A Complete OSCP Certification Guide: Your Path to Mastery in Cyber Defense Techniques

As security breaches are increasing at an alarming level, more and more professionals are getting into cybersecurity and Information security. Ethical hacking is gaining momentum in cybersecurity and becoming a most opted profession. While hacking may sound illegal, Ethical hacking is a different and legal term that is defined as a permissible attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer system, application, or data. Copying the techniques and behaviors of hostile or malicious attackers are all ethical hacking techniques. Consider earning an Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) if you want a career in information security that includes both defensive and offensive positions. This is a well-known certification for information security experts that covers hacking techniques used in penetration testing nowadays. While being the best certification in the field of penetration testing, many of you want to know how OSCP certification will impact your professional profile. To give answers to all of your concerns, we have come up with this article that tells you everything about OSCP certification.

OSCP Certification: An Overview

Offensive Security (OffSec) offers the OSCP ethical hacking certification. This certification verifies a professional’s understanding of penetration testing methods utilizing tools included in the Kali Linux distribution. Kali is an open-source distribution that allows you to evaluate your system’s security features. The holder of this certification must successfully attack and penetrate multiple live machines in a secure lab setting. The OSCP is considered more technical than other ethical hacking certifications and is one of the few that needs practical penetration testing abilities.

How to get OSCP Certification: Basic Prerequisites and Required Exam

  • Unlike some professional certifications, the OSCP test has no educational or work-related experience requirements but all learners should have:
  • Solid understanding of TCP/IP networking
  • Reasonable experience with Windows and Linux administration
  • Basic Bash and/or Python scripting knowledge

2- Complete the PWK/PEN-200 Course and Pass the Exam

The industry-leading Penetration Testing with Kali Linux (PWK/PEN-200) course is self-paced and introduces penetration testing methodologies, tools, and techniques through hands-on experience. OffSec Certified Professional (OSCP) credentials will be awarded to learners who finish the course and pass the exam.

Audience Profile for OSCP Certifications

Intended Audience

  • Infosec professionals transitioning into penetration testing
  • Pentesters seeking one of the best pentesting certifications
  • Those interested in pursuing a penetration tester career path
  • Security professionals
  • Network administrators
  • Other technology professionals
  • Extensive experience with Linux and Windows operating systems

Read more: CHFI Certification Worth

OSCP Exam Guide: A Complete Dig into The PEN-200 Exam

What is OSCP Exam?

The OSCP exam simulates a live network in a private VPN that has a small number of vulnerable machines. The exam will take you 23 hours and 45 minutes to complete. It is a proctored exam. After passing the exam, you will have extra 24 hours after the exam to upload your documentation. If you want to know about the complete process of how to upload documentation, go through the OffSec official website.

Exam Structure

60 points

  • 3 independent targets
  • 3-step targets (low and high privileges)
  • 20 points per machine
  • 10 points for low-privilege
  • 10 points for privilege escalation

40 points

  • 2 clients
  • 1 domain controller
  • Active Directory set
  • Points are awarded only for the full exploit chain of the domain
  • No partial points will be awarded

What skills and objectives you will master?

The course curriculum will cover:

  • Penetration Testing: What You Should Know
  • Getting Comfortable with Kali Linux
  • Command Line Fun
  • Practical Tools
  • Bash Scripting
  • Passive Information Gathering
  • Active Information Gathering
  • Vulnerability Scanning
  • Web Application Attacks
  • Introduction to Buffer Overflows
  • Windows Buffer Overflows
  • Linux Buffer Overflows
  • Client-Side Attacks
  • Locating Public Exploits
  • Fixing Exploits
  • File Transfers
  • Antivirus Evasion
  • Privilege Escalation
  • Password Attacks
  • Port Redirection and Tunneling
  • Active Directory Attacks
  • The Metasploit Framework
  • PowerShell Empire
  • Assembling the Pieces: Penetration Test Breakdown
  • Trying Harder: The Labs

Click here: PEN 200 Exam Syllabus

What will it look like to become an OSCP Certified: Benefits and Future of the OffSec Certified Professional

You Become a Master in Penetration Testing and Vulnerabilities Exploitation

Having an OSCP certification by your side, you can showcase expertise in penetration testing. You can help organizations secure their computer infrastructure and servers in general, which involves recognizing the vulnerabilities and possible threats that the organizations face and acting to mitigate them.

You Gain International Recognition

By gaining this certification, you will get international recognition for your knowledge and skills in information security. Getting the OSCP is becoming an international standard and it is considered one of the most sought-after certifications.

You Increase Understanding of Different Systems and Protocols

Because you have real knowledge of attack tactics used against infrastructure, systems, and devices, being an OSCP identifies you as a valuable security team member. OSCPs are often skilled in identifying known and new vulnerabilities and configuration errors.

Several Lucrative Job Roles Are Waiting for You

The OSCP certification will lead you to get many job opportunities and job roles in information security. 

  • Security Analyst
  • Computer Forensics Analyst
  • Security Specialist
  • Penetration Tester
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Code Auditor
  • Malware Analyst
  • Security Consultant
  • Lead Analyst

Earn in Millions with OSCP Certification

The OSCP certification will make you earn millions of dollars.  The average salary for OSCP holders will vary because the certification applies to a wide range of security tasks in a variety of organizations. This qualification will qualify a candidate for promotion to higher-paying positions or increased salary in their existing employment. The following is the remuneration for cybersecurity experts in professions that frequently require or benefit from OSCP certification:

  • Software Architect – $132,201
  • Penetration Tester – $116,422
  • Lead Analyst – $108,598
  • Security Analyst – $94,120
  • Security Specialist – $75,966

The Cost of Getting an OSCP Certification

OffSec provides the PWK exam and accompanying certification, the OSCP, as part of the PEN-200 training course.

Subscription Bundles

Course and Cert Exam Bundle

The PEN-200 self-paced Individual Course costs USD 1,499. It includes one exam attempt and 90 days of lab access.

Learn One

The Learn One subscription is $2,499 per year and includes one year of lab access and two exam attempts.

Learn Unlimited

A Learn Unlimited subscription costs $5,499 per year and provides access to the entire OffSec Training Library as well as unlimited exam attempts.

Exam Retakes and Lab Extensions

Exam Retakes & Lab Extensions can be purchased separately through the OffSec Training Library if a student needs longer lab access time or has to retake an exam.

  • OSCP Certification Exam Retake Fee: $249
  • PEN-200 Lab Access Extension: $359

Read more: Azure Certification Cost

Comparison of Major Penetration Testing Certification: OSCP vs CEH

As you know, OSCP isn’t the only certification in the field of penetration testing: CEH is also one. Both of these certifications are widely acknowledged and highly sought-after in penetration testing. We have made a comparison through which you can understand both certifications in detail and what is the difference.

Emphasize: While both of the certifications are the best, the emphasis and focus of the certifications are different. OSCP is a thorough course that teaches students how to identify and exploit vulnerabilities. CEH, which stands for Certified Ethical Hacker, on the other hand, educates students on how to detect and stop malicious activity within a company’s infrastructure and server.

Designed for: The OSCP is appropriate for penetration testers while CEH is best who want to become a pro in ethical hacking. 

Approach: The CEH certification is designed for security professionals who prefer a more theoretical approach to security. The OSCP certification, on the other hand, is designed for individuals who want to seek hands-on practical experience.

Recertification: The OSCP certification is valid for a lifetime but the CEH required renewal after three years.

Overall, both of the certifications have their advantages. Before choosing any certification, define your career goals and select according to them.

Read more: How much do CEH Earn?

How to crack OSCP certification? Best Resources and Expert Tips

If you’re finding it hard to pass the OSCP certification, don’t worry, we get you covered. With the following resources and study tips, you can pass the OSCP exam on the very first try.

Start with enthusiasm: Don’t lose motivation

Preparing for the OSCP exam is all about not losing motivation at any time. It is a hard and challenging exam but all you need is to put in rigorous effort, implement a strict study schedule, build your understanding of Kali Linux with the self-paced study courses and practice your knowledge. Brace yourself that it going to be difficult but with the proper dedication, you will ace it. Don’t lose motivation. Keep yourself going.

Choose OffSec Training for OSCP

  • Offensive Security Training and Courses

Those studying for the OSCP must undergo the Offensive Security self-paced training. Offensive Security’s Penetration Testing with Kali Linux (PWK) course is self-paced and online, a course that builds a thorough understanding of penetration methodologies. The course is made up of PDFs and videos, as well as lab time and one exam voucher. OffSec’s curriculum offers hands-on experience and practice sessions in a lab setting to study various malicious activities in a real-life environment. The cost of courses varies on the type of subscription plan.

  • PEN-200 course + 90 days’ lab access + One OSCP exam attempt – $1,599
  • PEN-200 course + 365 days’ lab access + 2 OSCP exam attempts– $2,499
  • Unlimited PEN-200 course + 365 days’ lab access + Unlimited OSCP exam attempts – $5,499

Practice with Dumpsgate

Everyone can understand and comprehend the syllabus but the real difficulty is implementing the skills and knowledge in a real-life environment. The OSCP exam requires hands-on practical experience and you cannot pass until you have a clear thought process and concepts. So, practicing your concepts with Dumpsgate OSCP exam dumps is the best way for gaining hands-on practical experience and implementing this experience in a real-life setting alongside the PEN-200 course.

In a Nutshell

OSCP is the best and most sought-after certification in penetration testing. Consider earning an Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) if you work in information security and are interested in defensive and offensive approaches. Getting this certification will lead you to gain various job opportunities with higher salaries prospect as well as it is considered an industry standard in the information security field. So, buckle up yourself and get ready to become OSCP certified.

FAQ’s

The OSCP is one of the most challenging and rigorous exams. As part of the Open Security Certification Program (OSCP), you will be expected to do a live network penetration testing exercise for 24 hours without being prompted with questions. However, this certification may don’t have any previous work experience and education requirements, but you should be proficient in Linux and Windows operating systems. If you’re looking for prep material besides the PEN-200 training course, you should learn and understand with OSCP exam dumps.

The OSCP exam simulates a live network in a private VPN that has a small number of vulnerable machines. The exam will take you 23 hours and 45 minutes to complete. It is a proctored exam.

The best part is OSCP doesn’t have any educational or work-experience requirements. Anyone who has a solid understanding of TCP/IP networking, reasonable experience with Windows and Linux administration and basic Bash and/or Python scripting knowledge can take the OSCP exam. But remember, it is a challenging exam and you need a thorough and rigorous preparation for completing the PEN-200 course and exam.  

OffSec certifications, like the OSCP, never expire: once earned, they are valid eternally

It is also common knowledge that 70 points are required to pass the OSCP exam. Refer to the official OffSec to check the OSCP exam point allocation.

  • Pentesting and vulnerability exploitation expertise
  • Understanding of flaws in various systems and protocols. 
  • Enhancement of your service portfolio. 
  • Business continuity.
  • Various job opportunities
  • Higher salaries

The average salary of the OSCP in the United States is $105,000 to $133,000 depending on the job role, and geographical location.

The OSCP certification exam retake fee is $249. If your purchase prep bundles, you will get a free retake attempt with them. For more information, refer to OSCP certification subscription bundles.

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