Cyber attacks continue to evolve, with cybercriminals creating new sophisticated methods to attain data, making it crucial for enterprises to defend and protect the cyberspace. Enterprises are on the hunt for solutions that can curb the problem using their IT security staff or third-party consultants. Either way, businesses need a Licensed Penetration Tester (Master) who can investigate vulnerabilities with the latest pentesting tools, techniques, and methodologies. The penetration tester assesses, scans, and secures information technology segments based on the threats, risks, and trends that the systems present.
Penetration testing (pen-testing or pentesting) is a method of testing, measuring, and enhancing established security measures on information systems and support areas. Pen-testing is also known as a security assessment. 
Penetration testers are highly-trained professionals who can employ creative ways beyond the use of automated tools to identify vulnerabilities in a system. The human involvement is essential to stimulate an attack and uncover vulnerabilities. “White hat” hackers need additional training to add penetration testing to their arsenal of skills as ethical hacking is only a part of the pentesting process. They either go through intensive training or learn on the job. But to grow in the industry, you must acquire skills that are often in-demand by employers. This can be done through a series of credentialing programs.
Vulnerability Assessment Vs. Penetration Testing
Often the terms vulnerability testing and penetration testing are used interchangeably, although there is a considerable difference between them.
Vulnerability assessments are the identification and reporting of vulnerabilities that exist in the system, whereas a penetration test is an authorized attack on the system to verify its security. The pen test attempts to exploit the vulnerabilities to understand whether there is any possibility of unauthorized access.
|Vulnerability Assessment||Penetration Testing|
|Performed using automated tools.||Both automated and manual tools are employed.|
|Positives may not be accurate.||Accuracy is critical.|
|It is a prerequisite of pentesting.||Vulnerability assessment is a small part of the pentest process.|
|Documentation is not a must.||Detailed documentation is a must.|
Career Path to becoming a Great Pentester
EC-Council’s VAPT Track has three levels and includes these credentialing and training programs:
Core: Certified Network Defender (C|ND), Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH), and Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) Practical.
Advanced: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) and EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) Practical.
Expert: Licensed Penetration Tester (L|PT) Master exam.
|EC-Council’s VAPT Track To Becoming A Great Penetration Tester|
|FIRST STAGE||SECOND STAGE||THIRD STAGE|
|Certified Network Defender (C|ND)
The program focuses on creating Administration and Network engineers who are trained to detect, protect, and respond to threats on the network. to foster resilience and continuity of operations even at the time of attacks.
Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH)
The program trains you on advanced hacking tools and techniques, immersing you in a hacker’s mindset so that you can better defend against future attacks.
Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) Practical
The CEH Practical is a rigorous six-hour, 100% hands-on exam that tests your knowledge of ethical hacking techniques such as OS detection, network scanning, vulnerability assessment, system hacking, and much more.
|EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)
In continuation with the C|EH program, ECSA covers a set of comprehensive methodologies that are used to perform penetration tests across different verticals.
EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) Practical
A 12-hour, rigorous, hands-on exam that tests your penetration testing skills. It expects you to demonstrate the application of penetration methodologies that were learned in the ECSA program and perform a comprehensive security audit of an organization.
|Licensed Penetration Tester (L|PT) Master
LPT Master is the world’s first fully online and remotely proctored eighteen-hour, performance-based exam. The program requires you to deploy pentesting tools and techniques including multi-level pivoting, SSH tunneling, privilege escalation, web application exploitation, OS vulnerabilities exploits, etc. in a real-time environment on hardened machines, networks, and applications.
How LPT (Master) Compares to the Competition
|Differentiators||LPT (Master)||Other Pentesting Exams|
|Platforms Application||It is not specific to any platform and even covers different platforms like mobile, web, IoT, and more.||Many of the pentesting programs concentrate on web applications and mobile applications, neglecting other technologies.|
|Remotely Proctored Examination||LPT (Master) is the world’s only remotely proctored examination to ensure the authenticity of the taker. The 18-hour exam tests the endurance, perseverance, and concentration skills of the candidate.||Other pentesting exams can be attempted online but are not proctored and therefore the identity of the test-taker is not verified.|
|Certification Credibility||LPT (Master) is a credential in itself. Through its practical approach, it assures that the candidate truly possesses the knowledge, skill, and ability to carry out a successful pentest and create a functional report.||Many of the pentesting programs summarise the ethical hacking concepts and straight-away move to their applications. Even though the format qualifies you as a penetration tester, in the real world, the methodology makes you less efficient.|