How To Become a Penetration Tester in 2023
Become a Penetration Tester
The need for ethical hackers, also known as penetration testers, has never been higher. With the amount of data being stored online and the reliance on technology in general, it’s become easier for cyber criminals to steal sensitive information. This is where penetration testers come in. Their job is to test an organization’s security system by trying to find vulnerabilities that could be exploited. Here, we will discuss the skills you need to succeed, the training you need to be a penetration tester, and the challenges you may face along the way.
Who is a Penetration Tester?
A Penetration Tester is an individual who performs security testing on systems and applications to find vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. Penetration testers typically have a strong background in computer science and networking, as well as experience in ethical hacking. To become a penetration tester, it is recommended to first obtain a certified ethical hacker (CEH) certification. Individuals with a Penetration testing certification CEH will be able to better understand how to find and exploit vulnerabilities in systems.
What Does a Penetration Tester Do?
A penetration tester, also known as a pen tester, is an information security specialist who identifies vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. Penetration testers are employed by organizations to assess the security of their systems and identify any weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers. They may also be contracted by third-party companies to test the security of specific products or services.
Penetration testers may employ a variety of tools and techniques, conduct automated scans with specialized software, or manually search for weaknesses. Once a vulnerability is found, the tester will attempt to exploit it to see if they can gain access to sensitive data or disrupt system operations.
Become a Penetration Tester
Penetration tester tasks and responsibilities
The primary responsibilities of a penetration tester are to identify, assess, and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems. Penetration testers must have a strong understanding of both offensive and defensive security measures.
➢ Test applications, network devices, and cloud infrastructures.
➢ Create and execute simulated social engineering attacks
➢ Investigate and test various types of attacks.
➢ Create penetration testing methodologies.
➢ Examine the code for security flaws.
➢ Malware or spam can be reverse-engineered.
➢ Concerns about document security and compliance
➢ Improve efficiency by automating common testing techniques.
➢ Technical and executive reports must be written.
➢ Inform both technical staff and executive leadership of the findings.
➢ Additional testing should be performed to validate security improvements.
Penetration testers usually work in one of three settings:
- Internal – An internal penetration tester is an employee of the company who tests the security of the company’s systems and networks.
- External – An external penetration tester is hired by the company to test the security of the company’s systems and networks.
- Third-party – A third-party penetration tester is an independent contractor who tests the security of the company’s systems and networks.
Penetration testing vs. Ethical hacking
Penetration testing is a method of security testing that involves trying to break into a system or network to find vulnerabilities. Ethical hacking, on the other hand, is the practice of hacking into systems or networks with the permission of the owner to test for vulnerabilities.
Both penetration testing and ethical hacking can be used to find security flaws in systems and networks. However, ethical hacking is often seen as a more legitimate form of testing, since it is done with the permission of the owner. Penetration testing can also be seen as more aggressive and intrusive since it involves actually breaking into systems.
Popular penetration tester tools
There are many tools available to penetration testers, and the most popular ones are listed below.
➢ Metasploit: This tool is used for exploit development and exploitation. It is very popular among penetration testers.
➢ Nmap: This tool is used for network exploration, management, and security auditing.
➢ Wireshark: This tool is used for protocol analysis and capturing traffic on a network.
➢ John the Ripper: This tool is used for password cracking. It is very effective against weak passwords.
How to Become a Penetration Tester?
In order to become a penetration tester, also known as an ethical hacker, there are a few steps that you need to take:
● Develop a strong foundation in computer networking and security:
It is important to take courses and learn about the various concepts involved, and also to gain practical experience by working on projects related to networking and security.
● Gain experience in at least one programming language: It is essential to write the scripts and tools that are used for testing purposes. Learn multiple languages so that you can be more versatile in your work.
● Be well-versed in Linux operating systems and tools: Most penetration testing tasks are carried out on this platform. Familiarity with common Linux commands and utilities will be very helpful in your work. It is also beneficial to have some experience with virtualization technologies such as VMware or VirtualBox.
● Get certified: Preparing for a certification exam can often help you develop your skills in addition to earning a credential for your resume. There are several penetration testing courses available that can help you become a certified penetration tester. The most popular ones include :
➢ Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
➢ CompTIA PenTest+
➢ GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
➢ GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT)
➢ Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
➢ Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)
Although the field of penetration testing is constantly evolving, the basic skills and knowledge required to be a successful penetration tester remain largely unchanged. With the right mix of technical expertise and soft skills, you can position yourself to become a successful penetration tester in 2023 and beyond. We hope this article has given you some insights into what it takes to become a successful penetration tester and how you can get started on your journey.