How Do I Get a Penetration Test Certification?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 June 2019
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To get penetration test certification, you should typically find a qualified and recognized organization that offers this type of certification and pass the necessary test. In order to pass the test, you should have training or experience in performing penetration testing, which you can gain in a number of ways. Professional experience is certainly helpful, but may be difficult to gain without this certification, so you may want to take a training course. Once you are sufficiently prepared, then you should sign up for the test and pass with a score necessary to gain certification.

Penetration test certification refers to a process by which you can be certified in utilizing various tools and methods to perform penetration testing. This is a form of test in which you scan and map out a computer network to find weaknesses within it. Using those weaknesses, you can then launch an attack on that network to find if it is actually vulnerable, and document your progress to demonstrate ways in which network security can be improved. Penetration test certification can help you find a job in network or information security, where such testing is commonly performed.


You need to learn to perform penetration testing before you can take the exam necessary to gain penetration test certification. If you already work within the information security industry, then you may be able to learn about penetration testing while on the job. Otherwise, you should look for books, websites, and similar resources so you can teach yourself how to perform this testing. There are also a number of organizations that offer a training course or seminar in penetration testing, which may be offered by groups associated with organizations that offer penetration test certification.

Once you have the training necessary to actually perform effective penetration testing, including password scans, network mapping, and using software to attack a network, then you can take an exam to earn penetration test certification. There are a number of organizations that offer this type of certification, though you should look for a group that is reputable and recognized within the computer and network security industries. Certification is typically only as good as the reputation of the company that offered it, so you should be sure to get penetration test certification from a well-known organization. These tests can be quite expensive, so make sure you are ready to pass it the first time.



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