With the growth and evolution of cybersecurity, there is an increasing demand for skilled professionals to protect computer networks and systems. The GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN) certification is one of the most popular pen testing certifications, validating an individual's proficiency in penetration testing.
The GPEN certification exam assesses an individual's ability to identify vulnerabilities and mitigate security risks in computer networks and systems.
What is the GIAC GPEN certification exam?
The GIAC GPEN certification is among the most well-known and widely-accepted pen testing certifications. The GIAC Penetration Tester certification validates that a practitioner can properly conduct a penetration test using best practices. The GIAC GPEN certification prepares individuals to conduct exploits, perform the detailed survey, and conduct penetration tests with a process-oriented approach.
This certification ensures the practitioner has the necessary skills and techniques to execute a successful penetration test. The GIAC GPEN certification is an internationally-recognized credential that employers highly sought after.
What is the GPEN certification exam format?
The GIAC GPEN certification exam is an entry-level exam you must complete in three hours. The GIAC GPEN certification exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions that cover a broad range of topics related to penetration testing, including network reconnaissance, vulnerability identification, and exploitation techniques.
What are the prerequisites to take the GIAC GPEN certification exam?
To prepare for the GIAC GPEN certification exam, candidates should have at least two years of information security experience and a deep understanding of TCP/IP networking. Candidates can also enroll in GIAC's official training course, which covers all the exam topics in detail and provides hands-on experience.
What are areas covered in the GIAC GPEN certification exam?
- Comprehensive pen test planning, scoping, and recon
- In-depth scanning and exploitation, post-exploitation, and pivoting
- In-depth password attacks
What is the passing score of the GIAC GPEN certification exam?
To pass the GIAC GPEN certification exam, candidates must score 74% or higher. Upon completion of the exam, candidates receive the GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN) certification, valid for four years.
Who should earn the GIAC GPEN certification?
The GIAC GPEN technical certification demonstrates a person's proficiency in pen testing and reporting using a process-oriented approach. The GIAC GPEN certification can benefit the following professionals:
- Security personnel who assess networks and systems for vulnerabilities and remediate them
- Penetration testers
- Ethical hackers
- Red Team members
- Blue Team members
- and Forensic specialists seeking a better understanding of offensive tactics
What are the objectives of the GIAC GPEN exam?
The candidate handbook contains sixteen outcome statements corresponding to each exam part. To pass the exam, candidates must master the skills taught in these topics. Each exam has multiple-choice questions, and you must score a minimum passing grade to pass.
Advanced Password Attacks: The candidates will be able to attack password hashes and authenticate using additional methods.
Attacking Password Hashes: The candidates will be able to obtain and attack password hashes and other password representations.
Azure Applications and Attack Strategies: Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of Azure applications, including federated and single sign-on environments and Azure AD authentication protocols.
Azure Overview, Attacks, and AD Integration: Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of Azure Active Directory implementation fundamentals, common Azure AD attacks, and Azure authentication methods.
Domain Escalation and Persistence Attacks: The candidates will demonstrate knowledge of Windows privilege escalation attacks and Kerberos attacks to consolidate and persist administrative access to Active Directory.
Escalation and Exploitation: The candidate will be able to demonstrate fundamental exploitation concepts, including data exfiltration from compromised hosts and pivoting to exploit other hosts.
Exploitation Fundamentals: The candidates will be able to demonstrate basic concepts associated with the exploitation phase.
Kerberos Attacks: The candidates will be able to demonstrate an understanding of attacks against Active Directory, including Kerberos attacks.
Metasploit: The candidates can configure and use the Metasploit Framework at an intermediate level.
Moving Files with Exploits: Using exploits, the candidates can move files between remote systems.
Password Attacks: The candidate will have a solid understanding of password attacks, formats, defenses, and the circumstances under which they should be used. The candidate will also be able to conduct password-guessing attacks.
Password Formats and Hashes: The candidates will demonstrate their understanding of password hashes and formats.
Penetration Test Planning: The candidate will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of pen-testing principles and use a process-oriented approach to penetration testing.
Penetration Testing with PowerShell and the Windows Command Line: The candidates will demonstrate an understanding of advanced Windows command line skills during a penetration test and an understanding of advanced Windows Power Shell skills.
Reconnaissance: The candidate will be able to understand the fundamentals of reconnaissance as well as how to acquire basic, high-level information on the target organization and network, which is often considered information leakages, such as technical and nontechnical public contacts, IP address ranges, document formats, and support systems.
Scanning and Host Discovery: The candidate can scan a network for potential targets and conduct port, operating system, and service version scans.
Vulnerability Scanning: The candidates can conduct vulnerability scans and analyze the results.
Is the GIAC GPEN certification exam worth it?
The GIAC GPEN certification is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and advanced-level certifications in penetration testing. With its comprehensive coverage of various topics, it equips holders with the necessary skills to participate in professional penetration testing projects right from the beginning.
Testing projects aim to find and exploit network, system, and application vulnerabilities. And achieving the GIAC GPEN certification is an excellent path to enhance your earning potential as a penetration tester.
The final say
When it comes to cybersecurity, the need for skilled and certified professionals is rising. The GIAC GPEN certification exam is a valuable credential for individuals who wish to demonstrate their expertise in penetration testing and ethical hacking. With the right preparation and training, you can pass the GIAC GPEN exam and gain the skills and knowledge to strengthen your career.
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