What is a Licensed Penetration Tester?

What is a licensed penetration tester? Penetration tester is considered one of the most popular positions in the rapidly growing cybersecurity job market. Being a penetration tester requires a lot of effort as it is a skill-based role.

What is Penetration Testing?

Before considering becoming a penetration tester, it's important to understand what penetration testing is. In simple terms, penetration testing is a security testing and assessment method that involves simulating the techniques and methods used by hackers to discover security vulnerabilities in target systems, gain control of the systems, access confidential data, and identify potential security risks that may impact business operations.

The key difference between penetration testing and hacker intrusion is that penetration testing is authorized by the client and uses controlled and non-destructive methods to discover weaknesses in the target and network devices. It helps managers understand the problems their networks are facing and provides security recommendations to improve system security.

Penetration testing includes black-box testing, white-box testing, and gray-box testing:

  • Black-box testing: It refers to testing the security of network infrastructure from the outside without knowledge of the internal technical architecture of the unit being tested.
  • White-box testing: Testers have access to the network structure and various underlying technologies of the unit being tested. Using targeted testing methods and tools, they can discover and verify the most serious security vulnerabilities in the system with minimal cost.
  • Gray-box testing: Penetration testers have limited knowledge and information about the target system. They choose the best path for penetration testing based on the obtained knowledge and gradually penetrate the internal network from the outside. The underlying topology of the target network helps them choose better attack routes and methods to achieve better penetration testing results.

What is a Licensed Penetration Tester?

A Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) is a trained professional who can thoroughly analyze the security status of a given network and authoritatively propose corrective measures. As a penetration tester, you will be responsible for protecting computer information systems from attacks by adversaries. You will perform tests on applications, networks, and software. You will attempt to infiltrate, which allows you to access unauthorized data that individuals should not have access to. You will be responsible for identifying any potential vulnerabilities in existing systems and working with other departments and professionals to determine the most effective and efficient methods of addressing these issues. This may involve adding new or additional security measures and rewriting program code.

Other responsibilities of a penetration tester include reviewing any security system incidents, documenting threats, and completing reports regarding your findings. You may also be required to design improved security protocols and strategies.

You will utilize your knowledge to identify vulnerabilities in networks, internal systems, and applications. This may involve automated testing, but it may also require manual attempts to breach security. It may also involve creating new tests to identify system weaknesses and ascertain the adversary's entry points. After discovering vulnerabilities, you will be responsible for providing recommendations to managers or executives on how to make the systems more secure.

How to Become a Penetration Tester?

1. Develop Testing Skills: Penetration testers need in-depth knowledge of information technology (IT) and security systems to test their vulnerabilities. Skills that you may find in a penetration tester job description include network and application security, programming languages (especially scripting languages like Python, BASH, Java, Ruby, and Perl), and familiarity with Linux, Windows, and macOS environments.

2. Obtain Certifications: Security certifications demonstrate to recruiters and employers that you possess the necessary skills to succeed in the industry. In addition to more general cybersecurity certifications, you can also obtain penetration testing or ethical hacking certifications. Some notable certifications to consider include:

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
CompTIA PenTest+
GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT)
Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)


Obtaining one of these certifications typically requires passing an exam. Besides adding credentials to your resume, preparing for certification exams can also help you develop your skills.

3. Gain Practical Experience: Many companies prefer to hire experienced penetration testers. Therefore, you may consider internships and part-time positions to gain sufficient experience for formal employment.


We hope the above information helps you understand what a licensed penetration tester is. Additionally, as a practitioner in the field, it would be beneficial for you to explore more third-party service providers. WeTest testing solutions based on real devices can be an asset to your career journey, as automated testing helps you save a significant amount of time and effort, and the investment is worthwhile.

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