About PT0-001 Exam
Passing the CompTIA PT0-001 exam is proof that a candidate can effortlessly complete the tasks associated with managing vulnerabilities and penetration testing. This is the only test that prepares students for the PenTest+ certification. The CompTIA PT0-001 exam is ISO accredited and suits individuals with the Security+ or Network+ certification or equivalent training. Such candidates also possess between 3-4 years of proven experience in an information security-centered role.
About CompTIA PenTest+ Certification: What Does It Entail?
To begin with, the PenTest+ belongs to the CompTIA Cybersecurity path and is an intermediate-level program that confirms the professional mastery of penetration testing as a way to mitigate information system vulnerabilities. This certificate is well suited to all individuals wishing to demonstrate their willingness to assess network resilience and protect their systems from digital attacks. Success in this path will confirm your mid-level skills to optimize the general IT security as part of effective collaboration with other professionals and your systems.
CompTIA PT0-001: What’s Testing Format and Number of Questions?
The PT0-001 exam combines multiple-choice questions and performance-based items to assess the candidate’s knowledge of penetration testing as a critical aspect of information security. It has a total of 85 questions which you must attempt in 165 minutes. While grading is done on a scale of 100-900, only those candidates who manage to score 750 points and above will be considered to have qualified for the PenTest+ certificate. Also, the current exam is only available in English and Japanese languages and the estimated cost for scheduling it is $370. It's worth mentioning that the vendor plans to introduce a new version of this test in October 2021 namely PT0-002, which will have more expansive coverage of the current domains. Of course, after scheduling this exam, you can choose to take it as a physical test or through the online proctored method, which allows for seamless testing from any location.
Test Domains: What Should You Know about Every Exam Section?
Regarding the areas that will be tested in the final evaluation, here’s what every candidate needs to know about them:
1. Planning and Scoping (15%)
This knowledge area starts by evaluating the candidates’ knowledge of explaining the significance of planning as part of an engagement. Then, it addresses the knowledge of expounding on legal concepts, the significance of scoping an engagement in the right way, and the key aspects associated with compliance-based assessments like rules to complete the latter, policies for passwords, the isolation of data, and limitations.
2. Information Gathering and Vulnerability Identification (22%)
This topic covers a wide range of skills including conducting information gathering with the right techniques, performing a vulnerability scan and analyzing the results, explaining the steps for leveraging information as part of exploitation and detailing the vulnerabilities of specialized systems. All in all, this section is extensively built around a ton of concepts such as biometrics, embedded, RTOS, SCADA, adjudication, container security, debugging, decompilation, scanning, and enumeration among the rest.
3. Attacks and Exploits (30%)
The topic of Attacks and Exploits will address the learner’s skills in comparing and contrasting social engineering attacks, exploiting network-centered vulnerabilities when given a case scenario, and exploiting RF-centered and wireless vulnerabilities using case scenarios. Also, this domain will highlight what the candidates need to know about exploiting application-centered vulnerabilities, local host vulnerabilities, summarizing physical security attacks relating to facilities, and performing post-exploitation techniques from case scenarios. Thus, it's important to understand what is meant by fence jumping, lock bypass, badge cloning, lock picking, sandbox escape, OS vulnerabilities, injections, and bluejacking before focusing on this section.
4. Penetration Testing Tools (17%)
From the name, this domain assesses the candidate’s knowledge relating to a series of penetration testing tools. The skills addressed here include using Nmap when gathering information, comparing and contrasting different case tools, analyzing tool output or the data associated with penetration testing, and analyzing a basic script limited to Python, PowerShell, Ruby, and Bash. Of course, you will be given a scenario and expected to complete the above-mentioned operations.
5. Reporting and Communication (16%)
The topic of Reporting and Communication in the PenTest+ exam is exclusively focused on recommending mitigation strategies for the identified vulnerabilities, explaining the significance of communication as part of the penetration testing process, explaining the activities related to post-report delivery, and using the best practices of report writing and handling when given a scenario.
Career Opportunities: Will You Qualify for New Roles?
Now, let's focus on your job prospects with the CompTIA PenTest+ certification:
- Penetration Tester
Penetration testers are part of the broader ethical hacking group of IT specialists who are known to breach computer and network systems to detect system vulnerabilities. These individuals work closely with other information security professionals to keep the malicious hackers at bay by ensuring the company’s critical information is secure. Of course, your role as a penetration tester will depend on the company you are working for. But in general, here’s an outline of what your roles and responsibilities will look like:
- Conducting tests on computer networks and security systems;
- Performing physical security evaluation;
- Periodic conducting of security audits;
- Analyzing the existing security policies;
- Writing detailed security reports.
According to PayScale.com, a typical penetration tester makes an average salary of $86,034 per year.
- Security Analyst (II)
In general, security analysts monitor security access. These are experienced IT specialists who assess security systems using risk analysis and vulnerability testing. Their role entails conducting extensive external & internal security audits, analyzing the evident security breaches to identify the potential causes, and updating the organization on the status of their security systems and suitable data recovery strategies. On that note, these individuals receive an average annual compensation of $67,645 as rendered by PayScale.
- Vulnerability Assessment Analyst
Vulnerability analysts are responsible for detecting weaknesses in network systems and software and implementing the right measures to mitigate them. Their job scope includes developing mitigation strategies for network systems, applications, and operating systems. Also, they may be involved in compiling and tracking the system weaknesses and the mitigation results, creating and maintaining the vulnerability management procedures and policies, and reviewing the basic requirements for security solutions. According to information on the PayScale official website, a vulnerability assessment skill earns you an average salary of $83,114 per year.
What Next? Your Career Path
Once you’ve earned the PenTest+ designation, you may leverage your skills by opting for the CASP+ or CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certificate, which is the advanced-level endorsement in the cybersecurity field.