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A vulnerability scan detects and classifies system weaknesses in computers, networks, and communications equipment. A penetration test, on the other hand, is the practice of testing a computer system, network or web application to identify insecure business processes, poor security settings, or other weaknesses that a hacker could exploit.

Vulnerability scan vs penetration testing

But what does your organisation need: A Penetration Test or Vulnerability scan? Here are a few factors to consider before choosing one:

  • Aim: A vulnerability scan aims to scan existing infrastructure for system vulnerabilities, whereas a penetration test aims to explore how architecture vulnerabilities can be exploited.
  • Scope: A vulnerability scan is wider in scope than a penetration test. Scope for a penetration test is limited and is typically narrower, more detailed and determined by areas in need of testing.
  • Types of vulnerabilities: A vulnerability scan detects CVEs in an outdated system. A penetration test, however, goes one step further than just detecting CVEs and identifies exposure that cannot be detected by scanning tools.
  • Cost and Time: Timeframe for a vulnerability scan is mostly function of size of a network. It can range from a few hours to a day depending on the size of the network.  A penetration test can range from a few days to a few weeks and generally involves more commercial investment as it requires the skills of a highly experienced penetration tester. 

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Learn more about Privasec Red Teaming services and Penetration Testing services here: 

https://red.privasec.com/offensive-security-services/red-teaming

https://red.privasec.com/offensive-security-services/penetration-testing

Contact us to discuss how we can help at T(AU): 1800 996 001, T(NZ): 222 4725, T(SG): 6631 8375.