Things to Know Before You Start Your Penetration Testing Career
Penetration testing is one of the leading job in tech industry today, it is basically known as the ethical hacking. It is a career of working in your way into systems like a high level professional hacker without breaking the laws and you are paid for it.
- Expectations from this career
As a pen tester your formost responsibility is to identify the companies’ security vulnerabilities in their internal systems and outward applications. Before a criminal does it, you need to figure out how to breach a system and keep the sensitive data of your company or client out of the reach of wrong hands. You are responsible for finding the weakness that can be used by a hacker to get in and preventing it from them. Penetration is not a glamorous job because many of the tests that you run are repetitive but it is a responsible job.
- Qualities you require in this career
Penetration testing is a challenging job that requires certain unique and different qualities to excel in this field. A best pen tester must have genuine interest in systems and its working a tactical mind set, a quick mind and persistence to a fault. Perhaps, the most important quality you need to have is to be a good communicator. Unless you communicate your technical work to someone in different field you won’t get stereotype reclusive and awkward tech geek.
- Expectations from a Penetration Tester
When a company hires you, it handover it’s most sensitive and influential valuable data in your hands. So they expect that you know everything possible about operating systems, scripting and networks.
Technology is evolving constantly, to breach barriers hackers are finding and coming up with new ideas or ways. Due to this you need to be integrated with new exploits to add to your current skills. And it will be easier for you, if you know the coding language. That’s why you should have some basic skills of widely used code language.
- Salary in this Career
As a fresher in penetration testing, your average salary will be around $70,000 that can reach to $100,000 by the mid of your career and even it can exceed to $115,000 by the time as you will be an experienced tester. And also you get chance to supervise a lot of new professionals and gain knowledge of this field.
Starting your Penetration Testing Career:
For going to this field you need training and certifications, and you must have the kind of personality that can handle this intensely high-stakes position. It is because you have to work with high-security of system and you have personal data of thousands of people in your hands. Most penetration testers get into this field from other field of tech like systems programming or administration. The most of companies asks at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field of IT or cyber security. There are many training companies who specialize in training an individual for penetration testing career. One such company is Alpine Security who can train and get you certified in Penetration Testing field.
Entry Level Credentials:
There are some entry level credentials that shows the employer that as a fresh penetration tester you are very serious about the field some of these are:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) It is an entry-level credential by the EC Security Council. In this exam you have sit for a 4-hour, 125-question multiple choice exam that is mainly based on the latest tricks hackers use to breach security systems. After passing this written exam, you can go for a 6-hour practical exam to demonstrate yourself with some more advanced knowledge.
- Certified Penetration Tester (CPT) It is an entry-level certification exam conduct by the Information Assurance Certification Review Board, commonly known as IACRB. This multiple-choice exam is of two hours and includes 50 questions and you must have 70% of marks for passing this exam.
Even if you have already working in pen testing, you need to show that you’re up to date with the latest advances of the field, due to which some more advance certification exams are conducted such as:
- EC Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) It is the EC Council’s intermediate credential, that requires the candidate to sit for a four-hour, 150-question test also including a 12-hour practical exam. The practical exam evaluates your ability to use network scanning, analysis, and other common pen testing techniques and it presents you with a real organization’s network.
- PenTest+ the PenTest+ certification is offered by CompTIA. It is an intermediate-level exam which consists both written and practical questions. During this course of 2.75 hours, the challenges evaluate the ability to find the weaknesses of systems and developing strategies for addressing them.
Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT), Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE) are other such certification that can help the fresh and also those penetration tester who are working in this field for a very less time to be more updated, knowledgeable penetration tester.