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Both Pen Testing and Vulnerability scanning have their own advantages and although they are in the same focus area, their goals and results are different. 

Below we are going to see in-depth their differences:


Vulnerability scanning finds the vulnerabilities and their exact location in the system, focusing on the breadth. The report that is given here is more comprehensive and it underlines what are the existing vulnerabilities in the system but also what are the changes that were made after the last testing.  

On the other hand, automated penetration testing goes one step ahead with analyzing in-depth the vulnerabilities and exploiting them to define which of these vulnerabilities can give unauthorized access to attackers. The reports here are more concise and they provide a detailed analysis of the info that has been compromised.

The second difference is the degree of automation on each testing. Vulnerability testing can be automated and it only takes a few hours to be completed while penetration testing can take days to be finalized. Vulnerability testing’s frequency is also higher as it is advised to be completed at least quarterly, while pen testing should be completed once a year. 

Thirdly, due to the automation that can be done in the vulnerability testing, it allows companies to complete it in-house from the company’s security department. However, pen-testing needs high expertise as most of this testing is done manually and it should be done by a third party to avoid conflicts of interest. 

Lastly, the cost of vulnerability scanning for an organization is moderate, while network penetration testing is higher as it can reach up to 5,000 CAD, no wonder why penetration testing salary reached up to CAD 100,000 in 2021. 


Both testings are critical for an organization if they desire to keep their networks as secure as possible and each testing gives different results to the company. 


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