Level Up Your Security | Choosing the Right Assessment for Your Needs

Choosing the right cybersecurity tests is as crucial as selecting the appropriate cyber security solutions — it’s the foundational step. Yet, organisations often struggle to select the appropriate cybersecurity tests, hindering their ability to accurately assess their vulnerability to attacks. This post will help you navigate through the intricacies of External Network Penetration Testing, External Perimeter Penetration Testing (EPPT) and Traditional Red Team Engagement. We will be breaking down the key differences between each approach, exploring their unique strengths, and ultimately helping your organisation better assess the most appropriate methodology that best defends your organisation’s critical infrastructure.

Understanding The Differences: EPT vs. EPPT vs. Red Teaming

Let’s delve deeper into the key differences between the three testing approaches:

• External Network Penetration Testing

A Traditional External Network Penetration Test (EPT) typically simulates an attacker with some prior knowledge attempting to identify and exploit as many vulnerabilities as possible. This Penetration Test focuses on identifying as many vulnerabilities as possible. It assesses how well your defences can hold up against such an attacker who already has prior information and has bypassed some initial security measures.

• External Perimeter Penetration Test (EPPT)

An External Perimeter Penetration Test (EPPT) on the other hand goes a step further, mimicking a real-world adversary who is attempting to target your external defences first, then attempt to exploit them to gain access to your internal network. An EPPT simulates a multi-phased attack, similar to how a determined attacker might operate. This helps you understand how well your external defences hold up and identifies potential weaknesses that could be exploited to gain a foothold in your network.

• Red Teaming

A Traditional Red Teaming (RT) Engagement offers the most comprehensive assessment, simulating a full-blown cyberattack scenario. If in scope, the engagement can involve social engineering attempts to trick employees, physical security testing to see if someone could gain access through a back door (literally), and of course, exploiting technical vulnerabilities across your entire environment. Red Teaming Engagements are primarily scenario-based, aiming to obtain access to the organisation’s “Crown Jewels”- the most critical data or systems.

Mature organisations might assume that EPPT is always included in a Red Team engagement. However, this isn’t always the case. Many organisations choose to start Red Team exercises with an “Assumed Breach” scenario, skipping the External Testing Phase to reduce scope. 

Introducing EPPT offers several advantages:

  • For mature organisations, it provides a fresh perspective on potential external attack vectors.
  • For less mature organisations, it lowers the barrier to entry for moving beyond traditional NetPT and gaining valuable insights to improve their security posture. 

Choosing The Right Methodology

While a Traditional Network Penetration Test is essential for assessing an organisation’s security posture, it focuses primarily on technical vulnerabilities. Red Teaming offers a more comprehensive approach, simulating real-world attacks that can exploit weaknesses in people, processes and technology, but may be too complex and disruptive for less mature organisations. 

This is where our team would recommend External Perimeter Penetration Testing (EPPT). EPPT focuses on identifying vulnerabilities in the external infrastructure and exploiting them to gain access, similar to how a real attacker might. This can be a valuable stepping stone towards a full Red Team exercise for organisations that want to gradually strengthen their security posture. 

The table below shows a side-by-side comparison of all three testing types, and how they can potentially benefit your organisation.

Testing Types Comparison


In conclusion, choosing the right type of security testing depends on your organisation’s maturity and risk tolerance. While traditional network penetration testing is a good starting point, it only assesses technical vulnerabilities. Red teaming offers the most comprehensive assessment but can be disruptive and costlier. External Perimeter Penetration Testing (EPPT) bridges the gap, providing valuable insights into your external defences at a manageable cost. Depending on your organisation’s security needs, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each testing approach, you can select the most appropriate weapon to defend your organisation’s sensitive data and information.

At Privasec, we offer a comprehensive suite of cyber security solutions in Singapore, including External Network Penetration Testing, External Perimeter Penetration Testing (EPPT), and Traditional Red Team Engagements. Our commitment to empowering organisations with tailored cyber security measures ensures that clients can effectively navigate the evolving threat landscape. 

Get in touch with us today.

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