Penetration testing, also known as pen testing, is an ethical hacking tactic that helps companies protect themselves. Penetration testers try to break into clients’ digital systems to find weaknesses before a black hat hacker does. This is a growing field as companies seek to prevent the high profile data breaches that have happened in recent years. The top penetration testing certifications can help you get into this field.
Certifications can be the most cost-effective way to boost your credentials no matter where you are in your career. Some cybersecurity certifications are fairly straightforward, but others can provide you with a real challenge.We ranked the seven hardest cybersecurity certifications based on required experience, exam duration, exam requirements, and prerequisites needed to earn the certificate as well as the pay it can offer.
The most significant difference with the new exam format is that it is proctored. This means that you are being watched over your webcam for the entire period of the session. Proctoring a five-day exam is impractical, so the exam was split into three six-hour sessions. Each six-hour session consists of three individual “challenges”. Each challenge involves recovering the contents of a secret file, but some challenges will require hacking more than one machine. You enter the contents of the file into a web page and submit it when you are done with the session. You must complete at least one challenge per session, and you must complete at least five out of the nine sessions to pass the exam.
The OSCP certification is great for individuals with several years of experience in system administration, networking, or software development, who wish to learn “elite hacking skills.” The LPT (Master) is great for those who want to pursue penetration testing as a career and who are looking for a certification that demonstrates that they can complete a realistic penetration test simulation on their own.