Penetration Testing

Probing your online systems for weaknesses, our penetration testing identifies vulnerabilities before they can be used against you.

Find holes in your online security

Every digital system, no matter how well-designed, has points of vulnerability. If you know what they are, you can shore them up so hackers can’t exploit them — but finding them is easier said than done. What you need is a trusted party to carry out penetration testing (AKA pen testing), a process that looks for ways into your systems and determines what damage they could cause.

Possessing a wealth of experience in security, networking, and software development, the Edge Cyber Security team stands ready to help you optimise the security of your infrastructure. Based in Bristol, we usually offer penetration testing for Bristol and Bath companies, but we can cater to the entirety of the UK when needed.

Ready to start testing your systems? The sooner we get started, the sooner you’ll be able to start working towards safe operation. This will protect you from negative press, reputation damage, and financial loss. What’s more, you’ll have peace of mind.

Common security vulnerabilities

If you haven’t had your systems tested before, you might wonder what vulnerabilities tend to be found through penetration testing. There are many possible problems (more than we could list), but most fall into the following categories:


These are flaws in the software you’re running that can be exploited to do things like slowing down your systems or even gaining access to them. Software is usually patched throughout its lifespan to minimise the impact of bugs, but you can’t rely on this happening. Some bugs may already have fixes available. Others will require manual effort to address, something we can help with.

Access Control Issues.

The process that authenticates users trying to gain access to your system can be vulnerable in three ways. Firstly, there may be bugs present. Secondly, the authentication system can be inadequate: being too forgiving with attempts and making brute-force attacks effective, or making it too easy to reset logins. Thirdly, users can fail to protect their login details, making them viable targets for hackers willing to use social engineering tactics (such as phishing), break into their personal accounts, or take advantage of their trusted devices. Our testing can search for all of these problems and more, looking at user access from all angles.

Plugin permissions.

Whenever you install a plugin, you take a risk. You trust that the developer took care when they were creating it, putting safeguards into place to prevent it being a weak link in an important chain — and that isn’t always the reality. It only takes one key plugin to be insecure for a hacker to gain access to your entire system.

Inadequate encryption.

Inadequate encryption. It’s often necessary for systems to communicate, or for one part of a system to transfer data to another. When those transfers are through the web, they need to be encrypted to ensure that anyone watching them can’t discover anything. If your system lacks encryption — or it has weak encryption — then it’s hackable.

We’ll essentially do what dedicated hackers would do: try to gain access to your system by exploiting any vulnerabilities we can find (particularly those listed above). If we can’t find anything, then you can proceed with confidence — but if we can (and we usually can), then we can steer you towards resolving the weaknesses.

Our penetration testing methodology


Step 1

The first step is choosing the types of testing and the level of assurance you need. You may not need social engineering testing, for instance, in which case we can leave that out to offer you a cheaper and faster service. And choosing from three service tiers will allow you to get the depth of insight that you need — no more and no less.

Step 2

The second step is arranging and carrying out our pen test. How long this will take will depend on the specifics of your unique arrangement and what your system schedule looks like (we’ll run our tests when you don’t have live users who could have their experience disrupted).

Step 3

The third step sees our penetration tester collate their test results, picking out all the vulnerabilities identified and categorising them by type and severity. This is important because it isn’t practical to address all the issues in one fell swoop. You’ll need to start with the most serious problems and find time for the others at a later point.

Step 4

The fourth and final step presents you with a comprehensive report encompassing everything agreed at the beginning. After reviewing all the results (which will be written to be accessible to readers of all levels of technical ability), you’ll know what needs to be done to get your systems fully secure, allowing you to carry on with complete confidence.

Why Edge Cyber Security?

At Edge Cyber Security, we strive to offer top-notch testing and impartial advice at reasonable prices. We do security work because we love it, and we’re constantly investigating new technologies that might help our clients achieve stronger security systems. No matter the projects we’re given, we pursue our tasks with enthusiasm and commitment.

Based in Bristol, we serve the entirety of the UK. If you’re looking for a security partner who’ll treat your business with as much care as you do, choose Edge Cyber Security to provide your cyber security services. You can rely on us.

We Listen

We’ll listen to your ideas, discuss your needs, and advise accordingly. It may sound obvious, but it isn’t always done. We look at it this way: your success is our success.


We’ll provide comprehensive support to help your business find the most appropriate solutions to any identified vulnerabilities. Every tier includes broad recommendations.


Our security consultants have cultivated their skills across various sectors, and we’ll assign you a penetration tester with the background to understand your business needs..


Rarely does a single package fit all clients, and this couldn't be more true in cyber security. That's why we work with you to develop a bespoke engagement that works for you regardless of the project size.


Here are some questions that people often ask about penetration testing:

Can penetration testing be automated?
To some extent, yes. Our testing process involves automated system scans in addition to work from our testers, but all results must be assessed and categorised to be useful.
Who can do penetration testing?
Our penetration testers have years of experience, allowing them to quickly and accurately pick out the biggest flaws in software systems. We wouldn’t recommend that anyone try to run pen tests on their own system: they’d be more likely to cause damage than achieve anything useful.
How much does penetration testing cost?
This depends entirely on how thorough it needs to be and what methods are required, so we can’t provide a useful estimate with no information. If you want to know what penetration testing will cost you so you can decide whether to proceed, get in touch for a free quote.
How is penetration testing related to ethical hacking?
Penetration testing is ethical hacking: the two are essentially synonymous. Pen testers do seek to hack into systems, just as malicious hackers do, but they do with the permission of the owners in an effort to make them more secure.
What are penetration testing tools?
To speed up the testing process, we use various tools (some with elements of automation) to scan systems for vulnerabilities. We won’t go into detail about how they work, but we can assure you that they get the job done.
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