this project as a success. These should include items such as: business justification documentation, test results and system configurations that were changed during penetration tests. Also make sure to define who has access rights to these deliverables so they can be used effectively! The end of your contract also needs an agreement on how issues are handled throughout testing including incidents where problems arise or tasks become incomplete due to unforeseen circumstances. Make sure both parties agree on next steps if either individual encounters something out of the ordinary which interrupts progress made towards completing this project!

By following these steps when creating your Penetration Testing Contract, you will be protecting yourself and everyone else involved in this project. Your results will also remain consistent throughout time, which means there should not be any surprises if things are done correctly. This allows projects to run more smoothly than before while reducing potential issues during testing itself! The end of this contract document needs an agreement on how each case is handled throughout testing, including incidents where problems occur or tasks become incomplete due to unforeseen circumstances, so make sure both parties agree on the next steps if either individual encounters something out of the ordinary which interrupts progress made towards completing this project.


Penetration Testing Contracts should include all aspects outlined above, which allow both parties (the client and provider) to have complete transparency into what they’re receiving, which helps avoid any misunderstandings or confusion. This way, you can ensure that both parties are on the same page, and it will be apparent if either party is breaching the contract so that action can be taken accordingly without too much ambiguity.

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