Penetration Tests vs. Vulnerability Assessments: What’s the Difference?

cybersecurity conceptEnsuring your cybersecurity measures are up-to-date and effective is a crucial and ongoing project for any business, regardless of size, location or industry. Cyberattacks continue to occur at a rapid pace: As of April 8, there were already 79 data breaches recorded by the Identity Theft Resource Center this year, exposing more than 3 million records.

Identifying vulnerabilities in your IT environment and testing your security posture are both key steps that you should routinely revisit to minimize your organization’s data breach risk. You might have heard the terms “vulnerability assessment” and “penetration test” before while researching cybersecurity solutions. Sometimes, they get used interchangeably, but it’s important to understand that they are distinct tests involving different techniques, goals and results.

If you’re seeking clarity and would like to understand the distinction between these two cybersecurity tools, the following table explains some of the main ways pen tests and vulnerability assessments differ from one another. Please keep in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list.

How is a Penetration Test Different from a Vulnerability Assessment?

penetration tests vs vulnerability assessments







If you’d like to learn more about pen tests, vulnerability assessments and other cybersecurity solutions, please contact our team of experts. Acting to prevent data breaches is vital for all businesses these days, and we can help you build and maintain a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Minimize your data breach risk today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing


Contact Us

We will handle your contact details in line with our Privacy Policy. If you prefer not to receive marketing emails from Stratosphere Networks, you can optout of all marketing communications or customize your preferences here.