Penetration Tester

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With the growing numbers and types of hacking attacks that occur around the world on a daily basis, companies need to know the tools and methods used by unethical hackers so that the hackers can be foiled and so that a company’s data can be protected and secure. Most often, this knowledge is supplied by a Penetration Tester.

The main duty of a Penetration Tester is to break into a computer network to determine vulnerabilities and find exploits. Therefore, a Penetration Tester is considered an Ethical Hacker. (The difference between a Hacker and an Ethical Hacker is that the Ethical Hacker has the permission, if not the encouragement, of the network owner to hack into the network.)

A Penetration Tester will carry out many activities to fulfill his duties. This individual will break into a network using various hacking tools and operating systems; assess the state of the network, computer systems, and servers; analyze an organization’s security policies and procedures; report his findings; and make recommendations for securing the network. A Penetration Tester works on all security aspects of wireless networks, computers, servers, databases, software, and proprietary company information. Each of these areas is different, requiring specialized knowledge and tools, and many Penetration Testers specialize in only one or two of them.

General Educational Requirements

Many organizations recognize that hacking abilities may be obtained through off-the-grid experience (sometimes starting at a very early age) and need not depend on a great deal of education. Demonstrated experience may be more important to an employer than degrees.

Additional Qualifications

Although a Penetration Tester generally runs existing software and used existing tools to hack into a system, he/she also must be capable of designing his own testing methods. This requires creativity, imagination, and a deep level of technical knowledge and know-how. Some Penetration Tester positions may require one or more of the following certifications: CISSP, GIAC, CEH.

A Penetration Tester should have an understanding of industry best-practice methodologies and experience with Web application architecture, various management Systems, network security products, cryptographic suites, firewalls (especially how to bypass them), and evading intrusion detection.

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