Learn more about what CREST certification means and get guidance on why CREST accreditation is important for a pen testing provider.
Penetration testing, sometimes known as pen testing, is a form of ethical hacking. This consists of a team of highly qualified penetration testers attempting to hack IT infrastructure, networks, systems and applications at the request of the customer.
Keep reading to find out why CREST penetration tests are the gold standard in the cyber security industry.
What does penetration testing look for?
Penetration tests look to identify potential security vulnerabilities to understand your company’s risk of cyberattack, including:
- Where a hacker might target you
- How they would access your systems
- How your defences would cope
- The potential impact of a breach
But not all companies offering pen testing deliver the same level of service or operate with the same standards, which, in and of itself, can be a major security risk.
That’s why so many companies are opting for CREST penetration testing, which is a pen testing service conducted by a CREST accredited or CREST certified provider.Speak to an Expert
CREST, or the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers, is a not-for-profit organisation and certification body serving the technical information security marketplace. It provides assurance for those needing assistance with digital security by validating the processes, procedures and credibility of its members.
CREST provides companies who offer the highest quality managed security services with an internationally recognised CREST penetration testing methodology and certification. They also provide individual professional certification for pen testers and other security professionals working on incident response, threat intelligence and Security Operations Centre (SOC) services.
The main aim of the certifications that CREST offers is to “increase professionalism in the security testing industry”. To become members, prospective applicants must undergo a rigorous assessment.
To achieve CREST accreditation, companies must meet multiple criteria covering operating procedures and standards, personnel security and development and of course their own data security and security testing methodologies. They also have to supply insurance certificates, sample client contracts and terms and copies of standards compliance certificates e.g. ISO 27001 and ISO 9001.
These factors are described as meaningful market differentiators by CREST and form part of CREST’s code of conduct and ongoing requirements which member companies must adhere to for membership and accreditations to be refreshed each year.
CREST accreditation gives organisations seeking Penetration Testing Services, Threat Intelligence or Incident Response Services with confidence the work will be carried out by qualified individuals with the latest knowledge, skills and competence of vulnerabilities and techniques used by real attackers.
DigitalXRAID is one of the first companies in the world to gain CREST certification for multiple services back in 2019. Certified services include CREST penetration testing, which is also CHECK approved, and our CREST accredited 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC). You can view our member profile and further CREST certifications here.
What is CREST accredited penetration testing?
Individual pen testing CREST accreditations, such as CREST Registered Penetration Tester (CRT), are important for a pen testing provider to know that they can deliver a full range of services. Examinations cover topics such as:
- Hacking attack phases
- Techniques for scanning the network
- TCP/IP protocols
- Network devices including routers and firewalls
- Wi-Fi protocols and security
- ARP & DNS spoofing
- MAC duplicating
- DHCP attacks
- Encryption protocols (DES, 3DES, AES, RC4)
- Encoding and Hashing protocols
- File permission
- Domain reconnaissance
- EoP (Elevation of privilege) on windows
- Post exploitation techniques, and “shell” escapes
- Microsoft Exchange attack vectors
- Common Windows application vulnerabilities
- HTTP protocol
- OWASP: Testing guide
- And many others!
With the proliferation of digital technology, organisations are faced with a serious security challenge. Therefore, it’s imperative that the penetration service provider they engage to test and protect their networks, systems, applications and overall business are of the highest reputation and ability.
CREST penetration testing is one of the most highly revered certifications awarded by CREST. Approval to deliver CREST penetration testing services provides assurance to customers that the team of penetration testers have in-depth knowledge and experience of the threats that businesses face.
All examinations used to assess individuals have been reviewed and approved by GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) and the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre). They will also know that the penetration testers are supported by a company with appropriate policies, processes and procedures for conducting this type of work and for the protection of client information.
The CREST penetration testing service will also follow the methodologies set out by the code of conduct around preparation and scoping best practices, testing execution, post testing reporting delivery and data protection.
Finding the right cyber security service provider for you can be challenging. Historically, any company could claim to be a cyber security expert – and unfortunately many still do. However, it’s extremely high risk to let unqualified testers into your networks, systems and applications. Imagine the damage that could be done from an accidental leak of your most sensitive data.
A CREST penetration testing provider brings all the assurance of expertise, verified by the external accreditation.
“There are many benefits in procuring penetration testing services from a trusted, certified external company who employ professional, ethical and highly technically competent individuals. CREST member companies are certified penetration testing organisations who fully meet these requirements, having been awarded the gold standard in penetration testing, building trusted relationships with their clients.”
There are many benefits to CREST penetration testing. Following the test, the organisation has a clear view of where an attacker could successfully attempt to breach networks and systems. It also gives a view on the impact that a breach would have.
A CREST penetration test – be it internal or external infrastructure, mobile or web applications, social engineering or a full Red Teaming exercise will allow you to:
- Stop breaches before they happen
- Protect your business from attacks
- Secure networks, systems and applications – before it’s too late
The valuable insight that CREST pen testing can provide means that organisations get visibility of any vulnerabilities and a clear view of their current security posture. Any gaps identified which could lead to a serious cyber breach can be remediated with a roadmap to a more secure business.
If any gaps are left unpatched or unaddressed, bad actors are likely to exploit and compromise the business. CREST certified penetration testers will provide clear reporting on these gaps to ensure all necessary security controls and processes are in place, to help reduce information security risk.
With a CREST accredited penetration test you get a number of advantages, including the assurance that your CREST pen test is being carried out by the highest skilled security professional or pen tester using the CREST penetration testing methodology and the latest security knowledge. But also, a CREST pentest can support information security and compliance requirements such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), PCI DSS and ISO 27001.
CREST themselves recommend that CREST pen testing is carried out annually as a minimum. With regular updates to software and changes in application and systems being frequent, it’s best to conduct a CREST penetration test whenever a major upgrade takes place. More regular CREST pentests, such as on a quarterly basis, will ensure that the business is safeguarded against security vulnerabilities.
Our CREST penetration testing service
DigitalXRAID is driven by a mission to be a company of trust. That’s why certifications such as CREST penetration testing and CHECK accredited penetration testing are so important to demonstrate our externally verified expertise.
If there’s a vulnerability, DigitalXRAID will find it. You get total peace of mind that your networks, systems and applications are secure. Our CREST penetration test service will identify any vulnerabilities. You have the chance to remedy them before attacks happens.
As well as the CREST certification, our web application penetration testing methodology aligns with the OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project®) Top 10.
DigitalXRAID has a unique insight into the offensive and defensive side of cyber security and cyber threats. With services operating on both sides, we have a more holistic view, and a much deeper understanding of what techniques are being used for attack and defence. Therefore, our CREST pen testing will dive deeper, uncovering vulnerabilities that others tend to miss. We have never conducted a systems pen test that didn’t find at least one vulnerability!
For more information on how we can support you in staying a step ahead of cyber criminals with a range of CREST penetration testing services, get in contact. For an in-depth view and tailored quote, scope your project.
Our CREST accreditation
Our CREST accreditation provides assurance that any pen testing is carried out by a team of expert security testers. Individual CREST certifications include:
- CREST Practitioner Security Analyst
- CREST Registered Penetration Tester
- CREST Certified Infrastructure Tester
DigitalXRAID’s ethical security testers can offer services, including:
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With a continued focus on security, you can rest assured that breaches and exploits won't be holding you back.