eLearnSecurity Blog

Five Skills That Will Boost Your Pentesting Career

Finding your cyber security dream job starts with the proper training pathway.

Penetration testing is a fulfilling and lucrative position within the cyber security industry. Otherwise known as ethical hackers, pentesters work with companies to exploit weaknesses in their network, systems, and applications to ultimately create a safer online environment. If it sounds like you’re getting paid to hack, that’s exactly what’s happening.

The most successful pentesters all have common characteristics and training that give them a leg up on the rest of the industry. Puzzle solvers by nature, they are naturally curious about the online world they inhabit and are creative and detail-oriented enough to find and flesh out every vulnerability for their clients. 

But natural ability can only take a pentester so far. Many of the best have expertise in a wide range of cyber security subjects. Whether you want to break into the industry or you’re a seasoned veteran who’s looking to expand their knowledge, here are five skills you need to compete with the best.

Threat Hunting

Threat hunters proactively search for weaknesses in an organization’s network. They work inside an organization’s initial online defenses to search for issues a cyber criminal can exploit once they’ve bypassed the company’s firewall. Because bad actors can spend months collecting data and searching for ways to move laterally within a network for more valuable information, threat hunters are tasked with digging deep inside a company’s network and thinking like a cyber criminal.

Threat hunting classes train cyber security pros in the art and science of hunting within a company’s perimeters. Courses cover the tools necessary to fully complete the task at hand—including PowerShell, Sysmon, Microsoft ATP, and Redline. eLearnSecurity’s training classes also provide access to virtual labs where students can practice their newly developed skills.

Mobile Application Security

Mobile phones are a substantial vulnerability for companies, especially when employees connect their personal phones to networks. Ethical hackers that can skillfully test iOS and Android operating systems as well as mobile applications and communicate vulnerabilities are attractive to organizations concerned with mobile network security.

Like most training, mobile application security courses involve hands-on practice with tools specific to mobile app pentesting. If you’re taking eLearnSecurity’s Mobile Application Security and Penetration Testing v2 class, you can also take the eMAPT certification test at the end of the course for a strong resume builder.

Web Application Security

Businesses have moved functions online to allow employees to work remotely and collaborate across multiple offices. Even consumer products like online banking and online shopping are expanding rapidly into more advanced web applications, all of which provides malicious actors opportunities to steal personal information.

Web application penetration testing courses can train pentesters in the nuanced art of attacking web applications. Whether it’s HTML5 or Web 2.0 attacks, most organizations are looking for infosec professionals that have experience or are certified in web app security. 

Wi-Fi Security

With so many devices—including laptops, tablets, and mobile phones—connecting to a company’s wi-fi network, robust security standards are necessary to prevent cyber criminals from exploiting so many access points. Most successful penetration testers understand the nuanced architecture of wi-fi networks and can search for and exploit weaknesses.

eLearnSecurity’s Penetration Testing Professional and Exploit Development Classes cover a wide array of wi-fi security concerns and how to address them as a pentester.

Incident Response

Incident response and management classes teach you to effectively analyze, manage, and report cyber security vulnerabilities, allowing you to comprehensively communicate issues quickly and clearly. Penetration testers experienced in incident management are highly valuable because they help companies address their security needs quickly, potentially saving time and money.

When training for incident handling, you’ll learn the basics of how to analyze and immediately respond to security concerns. eLearnSecurity’s Incident Handling & Response Professional course teaches students how to detect and hunt cyber security intrusions through open-source IDS tools and SIEM solutions, communicate issues, and proficiently handle large-scale attacks. 

What separates beginner pentesters from their veteran colleagues is more than just years of experience. Those ethical hackers who move forward in the information security industry possess in-depth skills that make them more attractive to employers. If you’re interested in bridging that knowledge gap or you’re ready to take your training to the next level, check out eLearnSecurity’s library of cyber security courses.

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