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The Cost of Cybersecurity Breaches – Deep Dive by Business Size and Penetration Testing

The Cost of Cybersecurity Breaches: A Deep Dive by Business Size, with a Focus on Penetration Testing


In today’s digital age, businesses of all sizes face an ever-increasing threat from cyberattacks. These breaches not only compromise sensitive data but also lead to significant financial losses. However, the cost of a cybersecurity breach can vary greatly depending on the size of the business and its approach to security, including penetration testing. In this blog post, we will explore the average cost of cybersecurity breaches for small, medium, and large businesses, with a focus on the role of penetration testing in mitigating these costs.

Small Businesses: Vulnerable yet Resilient

Small businesses are often seen as easy targets for cybercriminals due to their limited resources for robust cybersecurity measures. However, their resilience can be enhanced through practices like penetration testing. On average, a cybersecurity breach can cost a small business anywhere from $36,000 to $50,000. With the inclusion of penetration testing in their cybersecurity strategy, small businesses can not only reduce the likelihood of breaches but also enhance their preparedness and reduce the ultimate cost of a breach.

Medium-Sized Businesses: Balancing Act

Medium-sized businesses have a more extensive digital footprint, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. The average cost of a cybersecurity breach for a medium-sized business ranges from $120,000 to $140,000. Penetration testing becomes crucial here to identify vulnerabilities before attackers do, helping to minimize the impact of breaches. The investment in penetration testing can be a fraction of the potential cost of a breach, making it a wise choice for medium-sized businesses.

Large Enterprises: Staggering Expenses

Large enterprises have the most to lose in the event of a cybersecurity breach. The average cost of a breach for a large business can be staggering, ranging from $1.2 million to $1.4 million or more. Penetration testing is not just a best practice but a necessity at this scale. It helps identify and remediate vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, potentially saving millions of dollars in the long run.

Factors Influencing Costs

Several factors influence the cost of a cybersecurity breach, regardless of business size, and penetration testing can directly impact these factors:

  1. Data Sensitivity: Penetration testing helps protect highly sensitive data, reducing the risk of regulatory fines and lawsuits.
  2. Response Time: Rapid detection of vulnerabilities through penetration testing can lead to quicker containment and lower costs.
  3. Industry Regulations: Compliance with regulations can be easier with regular penetration testing to demonstrate due diligence.
  4. Reputation Management: Penetration testing demonstrates a commitment to security, which can positively impact customer trust and minimize reputation damage.
  5. Cybersecurity Preparedness: Regular penetration testing improves overall cybersecurity preparedness, reducing the likelihood and severity of breaches.


The cost of a cybersecurity breach varies widely depending on the size of the business, but one thing remains consistent: the importance of cybersecurity preparedness with a focus on penetration testing. While small businesses may be more resilient and large enterprises may have more resources to allocate, every organization should prioritize cybersecurity to protect sensitive data, finances, and reputation. Investing in prevention, including penetration testing, and having a robust incident response plan can save businesses of all sizes from the potentially devastating consequences of a cyberattack.

A vulnerability scan identifies weaknesses in a system, network, or application, usually using automated tools. Penetration testing goes further by simulating real-world attacks to exploit vulnerabilities and assess the extent of potential damage. While a scan finds vulnerabilities, a penetration test (PenTest) demonstrates how they can be exploited and their impact.

Vulnerability Scan

  • Basic Recon and Tools
  • Scans for known public exploits
  • Provides standard report output
  • Report is ONLY shared directly with client
  • Does NOT attempt any exploit

Penetration Test

  • Vulnerability, plus…
  • Advanced Recon
  • Attempt to exploit vulnerabilities
  • Horizontal escalations
  • Vertical Privilege Escalations
  • Executive Summary Report
  • Manual Review

We offer the following types of digital penetration testing services:

Penetration Testing Services (Capabilities)

Flexible options for vulnerability scan or penetration testing (PenTest)

We offer different plans to meet your scope, timeline, and budget. Start off with a vulnerabilty scan and/or move into more advanced penetration testing as time goes on. If you puchase a penetration test, vulnerability scan is included.

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