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A pen testing career is among the best professions out there, I mean who doesn’t want to be a hacker… With an increasing number of cyber attacks as well as a rapid evolution of attacking techniques, companies use pen testing as a strategy for mitigating cyber security threats, by testing their systems against the methods used during cyber attacks by hackers. The execution of a penetration test is a highly technical task, it requires good communication skills and proper ethical conduct. By putting the work in and obtaining a well respected penetration testing certification, professionals are able to understand a proper ethical code of conduct. Develop technical skills, and prove they can come up with well written reports.
The following are among the best Pen Testing Certifications that will assist you breaking into the ethical hacking industry:
1. EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
This certification governs and establishes the standards for professional Penetration testers and Ethical hackers. The fact ethical hacking certification is a self-regulating and unique profession is reinforced by this certification. Acquiring this certification helps one gain the following techniques:
- Scanning networks
- Host enumeration
- System hacking
- Malware threats.
- Evading IDS.
- Honeypots and Firewalls.
- Using sniffers.
- Social engineering.
- Service attacks denial.
- Session Hijacking.
- Web servers hacking.
- SQL injection
- Hacking of wireless networks.
- Hacking of mobile platforms.
- Cloud computing
2. EC-Council Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) Master
To earn the LPT certification, one is required to perform a complete black-box penetration test of a network offered by the EC-Council. This signifies that you will follow the entire process (scanning, reconnaissance, gaining access, enumeration, and maintaining access) and ultimately exploit the vulnerabilities. This actually sounds like a complicated process. In addition, you have to fully document all your actions in a professional penetration test report that needs to be complete.
3. Global Information Assurance Certification Penetration Tester (GPEN)
Founded way back in 1999, this certification validates the information security professionals’ skills. This certification also validates the expertise of assessing target systems and networks in order to identify security vulnerabilities. The topics offered in GPEN certification include legal issues that involve penetration testing, methodologies of penetration-testing, how to conduct a penetration test and techniques that are non-technical and technical that are specific to pen testing.
To excel in this exam, you have to demonstrate the basic concepts that are associated with pen testing. This includes using an approach that is process-oriented to reporting and pen testing. The following are some of the skills you must also demonstrate:
- Password attacks.
- Advanced password attacks.
- Attacking password hashes.
- Exploitation fundamentals.
- Initial target scanning.
- Scanning for targets
4. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
The OSCP is another great certification for ethical hacking and penetration testing. This focuses more on teaching methodologies of penetration testing, and also the usage of the tools included in the distribution of Kali Linux. The OSCP is a penetration testing certification that is 100% hands-on, which requires holders to penetrate and attack various live machines in an environment that is controlled. This is a technically focused certification and is among the few that needs evidence of practical skills of penetration testing.
5. GIAC Exploit Researcher & Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN)
GXPN has been developed for professionals with the ability, skills, and knowledge to perform advanced penetration tests. It also requires you to understand and have the model abilities of an advanced attacker. Additionally, you need to find important system security flaws and also identify business risks that are associated with the flaws.
To achieve this certification, you need to demonstrate these skills among others:
- Network access.
- Advanced techniques of fuzzing.
- Advanced stack smashing.
- Client escape and exploitation.
- Pen Testing Crypto
- Network exploitation
According to the latest data breach investigation report, cyber-crime was at the top of the list. In order to guarantee your organization and customer’s security, software developers should be able to create codes that stand the test of time with accomplished proper techniques and best practices for secure coding.
Below are top ten secure coding tips that you can implement in your organization in order to prevent the most common risks that may affect your organization and learn best ways to prevent and resolve related concerns in future.
1. Adopt and define secure coding standards and requirements
Identify, develop and document security requirements with secure coding standards early in the development cycle that target advanced language and platform and which also ensure that successive development items are assessed for compliance with those specific requirements.
2. Threat modeling
Threat modeling enables you to anticipate the threats to which the software will be subjected. Determining the threats posed by your application is essential to enable you to rate the threats based on risk ranking and severe vulnerabilities immediately and fix them promptly.
3. Follow the principle of least privilege
Carefully design each process with the smallest amount of privileges. Any preeminent permission should only be accessed with the required least amount of time acceptable to finish the privileged task. This approach reduces the opportunities for any attacks that can be executed as a result of elevated privileges.
4. Validate data input
Ensure to authorize input from all un-trusted data sources in order to eradicate the vast majority of software susceptibilities including all input fields for length, character, range, character sets and encoding. Filtering out harmful and suspicious from most external sources is one possible approach of doing this.
5. Exercise defense in depth
Practice multiple defensive strategies to manage risks in such a manner that when a security layer proves to be insufficient another security layer can avert the safety flaws from consumable exposure and other consequences from the fruitful exploit. However, the number of layers and required tools differ from one organization to another.
6. Keep security simple
Adopt simple security design and practices. Complex designs increase the chances of errors that will affect implementation and configuration processes. In addition, achieving appropriate levels of assurance will not be realizable.
7. Sanitize data sent to other systems
Cleaning all data that passes through complex subsystems prevents attackers who invoke the unused functionality of these functionalities.
8. Data design and access
A little sabotage can cause great damage to your database. It’s important to take all the precautions to ensure variables are strongly typed and that all queries have the right parameters with stored procedures to prevent data access.
9. Positive security through default deny
It is important to base access decisions on permissions rather than elimination and outline only what is allowed while rejecting anything else. Consequently, entry will be denied when the defense scheme detects circumstances under which entry is allowed.
10. Plan and design for security policies
Proper planning with well-designed software that implements and enforces security policies prevents the vulnerability of the development life-cycle. Upfront identification of security requirements, providing software security, establishing secure coding standards and consistently verifying the effectiveness of security controls helps to enforce security policies.
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