To effectively protect their assets, modern organizations must understand potential threat actors, the tools of their trade, and how they use them. This requires deliberately thinking and acting like them. Here’s where penetration testing (pen testing) plays a vital role.

Penetration testers identify and help resolve security vulnerabilities in organizations’ networks. Since pen testing is much more comprehensive than an automated vulnerability assessment, it requires skilled testers who often work for specialized penetration testing firms like Packetlabs. Increasingly, organizations prefer to hire penetration testers who hold Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification.

Here are 5 reasons why your organization should hire an OSCP penetration tester.

What is Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)?

The OSCP is a well-respected ethical hacking certification offered by Offensive Security, a company that specializes in penetration testing training and certifications. Offensive Security offers several certifications but the OSCP is probably one of the most well-known.

OSCP is also a foundational certification that teaches both penetration testing methodologies and how to use the tools included with the Kali Linux distribution.

Why Work with OSCP Penetration Testing Professionals

As an increasing number of organizations leverage penetration testing for its many benefits, the demand for skilled OSCP penetration testers is growing. The OSCP frequently makes it to every Top 10 list of pentest certifications. Here’s why!

i.  Comprehensive and focused on proactive security

To take the OSCP exam, candidates are required to complete the Penetration Testing Training with Kali Linux (PWK) course, where individuals can learn all about penetration testing tools and techniques, and practice in an “online lab”. PWK and OSCP are very comprehensive, covering in detail topics like:

  • Working with exploits
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Buffer overflows
  • Privilege escalations
  • Client-side attacks
  • Web application attacks
  • Password attacks,

and more.

Also, the OSCP is rooted in the belief that the only way to achieve robust security is by proactively testing security measures before a real intruder attacks. Other certifications cannot match this level of detail or proactiveness.

ii.  Hands-on

OSCP is 100% hands-on with a practical exam that “simulates” real-world scenarios. After completing the PWK course, candidates are tasked with hacking into multiple devices within a 24-hour period. They log into the simulated environment, research the network, exploit it to execute attacks and create an OSCP penetration test report. Thus, the exam allows them to test their skills in a quasi-real environment, which provides solid preparation for real-world problems.

iii. Proof of competence and advanced skills

OSCP focuses on the red team aspects of pen testing – a broad approach that leverages the methods of real-life attackers. OSCP holders are well-versed in finding vulnerabilities and are strong analytical thinkers and problem-solvers. These qualities make them really valuable additions to today’s security teams.

Although the OSCP is considered a beginner certification by Offensive Security, it is considered an intermediate/advanced exam by many other certification providers. To pass, candidates must spend time in the online lab, exploit the network and create a report. They must also have a solid understanding of TCP/IP networking, basic Bash and/or Python scripting, plus some real penetration testing experience. Again, all of this proves their competence and signals their ability to conduct penetration testing in the real world.

iv. Well-recognized certification

Since the OSCP comprehensively covers and tests hacking techniques that are used in penetration tests today, it has built up a strong reputation in the penetration testing community. Another reason it is highly regarded is that it tests students’ skills, time management skills, attention to detail, and their ability to produce valuable reports – all of which are in great demand with organizations everywhere.

v. OSCP Penetration Testers understand the organization’s threat environment better

The PWK and OSCP empower penetration testing professionals to learn how data can be stolen, and more importantly, how it can be protected. They learn how potential attackers exploit vulnerabilities to launch attacks, which enables them to think more broadly about the best way to defend their systems and to repair damage in case of an attack.

Wrap-up: Do I Need an OSCP Penetration Testing Professional?

Most certifications are not as extensive as the OSCP when it comes to exploiting vulnerabilities and understanding them in detail. OSCP penetration testing professionals have practical knowledge of security risks, attack methods and tools – all of which are vital for effective penetration testing and more importantly, to strengthen the organization’s security posture.

The Packetlabs team of OSCP penetration testing professionals can demonstrate comprehensive hands-on mastery of penetration testing. They’re also perceptive, persistent, detail-oriented and creative. This unique mix of hard and soft skills enables them to conduct comprehensive pen tests. They also create insight-rich reports that enable organizations to address critical vulnerabilities and strengthen their cyber defense strategy. Contact us today to schedule a penetration test for your organization.