Click here to ask for help with penetration testing

ConnectDS provide Crest Penetration Testing services to UK business

ConnectDS are an accredited CREST penetration testing company and offer Crest penetration tests and on-going penetration testing services. CREST member companies have been individually validated and certified as trusted organisations utilising highly skilled, knowledgeable and competent penetration tester for penetration testing and assurance services.

Penetration Testing Scoping Form
CREST Penetration Testing

What is CREST Penetration Testing?

CREST Pen Testing is the gold-standard accreditation and certification body for the cyber security industry. Having been awarded CREST accreditation for pen testing and vulnerability assessment ConnectDS are perfectly placed to provide CREST penetration testing and improve your organisation’s cybersecurity posture.

Our pen testers simulate cyber attacks to support businesses develop best practice and ensure their regulatory compliance. Our testing team use evolving processes and testing procedures to assess the well-established and emerging threats to gain access to both internal and external networks. Throughout the penetration testing, a detailed report is developed to support the rigorous assessment of your organisation’s security posture. This information is designed to advise on improvements to your organisation’s security controls.

ConnectDS provide a CREST registered and approved penetration testing service. Member organisations of CREST are required to demonstrate the highest technical standards and pass rigorous exams to acquire professional level certification. All ConnectDS staff are vetted and supported so that their development is an ongoing process. Our procedures relating to penetration testing are constantly reviewed to ensure we exceed the expectations bestowed by our CREST accreditation.

ConnectDS CREST Penetration Testing Services

To identify weaknesses before attackers do, ConnectDS’ security operations centre carries out penetration testing assessments by organising a coordinated real-time simulated cyber attack using our CREST accredited professional team of ethical hackers to attack business systems. This simulated cyber attack aligns to penetration testing frameworks and provides assurance for the purposes of business safety and compliance.

We offer a fully consultative service to work with your business to understand your current cyber incident response process and provide both data security remediation advice and data protection advice. We do this by understanding your environment, limitations, and business requirements for security testing. Our pen testing services identify vulnerabilities and measures their effect through safe exploitation. Based on your objectives, our penetration testing can be either:

  • External Penetration Test – Our security experts target your internet facing business assets using specialist penetration testing tools to identify security vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could be leveraged by an attacker at your network perimeter.
  • Internal Penetration Test – Our security professionals simulate an attack in your internal network and behind the firewall. This provides insight to vulnerabilities of business systems that communicate with external networks or systems that attackers may have direct access to upon local network access via a successful system compromise or direct network access.

ConnectDS formalise the statement of work with the security consent needed before performing any testing work – this statement makes sure all participants are aware of the process, timelines, and assessment scope.

Throughout the testing process, our pen testers collate all testing stages and findings into the main report which will outline the necessary action that you must take in the short-term. The report includes insights for essential measures that you should take as part of an ongoing strategy to minimise security risks and reduce the chance of a successful cyber incident to a minimum. Post technical delivery we provide clients with a formal penetration test report that contains details on your current security posture, along with remediation advice and mitigation strategies.

If it is determined that there is reassessment required, ConnectDS offer retest penetration testing services to validate remediation of vulnerabilities previously identified in the initial penetration test report. We also perform social engineering assessments to measure the susceptibility of staff members of clicking a targeted email; this identifies the risk of employees clicking on suspicious links and phishing campaigns and allows for tailored staff security training.

Why are penetration tests important? Does my business need a CREST penetration test?

As companies are increasingly relying on technology, the need to make sure your technology systems are secure from malicious attackers and that the impact of a security incident does not compromise the integrity and operations of your business. Pen testing is an essential part of improving your company’s cyber security position. It is recommended that these assessments are performed by third parties with internationally recognised accreditation.

CREST accredited cyber security services and penetration testing means that your sensitive data will only be at risk from highly skilled CREST registered testers. All of our practices are best in class, from assignment execution to delivery and reporting. Cybersecurity services are constantly changing and evolving in order to assess the latest vulnerabilities and CREST certification demonstrates an organisations ability to be proactive and deliver services of the highest calibre. For peace of mind, CREST companies agree and adhere to a process for resolving complaints.

One of the many benefits of CREST penetration testing with ConnectDS are that we offer a consultative method of validating your existing security controls and assessing and identifying weakness that could be exploited in the real world. These could have detrimental effects to your business, such as:

  • Loss of client trust
  • Damaged reputation
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of confidential information
  • Compliance violations
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fines

How are penetration tests done?

Penetration Tests (CREST penetration testing or otherwise), or pen tests, are simulated attacks on your organisation’s internal or external network. This ethical hacking exercise assesses your organisation’s internal network and security perimeter to validate software patch levels, services, and configuration through the granular assessment and identification of weaknesses that attackers could exploit. The ConnectDS penetration tester provides a detailed pen test report that will include information gathering, a proof of concept of exploitation, details on the test performed, impact and how to remediate these security flaws. It only takes a single misconfiguration or security vulnerability in your computer infrastructure for a cyber attacker or hacker to gain access to your organisation and compromise your data.

UK Penetration Testing infographic

What are the benefits of penetration testing?

Our pen testing experts and CREST penetration testing methods together ensure best practice. Proactively performing network pen testing of your organisation is the first step in data protection and information security. It has the aim of identifying vulnerabilities within your organisation before they can be located and used to gain unauthorised system access or leverage an attack. Benefits of network pen tests include:

  • Validation of security hygiene and the effectiveness of your current information security approach.
  • Risk assessment through the detection and discovery of security risks. We can then mitigate against these before these can be leveraged by an attacker.
  • Validate your networks and system security against both known and unknown threats and reduce your attack surface.
  • Identify potential known vulnerabilities, unknown vulnerabilities, and security weaknesses in your target systems through manual assessment that cannot be detected using automated security systems.
  • Assess security hygiene of your network infrastructure inline with industry and compliance regulation requirements.
  • Establish trust in your information security program and testing process with demonstrable cyber security validation, helping to pre-empt client expectations and investors and auditor requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions about Penetration Testing

Please see below for some common questions on our penetration testing services. If you would prefer to speak to someone then please give us a call and speak to one of our team in our Surrey or London offices to discuss your requirements. Equally, please call to learn how our CREST accredited security experts support other businesses in the United Kingdom (UK).

A network pen test is a type of security assessment which simulates a cyber attack on a computer system or network in order to evaluate its current level of security through the identification of vulnerabilities, validation and measuring the impact through exploitation from an ethical hacker.

ConnectDS have CREST certification meaning that you can be sure of the quality of our service. We have over 15 years of experience working with a variety of businesses and their technical information security.

Penetration testing is a complete assessment performed by a team of security experts using a variety of manual testing and specialised security software. It is done to assess your IT infrastructure to discover potential vulnerabilities which are then manually validated through exploitation by our security professionals.

A penetration test, or pen test, is an attempt to evaluate the security of an IT infrastructure by safely trying to exploit vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities may exist in operating systems, services and application flaws, improper configurations or risky end-user behavior.

A good penetration test should start with a meeting to determine the scope of the test, including what systems can be attacked and who can be reached for the purpose of deconfliction.

A detailed document of steps taken to exploit a system’s vulnerabilities and exposures should be drafted and kept for the purposes of illustration.

Penetration testing should always include remediation advice in order to improve security posture post-assessment. The safest way to do this is with a CREST registered security team such a ConnectDS.

CREST penetration test costs are based on the scope of the assessment. If you let us know your pen test requirements in our scoping form (available here) we can provide a full pen testing quote. Only once we understand the quantity of IP addresses or network ranges can we provide you with costs aligning to your network assessment requirements. Get in touch to learn more.

External penetration testing is used to assess public facing computer systems from outside of your corporate network. External pen testing measures exposure across the internet so testing can be performed remotely.

Internal penetration testing is the assessment of your internal devices on private IP ranges that sit in your company network (LAN). CREST certified internal pen testing can be performed locally by connecting physically to your local network, via VPN or using a specialist software agent installed on one of the computers within your network (or by implementing a ConnectDS specialist hardware sensor) that provides local scanning and assessment.

Infrastructure pen testing is vital for businesses to ensure their IT Systems and digital assets are validated for security flaws. This means that vulnerabilities are remediated before malicious threat actors are able to compromise these systems and potentially steal sensitive data or money from your business.

It is best to use a CREST accredited penetration test provider.

We recommend companies carry out at least one CREST certified penetration test per year in order to secure their network perimeter and computer systems. If your business is a software development company, or uses custom web applications, CREST certified penetration testing should be built into the QA process for any major software releases. ConnectDS also provide Vulnerability Management services to perform interim assessments for businesses between network penetration testing services.

The time scale of a penetration test varies greatly depending on the requirements and number of systems within scope and security vulnerabilities. Get in touch with our pen testers for an accurate estimate for your assessment. N.B. All penetration tests are CREST certified and fulfil the demands of CREST penetration testing.

Authorised security testing of your infrastructure systems is legal assuming tahat there is a mutual agreement in place. The pen testing performed should then fall within the scope of the agreement.

SOC services should include pen testing. To be safe, use security testers with internationally recognised accreditation, which CREST provides.

CREST penetration testing is pen testing provided by a business with CREST certification. In itself it is not a methodology but validation of excellent provision.

CREST certification is provided by CREST as acknowledgement of a cyber security company’s high standards. It validates that a business delivers services of excellent quality and abides by organisational charters.

CREST is the best certification for pen testing and CREST accredited companies deliver best-in-class services.

Broadly speaking there are three phases in so far as there is a pre-attack phase, an attack phase, and a post-attack phase. Specifically, however, various other sub phases exist, such as scoping and reconnaisance in the pre-attack phase, as well as remediation advice and reporting in the post-attack phase.

Do you need CREST certified penetration testing performed?

Let us know your requirements and one of our team will get back to you with a full proposal and associated pricing for our assurance and penetration testing UK services. We’re based in our Surrey and London offices but work with businesses across the UK.

cyber exchange member logo
Cyber Essentials logo
CISP logo
IASME logo


Sign up to our email newsletter – opt out at anytime – view our Privacy Policy.