Penetration Testing

Fidus Information Security are a TIGER scheme approved UK Penetration Testing consultancy with our consultants holding some of the most recognised certifications in the industry, including CREST certifications.

Our highly skilled and experienced penetration testing specialists approach every piece of work with due care and attention, ensuring your needs are always put first, and more importantly met. Our extensive knowledge and experience allows us to advise on the correct approach to take for all tasks, regardless of size.

Red Teaming

We evaluate your entire business in the way an advisory would and gain access using the same techniques. A mixture of research, leveraged weaknesses and stealth allow us to aim for ‘unrealistic’ goals set by you.

Infrastructure Security

Our experienced team of testers use their expertise to assess both internal and external corporate infrastructure, highlighting any potential issues and working with you towards remediation.

Application Security

We evaluate both internal and external applications to ensure a strong security posture has been established.

IT Health Check (ITHC)

Our CREST and TIGER certified consultants will work with you to meet all of the compliance requirements of PSN Code of Conncetion (CoCo) to ensure you have a PSN compliant IT Health Check.

PCI DSS Testing

We perform scanning on your behalf to ensure you remain PCI DSS compliant and work with you to remediate any troublesome findings.

Physical Security

We leverage our experience in conducting Physical Security assessments in order to gain access to your offices and achieve a set of predefined goals.

PSN Assessments

Our experienced team performs PSN assessments on your behalf to ensure a strong security posture has been established.

Industrial Systems

We use our extensive knowledge to help you establish a strong sense of security surrounding your SCADA and ICS systems.

Stolen Device Assessments

Have you ever considered the affect if a company device was stolen? We perform an assessment to better inform you of the risk to your business if a device is lost or stolen.

Device Build Reviews

We assess the quality of your device builds against security best practices.

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Why Fidus?

When selecting a Penetration Testing provider it’s important to ensure you choose the right one. Fidus Information Security are a TIGER scheme approved consultancy with our consultants holding some of the most recognised certifications in the industry, such as; CREST Certified Tester and Senior Security Tester. Along with this, Fidus are also a Cyber Essentials verified company. All of our assessments implement UK industry approved methodologies (OWASP, PETS, NIST) along with our internal methodologies.

Free Retesting

We provide free retesting on discovered security issues to help you confirm reported issues have been correctly remediated.

Certified Security Consultants

Our team consists of CREST and TIGER scheme approved individuals who hold the following certifications; OSCP, CCT, SST and CISSP.

Easy to Understand Reports

Our reports are aimed at all audiences. We have portions of our reports aimed at executives and portions of our reports aimed at the technical team.

Fixed Price Proposals

Our proposals are broken down into a costing table detailing each phase and the associated pricing.

The image below outlines what makes Fidus different from our competitors.

Fidus' Penetration Testing Engagement Structure

What is Penetration Testing (Pen Testing)?

There seems to be a lot of confusion in the industry surrounding the definition of a Penetration Test (Pen Test) and a Vulnerability Assessment. Because of this, the use of both phrases are commonly interchanged however their meanings are very different.

A Vulnerability Assessment aims to identify and uncover security vulnerabilities and simply note them down. A Penetration Test aims to dig further into these vulnerabilities and ascertain whether exploitation is possible and how much of an impact there is to the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA) of your data.

The most common types of Penetration Tests within the industry are Network Penetration Tests and Application Penetration Tests. Both of these tests should be performed from an internal point of view and an external point of view to give an accurate representation of your current security posture. Just because an application is only used internally it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be assessed! The most severe Web Application vulnerabilities we see at Fidus usually are within internally used applications which also have access to the most customer data.

What Software Do You Use?

Penetration Testing ‘tools’ are used as part of Pen Tests to help assess, identify and exploit commonly found vulnerabilities. There are numerous different kinds of tools used within Penetration Testing, each with a different use and varying popularity – like most things, people have a preference!

Whilst these tools are effective at finding what they’re able to, it’s important to ensure your Penetration Testing provider does not simply run automated tools and issue a report. Many vulnerabilities cannot be identified simply by running an automated tool without some form of manual verification and, in some cases, manual exploitation too. Our consultants at Fidus focus on manual testing where possible and whilst some of these tools are used to aid assessments, they will never be the focal point of the engagement.

Commonly seen tools include; NMap, Metapsloit, SQLMap, Nessus, Qualys, Nikto, SSLScan, Cobalt Strike and many, many more.

What is the Goal of a Penetration Test?

The end goal of a Pen Test varies from client to client and has many underlying factors, such as; complexity of application and/or network, whether there have been previous tests, what kind of data the application/network holds and the size of the organisation.

The most frequent goal we are given by clients is “Can you obtain our customer information?”. However, it is also important to not overlook other issues which could lead to things such as loss of business reputation if the customer facing website is compromised.

Do I Pass/Fail?

Penetration Testing should NOT become a Pass/Fail assessment for your organisation. Penetration Testing should be seen as an exercise to evaluate your current security posture with the aim to make as many improvements as possible.

At Fidus, we ensure the client is able to extract as much value from the assessment as possible. As such, our reports contain sections for both the executive team which is aimed at the risks to the business and a technical section for the development and IT teams. We provide enough information for the C-Level staff members to fully understand the report and enough information for the technical team to be able to locate, reproduce and fix all issues discovered.

What is the Cost of Penetration Testing?

Cost of Penetration Testing is a widely talked about subject in the industry. Using publicly available data on G-Cloud ( digital marketplace), we can browse through different listings for Penetration Testing and get a feel for the average pricing. It is worth noting that G-Cloud is used for the procurement of Public Sector work.

It appears the average price for Pen Testing on G-Cloud is around the £900-1300/day mark which is far too expensive for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

At Fidus, we aimed to break down the price barrier and provide affordable security services to everyone which is why our day rates do not go higher £700/day.

What are the stages of a Pen Test?

  • Initiation / Scoping – Ensuring the delivery of work is exactly as you require and the correct amount of time is allocated to your engagement.
  • Pre-Assessment – Confirmation that your environment is accessible and ready for testing and all requirements have been completed.
  • Assessment – Conducting the engagement as per the Scope of Work.
  • Post-Assessment – Collection of all results and ensuring the tested environment has been tidied up where possible.
  • Reporting – Compilation of results for final deliverable.
  • Remediation Discussion and Support – Discussion and explanation of all issues where required and further support for implementing changes as recommended within the deliverable.

How long does a Pen Test take?

The time it takes to conduct a Penetration Test is dependent on the scope of the engagement. There are multiple factors which can impact the length of the engagement, such as; network size, complexity of applications, size of organisation and whether the assessment is internal or external.

What are the Benefits?

The main benefit of Penetration Testing is the proactive approach to finding serious vulnerabilities before attackers do. These vulnerabilities can lead to numerous scenarios such as; reputational damage, loss of user data and financial fines.


Penetration Testing is also a key factor to becoming compliant in multiple standards, such as Cyber Essentials Plus, PCI DSS and ISO 27001.

Evaluate Current Security Controls

A pen test allows you to evaluate current security controls which are in place. These could be Intrusion Prevention Systems (IDS), Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS), Firewalls and Web Application Firewalls (WAF). We commonly see mis-configuration of these devices, sometimes rendering them ineffective at their main job, keeping your data safe.

Avoid The Cost of Network Downtime

Have you ever worked out how much it would cost your business if you had even a day downtime because of a cyber attack? This is not simply the loss of a day wages for all employees, it may also include; legal fees, incident response, customer protection and damage control activities.

A security assessment also allows you to establish the level of exposure if a specific area of your company gets breached, such as the main user web application, and ascertain how sensitive the data held within is. Currently, sensitive breaches must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) with fines sometimes reaching 6 figures. However, with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law, these fines are set to multiply and only give organisations 72 hours to discover and report a breach. The easiest way to avoid a breach is to proactively defend against one.

How often should we conduct a Penetration Test?

Penetration Testing should be performed on a regular basis to ensure newly discovered threats and previously recommended implementations are evaluated. In addition to this, penetration testing should occur when there’s a big change to network infrastructure, a new web application is deployed, during/before mergers and Phishing assessments should take place upon expansion of your team.

What kind of test do I require?

The kind of Penetration Test you require has many underlying factors. Some questions such as “We’re about to deploy a new web application, what kind of testing do you recommend?” are much easier to answer than “We’ve never had a Penetration Test before, what do you recommend?”.

For the latter question, there are a series of questions which need to be answered first. Such as; What are your key assets? What would cripple your business if stolen? (Signing keys, source code, customer data etc), How many employees do you have? What is your budget?

It is important to have all of the information to be able to evaluate what would have the best return on investment for your Penetration Test.

If you would like to talk through the different kind of Penetration Tests available, please get in touch.

Who is really targeting your organisation?

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