Penetration testers are the foundation of network security. Most of these professionals are hackers turned professional security auditors. Penetration testers ensure that a corporate network is safe from various Internet threats including DDoS, viruses and trojans. These professionals make great salaries while doing something they love – trying to hack into a corporate network from the inside.
Job Description: What Does a Penetration Tester Do?
A penetration tester creates scripts and uses knowledge and experience to find vulnerabilities in corporate networks, applications and internal systems. Penetration testers also use out-of-the-box applications that automate testing. The goal is to automate the hacking process, but testers can also manually make attempts to breach security. Once vulnerabilities are found, the penetration testers advise business managers how to better secure their systems.
Penetration Tester Job Responsibilities and Duties
Penetration testers have several responsibilities outside of scripting hacks. Responsibilities include working with managers to document threats, and designing security protocols and policies. Hacking is a difficult task even if it’s a hobby for most hackers. Penetration testers find responsibilities frustrating – where hobbyists can move on to another system, penetration testers must continue efforts on the same system.
Some other responsibilities include:
- Create new tests to identify vulnerabilities across several systems
- Use physical security tests and identify areas that need physical protection
- Find vulnerabilities in popular, common software as well as proprietary applications
- Pinpoint entry points for hackers
- Use social engineering to identify improvement for security awareness and education
- Remember corporate considerations when performing penetration testing (limit downtime and employee productivity loss)
- Keep aware of the latest security threats and malware
- Review current corporate policies and help redefine procedures for better security
- Enhance current hardware and software with implementations of better security standards
- Document feedback and reports for review of main business managers
The above responsibilities are typical for most penetration tester positions, but you might have additional job duties depending on the business. There are also other jobs with similar titles that blur the line between penetration testing and security auditing and defense. Most security professionals work together as a team to protect the overall corporate network and its apps.