Skip to main content
The Importance of Good Scoping on a Pen Test

Proper scoping involves identifying the assets, services, and high-value targets the client wants to examine during a test. It should also include individuals from all levels of the organization. Ensuring everyone is on board with testing is the best way to set the test up for success. While leadership understands the costs associated with testing, IT staff helps pen testers understand the scope of engagement.

Scoping is essential both for the client and the tester because it ensures clarity of in-scope assets and that a tester's time is best spent based on testing priorities defined by the client.

Importance of Good Scoping for Clients

Scoping from the client's perspective is essential because it helps ensure you get the most out of your test. By identifying what is and is not in scope and helping your testers understand what you consider your most valuable assets or ‘crowned jewels,' testers can ensure that testing time is appropriately allocated and best spent.

Getting the Most out of Your Pen Test

The first step in any information security program is to enumerate what you have. Understanding your assets will also help you establish clear rules of engagement when working with a penetration testing firm. You will undoubtedly get the most out of your penetration test by providing detailed information regarding services, functionalities, and testing priorities, and clarifying this before testing is essential to know what you will get and what you can expect from a testing perspective. It also gives the most accurate picture of how resilient your organization would be against an actual attack and will provide the most valuable output in the final report.

Impacts of Improper Scoping

Poor Use of Time

From a web application perspective, testers need to understand the application's functionality and what the web application should do. This ensures you get the best value for your tester's time by having them test the application's functionalities instead of spending time understanding its function first and then testing.


From a network perspective, bad scoping causes more questions to be generated, and neither the client nor the tester feels 100% sure of what they are receiving. As a result, the testing team typically spends more time, resources, and effort in areas they don't necessarily need to, and in the end, the report could have been more tailored and focused.

Legal Trouble

Ensuring that a project has been appropriately scoped involves identifying assets within and out of bounds. Additionally, scoping will determine assets owned by the client versus any assets hosted or owned by outside organizations, such as third-party vendors, where scoping would be considered out of bounds and potentially illegal.

Out-of-Scope Discoveries

Occasionally, vulnerabilities out of scope may become visible, sometimes even from third parties. If this happens, RedTeam Security will always advise clients of these unexpected findings for the overall security of our clients and their third-party vendors.

Get a FREE security evaluation today and reduce your organization's security risk.
Schedule My Call Schedule My Call

Scoping FAQs

Contact Us