For someone new to the IT Security field, the question of how much do Penetration testers make can be a bit perplexing. Often times, it is hard to separate the two categories of personnel who perform this important job. While some people believe that ethical hackers are the only people who understand the inner workings of a network, others say that it is the penetration tester who knows what is going on. Regardless of how one looks at things, it is undeniable that ethical hackers and penetration testers to work together on a daily basis. Here are some of the reasons why.
Both Jobs Involve Network Security Testing. One of the biggest arguments that network security experts have for the necessity of pen-testing (penetration testing) is that it prevents viruses from being introduced into a computer network. Many people who defend corporations argue that viruses cannot infect a computer if the computer’s anti-virus software has been updated. However, in order to get a virus into a computer, an unethical hacker must have knowledge of how to bypass the anti-virus protection software. Therefore, while antivirus software can prevent the virus from spreading, it can not stop an unethical hacker from getting past the most advanced anti-virus software.
Both Jobs Involve Ethical Hacker Techniques. While many people mistakenly think that ethical hackers are simply people who write exploits for fun, the reality is that these professionals are also very skillful network security testers. They often test the security of corporate web-based applications like email or internet commerce systems. Pen testers also test other types of web-based applications, like desktop email, Java applets and multimedia content, in order to find vulnerabilities in the way these applications are designed and run.
How Much Do Penetration Testers Make When Testing Computer Networked Systems? In order to find the holes in a system, pen testers will exploit both the holes in a system and the security weaknesses that exist because of those holes. This means that in order to find the holes in a computer network, penetration testers must compromise a computer in order to conduct their testing.
How Much Do Penetration Testers Make?
While it’s possible to hack into a system without gaining access to the inner workings of that system, it’s not practical to do so. Because if you were to discover a hole in a computer network without a vulnerability and then find a way to exploit the security vulnerability, you could spend months trying to figure out what the hole was and how to fill it. By contrast, a penetration test that involves finding the security weaknesses in a system allows a penetration tester to simply gain access to the information security testing environment. Once they’ve gained access, they can find the holes in the application and then work to find a way around the security vulnerability.
However, even though many penetration testers are ethical hackers, not all of them are. There are a lot of penetration testers that work for IT consulting firms or companies that provide web-based security testing. Many of these companies hire penetration testers from within their own company because they don’t want to spend the money to hire an outside consultant. Often, these consultants bring skills that the company doesn’t have in order to perform their tests properly.
In general, the more experience a penetration tester has, the more valuable they are to a consulting firm. A fresh graduate with just a few months of experience performing web-based applications penetration testing can easily compete with seasoned professional consultants. Experienced consultants will be able to identify more weaknesses in a system than a newbie.
How much do penetration testers make also depends on what type of information security program they’re working on. While there are many penetration testers who only perform network or web-based applications testing, others may specialize in fixing software. These specialized pen testers often have a greater understanding of the vulnerabilities of specific software that need to be repaired.