top of page

10 Steps to Writing a Useful Penetration Test Report

As soon as your penetration test is prepared, the first thing you probably want to ask is about the penetration testing report! And it makes sense—you want to know what kind of information you can get after your penetration test is complete to see how your organization is performing.

A penetration test is only as valuable as the penetration test report. And what makes a penetration test valuable? One that you can actually use for your company.

What should be included in a penetration test report?

It’s essential to understand what to look for in a penetration test report so you can know how to read it and make it useful. Penetration test reports may be different depending on what security organization you choose, but in general penetration test reports should contain these 10 elements:

1. Executive Summary

2. Objective of the Penetration Testing

3. Penetration Testing Team

4. Penetration Testing Tools Used

5. Summary of Penetration Testing Findings (with graph)

6. Prioritized Vulnerabilities Findings

7. Risk and Impact Ranked Findings

8. Finding information references

9. Steps to recreate the finding

10. Suggested vulnerabilities remediation options

Executive Summary

An executive summary should be just that—a summary. Not a ten-page technical white paper. It should contain the high-level meat of the penetration test, and it should be designed for the executive team. The executive summary shouldn’t focus on code or specific applications. Instead, it should talk about the degree to which your organization is vulnerable and what it will take to fix it. A memorable conclusion to this summary