Penetration Testing Career Track – Addressing the Skills Gap

With the rise of ransomware, social engineering, and identity theft, organizations are no longer surprised that the biggest threat to them is literally right under their nose. According to the latest Data Breach Investigations Report that analyzed 2,260 breaches globally, it took attackers just minutes or less to compromise systems in more than 93 percent of breaches. Against this backdrop, digital enterprises have a choice: either ignore the risks, and face the eventuality of a serious cyber-attack or take informed, proactive steps to protect the business and brand. The benchmark for a successful security strategy has gone beyond simply relying on robust testing tools that only skim the surface of the complicated problem

Today, organizations can improve their security programs in several ways, including black-box Penetration Testing, threat modeling, code reviews, etc. but these efforts are hampered by constraints such as time, cost, and the reluctance (or legal obligation not) to share information with third parties. Regardless of the challenges, security teams must strive to achieve a high level of security assurance while working within these constraints.

While remaining compliant to industry standards and frameworks, organizations today need certified and highly skilled Penetration Testing resources and fewer false positives to continuously innovate and focus on the core business, without compromising their security.

When it comes to top tier penetration testers, companies require qualified individuals with up-to-date knowledge of the latest vulnerabilities and techniques used by real attackers. Given this, organizations have a choice to either have penetration testers following checklists and using automated tools without the innate ability and skills to defend organizations, or address this lack of Penetration Testing skills by investing in training. Much has been written about the cybersecurity skills gap, and employers play a role in this problem, as pointed by the recent survey by conducted by Vera code and

Source: Tripwire, Security Skills Gap Survey

As a part of its continuous effort to align the skills of Penetration Testers to the abilities and techniques of an advanced attacker, EC-Council has a range of programs to build better penetration testers. The Certified Ethical Hacker Program (CEH) program teaches students the fundamental knowledge they need to understand how hackers think and operate. The EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) Program requires that candidates to demonstrate their skills based on the penetration testing framework methodology.

LPT Exam Challenges Represent the Current Threat Scenario

The LPT (Master) learning track ensures that successful candidates have the knowledge of advanced tools and techniques used by hackers, the skills to apply critical penetration testing methodologies, and finally, the ability to use attacking techniques against a real world enterprise network. Candidates prove their abilities in an environment with multiple network segments, firewalls, Demilitarized Zones (DMZ), various operating systems, access control policies, and layers of security controls. The successful LPT (Master) candidate proves that they have the ability to follow a standard, repeatable penetration testing methodology to achieve a consistent result i.e.  skills they can immediately put to use to protect their organization.

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