Web Application Penetration Testing

Customer-facing applications can be open invitations to hackers

Why you need web application penetration testing

Even though web applications are ubiquitous at this point, even the simplest among them are highly complex. They need to fulfil specific requirements, stay accessible to numerous services across the web, and safely handle sensitive user data — and this makes them risky to provide. The quality of web application security can vary massively.

If just one of your web applications features a vulnerability, hackers can gain access to its systems, leading to the loss of key data and significantly damaging your brand (potentially taking it beyond repair). The issue could be an error in the programming logic, a lack of rigorous data validation, or lax login restrictions. One weak link in a chain undermines the entire thing.

This is where our team of certified web application penetration testers enters the picture. By testing and assuring the security of your web applications, we can shield you from reputation damage, meet all relevant regulations, and provide you with invaluable peace of mind. Web application security testing is an essential investment in your future.

How our testing process works

As the name suggests, web application penetration testing involves an effort to penetrate your system. In other words, we do what hackers would do, only with your permission and under controlled conditions. As we probe a web application for weaknesses, we determine the scale of the issues and identify the damage that could be caused if they were exploited.

Each of our testers approaches every web application they test as a unique proposition, ensuring that the most relevant tools and techniques are deployed. We have three levels of testing assurance so you can choose how deeply you want to investigate your web application:

Vulnerability Assessment.

Our shallowest test involves running some automated scans on your web application and presenting you with a list of prioritised actions for improving your security. If you’re been through more comprehensive testing before, this can help you check things after a modest update.

Penetration Test.

A web application penetration test will see one of our testers add their expertise to the testing process. In addition to filtering out any false positives from the automated scanning, they’ll model the main threats so you can better address them.

Source Code Review.

No amount of web application testing can account for all possible scenarios, which is why we also offer a source code review package. On top of everything included in our web application penetration testing, this will see our tester manually pore through the code of your systems to pick out niche vulnerabilities.

Regardless of the package you choose, you’ll ultimately receive a comprehensive report detailing the identified vulnerabilities (organised by OWASP categories), our recommendations for resolving them, and a neat conclusion of the overall findings (suitable for all audiences).

How your organisation will benefit

If you haven’t yet suffered an attack from hackers, you might instinctively feel that you don’t need any testing, but that isn’t the case. It actually makes it more important for you to take precautions. Every system has vulnerabilities, no matter how well it was designed, and ignoring those issues constitutes taking an unnecessary risk.

But that isn’t the only reason why you’re justified in taking action. Quite straightforwardly, you also stand to benefit from testing web applications in the following key ways:


You’ll get to resolve problems before they get worse.

Any given vulnerability grows in danger the longer it’s left unaddressed. This is because new tactics for exploiting it will be developed, allowing hackers to take advantage of it more quickly and easily. By finding vulnerabilities as early as possible, you’ll be able to deal with them before they become common knowledge and compromise your system.

You’ll look better to prospective clients or customers.

Whether you’re looking to licence your web application to another business or just provide it for your customers’ use, having documentation confirming that you’ve carried out safety measures will make it much easier for people to trust your company.

You’ll be able to streamline the compliance process.

Legal compliance isn’t something to be taken lightly. In a post-GDPR world, people are more aware than ever before of how their data can be improperly used (or even abused), and the possibility of official governing bodies intervening has drastically increased. As you move towards compliance in every facet of your business, this testing can speed things up.

You’ll learn valuable lessons for future projects.

If you developed your web application in-house, there’s a good chance you’ll want to develop more things at some point, and knowing the flaws in your previous effort will aid you in doing that. And if you passed the task to a third-party developer, you can form a stronger picture of how well they achieved the targets you presented them with.

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.

Other frequently-asked questions

In addition to the questions we’ve answered in the content for this page, there are some questions we hear somewhat commonly. Let’s address them:

How is this different from other forms of testing?

Web application penetration testing is distinct from generic penetration testing because it has a more narrow focus. Because the average web application has a small set of features, we put our effort into checking every angle and user approach to uncover all points of vulnerability.

As for how web application penetration testing relates to web application vulnerability scanning, this is covered in the section concerning our testing process. To recap, though, a vulnerability scan involves a battery of automated tests, while a full penetration test needs manual effort to identify possible routes to unauthorised access.

Can you run an internal web application test?

Yes, we can run an internal test on an external application, or test an internal web application. Here’s the difference between external and internal tests:

  • External tests probe for vulnerabilities from the outside to see how easily the average hacker can gain access. Most of the time, this is the preferred form of testing: this is simply because most threats come from the outside. If you’re confident that your internal system is secure, this is where you should start.
  • Internal tests start with internal access and see what damage can be wrought due to error or malice. Even if you fully trust everyone in your business, you can’t rule out simple mistakes, and your web application won’t ever be fully secure if it’s easy for someone with admin access to accidentally damage it.

Keep in mind that our tester will need internal access to carry out an internal test, so you’ll need to trust us in that scenario. If you’re unwilling to allow that, internal testing won’t be viable.

How long does a web application test take?

This isn’t an easy question to answer because it depends heavily on the size and complexity of the web application being tested. Once the terms have been agreed and any necessary permissions have been granted, you can likely expect the main testing period to last somewhere between a week and a month, though we’ll give you a clearer estimate before we begin.

The main contributing factors will be the scheduling (when we can run our tests, most likely outside of your main business hours), how many features your web app provides, how many user types it caters to, and how deep you want the investigation to be.

Completion of the main testing will give way to the reporting phase during which our tester will detail their findings. When everything has been checked and the findings have been summarised, your completed report will be delivered.

How much does a web application test cost?

As with the timescale, this varies enormously. A low-level test of a basic web application will be much cheaper than an extensive test of a complex web application, particularly if the latter requires multiple testers. The faster you want your test done, the more it will cost you. The range varies so much that there isn’t much value in giving you a maximum or minimum.

Instead, you should simply reach out to us for a quote (you request one through the form near the top of the page). Once we’ve taken a look at your situation, we’ll be able to provide you with a free quote that will give you a reasonably accurate estimate of your likely costs.

Ready to get started? Try our express quotation form Here