A company hires a penetration tester to examine security issues in its IT infrastructure. They might be called a white-hat hacker or an ethical hacker, as well as a security consultant. It is important to use the same tools and strategies as a malicious actor to perform technical assessments of client’s IT security. This could be Kali Linux in many cases.
It is exciting. Engineers may feel a rush trying to outwit IT infrastructure administrators and designers. It can be rewarding to find problems in a network and point them out to clients — diplomatically, ofcourse.
It’s not all fun. Sam Kitchen, a penetration tester, reports that there are boring parts to any job. It’s about being prepared for the tough with the easy. As other pentesters have said, certain parts can be tedious, especially when it comes to writing the final report.
There are good and bad jobs, however.
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Training a Pentester: Roles and Responsibilities
Let’s first take a look at the daily life of a pentester to get a better idea of what they do. The duties of a pentester are quite unique in the world of information technology. A typical definition of an IT professional is someone who designs, configures and installs IT systems. A pentester, however, does not do any of these things. He tries to break in.
Each pentester will have his or her own method of doing things. We can identify the types of activities that will take pentesters’ time. It begins with basic evaluations and then moves on to more detailed stages, which include reporting the results to the client.
A pentester first conducts internal and external assessments. A pentester can identify weaknesses in IT defenses by pressing, poking, or prodding, just like a hacker. The pentester attempts to gain access from the outside by looking for open ports and other vulnerabilities such as weak passwords, exposed data, or weak passwords. An internal assessment involves setting up a beachhead in the client’s network and then looking for ways to exploit IT systems from within.
Web application assessments are used to identify potential vulnerabilities in installed software. This includes SQL injection, broken access control, and XML external entities (XXE). See our article on the OWASP Top Ten List for more information about web application vulnerabilities.
Other assessments include:
Wireless assessment. Wi-Fi systems are tested to ensure security.
Physical assessment. This involves attempting to gain unauthorized access into a facility.
Assessment of social engineering. You can fool people into compromising your security.
Phishing assessment. Use of email and web pages to convince people to click on links they shouldn’t.
Report writing and debriefing are the final phases of a pentesting program. This involves summarizing and explaining to customers the results of penetration testing. These responsibilities require good social and communication skills as well as diplomacy when dealing with clients’ problems.
The Rigors of Pentesting Certification
If the pentesting certification process is any indication, it can be a challenging and long-lasting job. It is not easy to become certified in Offensive Security. These exams can take up to days. Take into account the time required for some tests.
Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), 24 hours
Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE), 48 hours
Offensive Security Exploitation Specialist (OSEE) — 72 Hours
Offensive Security, a certification company, believes that candidates must have the ability to work long hours to solve complex problems.