"What were the results of your latest 3rd Party Penetration Test?"
Answer examples and tips for RFPs

Last updated by Brecht Carnewal Brecht Carnewal on 2023-07-30


When someone asks about the results of a recent third-party penetration test, they are seeking information about the security of your systems and infrastructure. This question is essential for companies looking to engage in business with you as it demonstrates their commitment to data security. Answering this question well can give them confidence in your ability to protect their sensitive information. Two related questions that may be asked include: "Have any vulnerabilities been discovered in your systems?" and "How do you handle security incidents?"

Why is this asked?

The person asking this question is interested in understanding the security posture of your organization. By enquiring about the results of your latest third-party penetration test, they want to assess your ability to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in your systems. In today's digital landscape, where data breaches and cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent, companies want to ensure that their potential service provider prioritizes the security of their information.

Key information to include in your Answer

  1. Description of the third-party penetration testing process: Explain that third-party penetration tests are conducted by external security experts who simulate real-world attacks to uncover vulnerabilities in your systems.
  2. Scope of the test: Specify which aspects of your infrastructure were evaluated during the testing process. Mention whether it includes applications, web services, or network infrastructure.
  3. Timeframe and regularity: Inform about the frequency of third-party penetration tests and when the most recent one took place. Emphasize that regular testing is essential to ensure ongoing security.
  4. Test objectives and methodology: Explain that the primary objective of third-party penetration testing is to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your systems. Describe the methodology used during the test, such as black-box, white-box, or gray-box testing.
  5. Identified vulnerabilities: Outline the vulnerabilities that were discovered during the test and highlight any critical or high-risk findings. Be transparent about the nature of the vulnerabilities, but avoid going too deep into technical details.
  6. Remediation actions: Explain the steps you took to address the identified vulnerabilities. Discuss the measures implemented to mitigate the risks and enhance the overall security of your systems.
  7. Follow-up actions: Describe any follow-up activities that were conducted after the test, such as retesting or additional security assessments. Emphasize that you take a proactive approach to address security concerns.
  8. Compliance with industry standards: If applicable, mention any industry-specific security standards or certifications that your organization complies with, such as ISO 27001 or PCI DSS.
  9. Ongoing security practices: Briefly mention the security measures and practices that you have in place to proactively protect your systems on an ongoing basis. These may include regular vulnerability scanning, intrusion detection systems, or employee security awareness training.
  10. Testimonials or certifications: If you have received positive testimonials or certifications from reputable third-party sources regarding your security practices, mention them to provide additional credibility.

Example Answers

Example 1:

Our organization takes data security very seriously. We regularly undergo third-party penetration tests to ensure the robustness of our systems. In our most recent test, conducted by [Security Firm Name] in [Month, Year], we evaluated our applications, web services, and network infrastructure. The test followed a comprehensive methodology, including both black-box and white-box testing approaches.

During the test, [Security Firm Name] discovered several vulnerabilities, none of which were classified as critical. These findings included some low-risk issues, such as outdated software versions and weak password policies. Upon discovering these vulnerabilities, we took immediate action to remediate them. We patched all outdated software, enforced stronger password policies, and implemented additional security controls to mitigate the risks.

Following the test, we conducted a thorough re-evaluation of our systems to ensure the effectiveness of our vulnerability remediation efforts. We are proud to inform you that our systems are now more secure than ever. We understand the importance of ongoing security practices and have implemented measures such as regular vulnerability scanning, intrusion detection systems, and employee security awareness training to enhance our overall security posture.

In addition, we are compliant with industry standards and hold certifications such as ISO 27001 and PCI DSS, demonstrating our commitment to data security. These certifications validate our adherence to most stringent security practices and ensure that we have robust controls in place to safeguard sensitive information.

Example 2:

At [Company Name], we understand the significance of maintaining a strong security infrastructure. That's why we regularly engage reputable third-party security firms to conduct penetration tests. Our most recent test was conducted by [Security Firm Name] in [Month, Year].

During the penetration test, [Security Firm Name] assessed our applications, web services, and network infrastructure. The test aimed to identify any vulnerabilities that could potentially compromise the security and integrity of our system. It involved a combination of black-box and white-box testing methodologies.

The results of the test showed a few low to medium-risk vulnerabilities, which we promptly addressed. We patched all identified vulnerabilities, implemented stronger access controls, and enhanced our intrusion detection systems. Our team worked closely with the third-party security firm to ensure the thorough remediation of all identified issues.

In addition to actively addressing the vulnerabilities found, we also invest in ongoing security practices. We conduct regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing to proactively identify and mitigate potential risks. Furthermore, [Company Name] is ISO 27001 certified, demonstrating our commitment to maintaining a robust security management system.

Rest assured, we take the security of our systems and our clients' data very seriously. With our proactive approach to security and commitment to best practices, you can trust that we are continuously striving to maintain the highest level of security.

Example 3:

At [Company Name], we prioritize the security of our systems and the protection of our customers' data. To ensure the utmost integrity of our infrastructure, we engage in routine third-party penetration tests. Our most recent test, conducted by [Security Firm Name] in [Month, Year], evaluated our applications, web services, and network infrastructure.

During the test, [Security Firm Name] successfully identified several vulnerabilities, varying in severity from low to medium risk. These vulnerabilities included issues such as misconfigurations, outdated software versions, and weak encryption protocols. We promptly addressed each vulnerability and implemented appropriate remediation measures. This process involved patching software, improving firewall configurations, and strengthening access controls.

To maintain ongoing security, we have implemented various measures, including regular vulnerability scanning and employee security awareness training programs. Our team continuously monitors emerging threats and applies necessary security updates to ensure the resilience and reliability of our systems.

In recognition of our commitment to security, [Company Name] holds certifications such as ISO 27001 and regularly conducts internal audits to maintain compliance.

By regularly conducting third-party penetration tests and adhering to industry best practices, [Company Name] demonstrates a strong commitment to safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining a secure environment for our clients and partners.

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