An Image of an Ethical Hacker with a Penetration Testing Certification

The Best Penetration Testing Certifications 2019

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
  • Cryptography

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.
  • Reconnaissance
  • 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


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