Write an effective penetration testing report

Write an effective penetration testing report

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Did you build a website or an app? But is it secure? Well, probably not. A penetration test, colloquially known as a pen test or ethical hacking, is an authorized simulated cyberattack on a computer system, performed to evaluate the security of the system; this is not to be confused with a vulnerability assessment. By doing a pen test you can exactly know most of the vulnerabilities in your application. But to deliver those vulnerabilities to the developers, you have to write a report. In this article, we are talking about Penetration Testing Reports.

What is a penetration testing report?

A penetration test displays the possible vulnerabilities of the underlying network of an organization. It provides pics drawn from security insights from the vulnerability tests. There are numerous varieties of penetration/vulnerability assessments relying on the request and needs of the companies. It extends from external penetration checking out, internal penetration checking out, and segmentation testing toward the black field, white container, and gray box penetration checking out.

A penetration test document or a vulnerability take a look at the report identifies and makes a specialty of the vulnerability identified through the pen testing crew during the engagement. For each vulnerability difficulty, pen testers technically bring the difficulty, impact, root cause, and mitigation records in a document layout. on the other hand, penetration checking out web services explore the net application infrastructure through ethical hacking, exposing cyber security issues.

Different stages involved in the report generation


  • Report planning: This starts offevolved by means of giving a quick concept of the pen trying out, its blessings, and the overall aim and motive. It additionally covers the time length spent on checking out together with the report category, recognized target audience, and distribution.
  • Information gathering: The pen tester is required to accumulate accurate records on each step of his findings. All details must be collected and stated, which includes various equipment used inside the testing phase, threat tests, and special check findings.
  • Preparing the initial draft: All activities deployed, processed, and concluded want a well-certified presentation referred to as the preliminary draft. The preliminary draft needs to be specific on findings and security observations.
  • Review and finalization: The first of all drafted facts have to be reviewed and rechecked with the aid of the drafter and made to be spot on with the delivery. Then it has to skip through the alternative technical fingers of specialists who assisted with the procedure.

The vitality of penetration report

Except for the technical conclusions and vulnerability understandings after a penetration check, the reviews are the handiest method of conversation in material format. so long as vulnerability and penetration testing offerings are continual methods, there takes place a threat of a 2nd phase or take a look at. If a green communique is missing via the preliminary testing document, the consumer has the proper to choose some other tester. And what if that tester doesn’t realize the methods via which you arrived at the findings? right here is the importance of an effective and nicely-packed penetration document. Your report is the handiest piece of information that conveys the completeness of testing. Even the pinnacle management people won't have a threat to study who has conducted the assessments, and the most effective paper that floats above is your check report. also, while thinking about the penetration checking out fee, your document should have enough insights that justify the arrived conclusions. A qualified checking out report needs to carry the first-rate feasible validating pieces of facts.

What does the penetration report imply?

While composing reviews for penetration testing web offerings, penetration testing companies ought to become aware of their target market. normally, it may get into a minimum of three tiers, depending on availability and authority. The in-all-likelihood levels of your check traversal could be thru the Senior control, IT management, and IT personnel. The fine question that you could anticipate from a senior-stage crew would be – “how comfy we are?” Your drawn insights, test vulnerability consequences, and findings won't be considered pretty heavy, and for this reason, the final phrase is vital. they may no longer bypass through the complete file facts, however your major conclusion.

While thinking about the second one stage of the audience, they would be liable for basic protection, but the minded concept could be that their department should be free of reason. The concept makes it a chunk tough to deliver, but a proper and professional record can beat the fashion. Now, coming to the 1/3 set of humans, especially IT personnel. They will be the human beings to take necessary actions, enforce the action plan and connect the findings. They require a clean and particular finding description or summary with priorities adjusted. a great report needs to have a higher method to them via delivering the issues on an arranged precedence pattern.

Steps for delivering an effective penetration report

Executive Summary

As the phrase implies, a government summary must be the central insight of your findings on a company’s vulnerability. It ought to carry the very best grade of detected-prone elements and what it takes to repair the ones. Penetration testing corporations need to keep in mind that an executive summary should in no way be a lengthy technical white paper.


The objective of penetration or vulnerability take a look at need to honestly define the scope of your work and attempt. all of the necessities in context to take a look at consequences want a clear depiction in the goal section. Your check desires want to get virtually conveyed and depicted inside the document, marking a solid goal.

The Core Pen Team:

Agencies would really like to see the professionalism in your take a look at the document. Your vulnerability check record must be made such as all of the info of your pen check group. it is a wise choice to encompass the respectable touch details and mail id together with the names. It specializes explicitly in the credibility and obvious nature of your test file.

Tools Used For Testing:

Regarding the remediation measures, every company would like to understand what tools were given used to get the very last consequences. even as mentioned the vulnerabilities, other IT personnel and the security team desire a clean image on the identical. it could pave a smooth manner for remediation.

Summary of Findings:

This phase requires special attention while you go with a penetration testing web service report. You can include a graphical representation that can easily convey your summary of findings to the targeted users. It is often that many organizations consider the budget bounding to your finding summary.

Graded Vulnerability Findings:

Remember that your vulnerability report should be precise and to the point with needed evidence. Keep your findings on track and in order with adjusted priorities. By conveying these results, it gives a deeper insight into the detected vulnerabilities. Furthermore, clients can act accordingly, prioritizing the actions.

Risk-Impact Test Finding

Similar to the prioritized test findings, risk-impact test findings are also keen for an organization to schedule the response or remediation. The findings point to the elements of security risk and impact that firms need to prioritize and take necessary action plans.

Finding data references

Remediation elements of a report need to be backed up by reference links or data links. It can ease your organization's effort to match the action plans or remediation choices at the time of need. Quick collecting and gathering facts for your insights is a wise thing to pack your report.

Steps To Recreate The Findings:

While you go equipped with all finding resources and references, the lack of trace back to your findings is a hard concern. A good penetration report will have the attached screenshots or screen recordings of your test findings and how you have traversed through the issue. Include your re-creation track for effective report delivery.

Remediation Options:

A report after vulnerability and penetration testing services should carry the remediation steps or options within. It can help organizations to know the implementation steps and procedures as a part of the remediation plan. organizations looking for the best worth of penetration testing cost and control always seek those options.


There are a few templates that are really helpful:

Summing Up

We have so far wrapped up all the requisites concerning the penetration or vulnerability testing reports. As far as test report data is the backbone for your findings, delivering it with appropriateness and effectiveness is important. We discussed different stages of report development along with its aim and intended audience. By following the steps pictured above in report writing and delivery, security companies will gain that reliable and authentic element. Penetration report writing is an art that gets messed up by many firms and requires the qualitative ability of a professional writer to connect the technicality of the findings. After the final draft, review, and finalization is a phase to be focussed and checked with utter care and caution.

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