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Today’s digital landscape is a virtual war zone. Companies are constantly on the defense from cyberattack. Black hat hackers, or cybercriminials with malicious intent, are always evolving their methods and searching for new points of entry. Many companies make the mistake of believing that once they put security measures in place, they are safe from attack. In reality, these measures need constant testing and updates. This is why every company needs a “pentester.”
What is a ‘pentester?’
Pentester is just an abbreviation of the title penetration tester. These individuals are skilled real-world hackers with current industry and technological knowledge. A pentester’s job is to simulate a variety of attacks across a company’s network to determine where vulnerabilities exist. This can mean simulated malware infection or testing employees through disguised social engineering. The pentester then reports his or her findings in a detailed document. The report will also include suggestions as to how the vulnerabilities and points of entry could be eliminated. In the webinar “So you want to be a pentester?” the National Cybersecurity Institute further discusses the responsibilities of a pentester and the training it takes to become one.
“Ethical hackers engage in cyber infiltration at the request of the company’s leaders to help improve cyberdefenses.”
Understanding the difference between ethical hacking and bad actors
Most company leaders have the impression that all hackers are bad. In reality, there are two distinct categories of hackers. The first and most commonly recognized is the “black hat hacker.” Named after the villains from old Western movies who wore black hats to establish their moral affiliation, these hackers are the “bad guys” of the digital landscape. Their intent is usually malicious and financially driven. Ethical hackers, on the other hand, do the same technological work as bad actors but with different intent. Ethical hackers, like pentesters, engage in cyber infiltration at the request of the company’s leaders to help improve cyberdefense and information security.
The benefits of hiring a pentester
Pentesters have up-to-date knowledge on cyberthreats. They may also have the ability to foresee where cyberattack trends are headed. This can put a company in an excellent position to defend itself and prevent data theft. Properly trained individuals with strong communication skills make the best pentesters.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a pentester, you should consider earning a degree or certification through the National Cybersecurity Institute. At NCI, students are given the opportunity to learn from industry leaders and study the latest threat patterns. For more information, visit NCI’s website today.