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Penetration Tester Career Overview
Penetration testers assist organizations and businesses recognize or identify and settle or resolve security susceptibilities and weaknesses influencing their computer networks and digital assets. Some hold in-home positions with lasting and permanent employers, working as part of internal cyber security or information technology (IT) teams or groups. Others work for exclusive and specialized firms that gives penetration-testing services to end customers or clients.
Industries that deal with tall and high volumes of distinctive, sensitive, classified, or exclusive details tend to conduct or bring penetration testers on in taller and higher numbers. Several employers place more prominence on the applicants or candidate’s experience and knowledge than their formal academic or educational backgrounds. Although, employers progressively prefer candidates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, Information Technology, cyber security, or an interconnected or related specialization.
The profession trends to allure curious, social or ethical minds with modern or advanced technical skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes penetration testers under the wider parasol of “information security analysts.” The BLS projects a 30-32% grow in demand for details or information security analysts betwixt 2018 and 2028, and reports a 2019 medium salary of almost $100,000 per year.
What Does a Penetration Tester Do?
Few penetration testing jobs convey or carry other titles, like “assurance validator”, “ethical hacker”. These terms reflect the vital jobs or duties of a penetration tester (or “pen tester”): to seek, recognize, and try to breach living and existing weaknesses in computing networks and digital systems. These networks and systems comprise websites, data storage systems, and further IT assets.
Numerous people confuse penetration testing with susceptibility testing. In reality, these two cyber security specializations have definite differentiation. Susceptibility testers look for defects and weaknesses or fragility during a security program’s design and setup states and phases. Penetration testing executives particularly seek out defects and flaw in living, active systems.
Penetration testing teams or groups imitate and simulate cyber attacks and further security breaches designed to gain private, sensitive, or proprietary details and information. They use existing hacking gadgets or tools and techniques as well as conceive their own. Throughout a simulated strike or attack, pen testers document their actions to initiate or generate detailed reports indicating how they handled to bypass constructed or established security agreements, and to what degree.
Organizationally, penetration testing groups or teams build value by assisting their employers keep away from the public relations fallout and loss of customer belief and confidence that accompany real hacks and cyberattacks. They also assist organizations and businesses or trades upgrade their digital security estimates or measures within established budgetary imprisons or confines.
The divisions that follow investigate key soft and hard penetration tester skills.
Penetration Tester Salary
According to PayScale data from August 2020, the average penetration tester salary in the U.S. sits at $84,690 per year. Although, numerous elements and factors influence or affect a professional’s salary, such as occurrence or experience. The chart below elucidates the typical salaries obtained and earned by penetration testers at different phases of their careers.
Average Yearly Earnings or Salary of Security Analysts by Experience, 2020
Entry Level Early Career Midcareer Experienced
Average Salary $66,380 $78,090 $105,870 $118,910
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