The process of penetration test training can vary quite a bit, depending on the specific components of a particular training program. In general, however, someone typically learns the various steps and processes involved in running a penetration test on a computer system. This can include just about anything from writing computer programs used in testing to understanding how information gained by these programs can be used throughout the test procedure. Some penetration test training programs can even teach people to better understand how to pitch and utilize penetration testing to a company, to sell the services of someone certified in penetration testing.
Penetration test training is typically a course in which someone learns how to conduct penetration testing on a computer network or similar system. There are a number of organizations that offer penetration test training, and the specific lessons taught depend on the group offering the course. In general, however, this training typically begins with scanning and mapping of the network to find weaknesses within it, then learning to use those weaknesses to launch a simulated attack on the network.
While there is software available that can be used in penetration testing, some training programs teach students to develop their own software for such tests. These training programs are often fairly short, so someone should already have a good amount of computer knowledge and programming experience. Other lessons taught in penetration test training can include packet sniffing procedures and network mapping to determine information about a computer network. Training may then include lessons on how to use this information to install rootkits or other malware into a system to crack passwords and attack the network.
Some of the social aspects of penetration testing may also be taught in penetration test training programs. This can include the use of social engineering methods to trick employees of a company into revealing passwords and other information used by ethical “white hat” hackers hired by that company. Not all companies initially understand the value of penetration testing, however, so some programs also teach students to better pitch the idea of testing to these companies. This allows someone who has completed penetration test training to sell their skills to businesses and executives, and to then use the testing to generate useful information that those companies can utilize to better secure their systems.