Penetration Testing Lab Fundamentals

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Anthony Sequeira
Nugget trainer since 2012
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Penetration Testing FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

What exactly is penetration testing?

Penetration testing, often referred to simply as pentesting, is a special cybersecurity technique that simulates real-world cyberattacks to test a network or system's security. Pentesting is considered a proactive cybersecurity technique, which means it's used to seek out and discover previously unknown vulnerabilities. When a vulnerability is discovered during pen testing, part of the process is to document and prove the vulnerability so that it can be fixed and made secure.

Is penetration testing a hard job?

Yes, penetration testing can be a hard job for a few reasons – not least of which is the technical complexity of the job as well as the evolving nature of cybersecurity threats. Doing penetration testing professionally requires training and practice using specialized tools and techniques. The information uncovered by a penetration test is often highly technical and must be analyzed by someone with experience with the network and the vulnerability.

What field of work is penetration testing?

Penetration testing is a part of the broader field of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity involves all the practices and technologies that keep computer systems, networks and data safe from unauthorized access and threats. Penetration testing is a specialized skill, and it isn't something that's expected of every cybersecurity professional. In fact, the sensitive nature of penetration testing usually means that tests are done by dedicated professionals or teams, sometimes even third-party experts.

What are the key principles of penetration testing?

Penetration testing is a large field with professionals from different backgrounds and experiences, so the key principles can change from one pentester to the next. But generally speaking, thorough assessment, simulation of real-world attacks and actionable recommendations are the foundational principles of professional penetration testing. Penetration testing involves ethical hacking techniques and comprehensive analysis, leading to identifying system vulnerabilities, those key principles ensure the information uncovered is useful and accurate.

Who should take this course on penetration testing?

Penetration testing is a specialized career field, and one of the more challenging cybersecurity roles to be qualified for – so the best audience for this course are cybersecurity professionals who would like to advance their career into a specialized niche. Software developers and systems administrators can also learn a lot about security practices by taking this course – ensuring that their networks and code are much better protected from bad actors.
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