Cyber Audit and Pentest: Everything you need to know

4 min
June 27, 2024


To protect your company from cyberattacks, adopting the right cyber reflexes is the first step.

Carrying out regular cyber audits or pentests ensures that your cybersecurity measures are working properly, and protects your business over the long term.

In this article, you'll discover what a cyber audit and a pentest are, as well as their differences and similarities.

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Cyber Audit

Definition of a Cyber Audit

A cyber audit is a comprehensive assessment of the security of a company's IT environment.

The cyber audit aims to identify all of a company's potential weaknesses - including exploitable technical vulnerabilities - while comparing the company's security level and measures against best practices and recommendations from reference organizations such as ANSSI, or standards and regulations such as ISO27001, RGPD, NIS2, or DORA.

The different modalities of a cyber audit

Types of cyber audits

Generally speaking, a cyber audit involves three major achievements:

  1. Assessment of the organization's information systems.
  2. Analysis of the organization's cyber maturity.
  3. Review of security procedures and their compliance with security standards and regulations.

However, some cyber audits focus more on specific aspects:

  • A technical audit provides a detailed diagnosis of your information system, similar to a technical inspection.
  • An organizational audit examines the security measures in place within your organization.
  • A compliance audit focuses exclusively on the company's situation in relation to current standards and regulations.

The three phases of a cyber audit

A cyber audit can be broken down into three phases:

  • Audit planning. During this phase, the auditor and the auditee define the various aspects of the audit and its scope.
  • Carrying out the audit.
  • Reporting. Once the audit has been completed, the auditor will produce a detailed report on the vulnerabilities discovered, together with recommendations for resolving them.

The duration of a cyber audit

The size of your company, the complexity of its information systems and the audit objectives are factors which can influence the duration of a cyber audit.

Nevertheless, between the start of the audit planning and its delivery, it usually takes a few weeks to a month.


Definition of a pentest

A pentest, or penetration test, simulates a malicious attack to identify exploitable vulnerabilities in an information system.

By imitating the offensive actions of a real attacker, the pentester seeks to exploit flaws in your information systems to gain access to sensitive resources, and to test the security mechanisms you have put in place.

The pentester proactively evaluates the security of your information system and, at the end of the penetration test, delivers a detailed report of its findings and recommendations for correcting the vulnerabilities detected.

The different types of pentest

There are three types of pentest:

  • Black box testing. This simulates an attack on your information system by an outsider, since the pentester has no information about your company.
  • The grey box test. This pentest simulates the action of an attacker who has already gathered some information on your information system.
  • The white box test. This pentest is more akin to an audit, since a maximum amount of information is transmitted to the pentester before the intrusion test.

The similarities and differences between a cyber audit and a pentest


In the case of an audit, your company's information system is examined and evaluated by a third party to identify inconsistencies.

By nature, it is less targeted than a pentest, which requires more preparation and is preferred by companies that have already carried out an upstream audit, or those dealing with sensitive infrastructures and data that need to be secured.

In short, where an audit is a complete assessment of your company's level of cybersecurity, a pentest simulates an attack to proactively identify weaknesses in your information system.

Objectives & results

When it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is better than cure. Anticipation is the key to long-term protection against cyber-attacks.

Cyber audit and pentest have the same objective: to improve your posture in the face of cyber threats.

At the end of an audit or pentest, a report is produced. It contains the main vulnerabilities discovered, and usually recommendations for correcting them.

In the case of a cyber audit, this report will be based on the company as a whole, whereas in the case of a pentest, the report will focus more on the company's technical infrastructure and its vulnerabilities.

What to choose between a cyber audit and a pentest? The Bastion audit: the best of both worlds.

At Bastion, we offer a comprehensive cyber audit that evaluates your cyber situation along 4 axes:

  • Organizational & internal risk. We examine the assets at risk in your company that need to be secured.
  • External surface.We identify configuration issues and potential vulnerabilities on your company's external surface.
  • SaaS park. We check that your work environment is properly configured for maximum security.
  • Human risk. We assess your teams' level of cyber maturity through simulations of phishing attacks and customized training.

Following the audit, we offer support tailored to your needs, enabling you to detect vulnerabilities before they become threats.

Discover Bastion Technologies cyber audit


As a small or medium-sized business, do you think you've been left out in the cold when it comes to cybersecurity? The opposite is true!

According to the Cybermalveillance platform, 77% of cyber-attacks perpetrated target VSEs and SMEs, as only 1 in 5 companies has a cybersecurity strategy in place, making them prime targets.

To establish a defense in depth against hackers, you need an effective cybersecurity strategy.

At Bastion, we can help you develop a cybersecurity solution that adapts to your needs and provides lasting protection against cyberthreats.

I would like to be supported by Bastion Technologies.

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