CREST Accredited

What is CREST, and why is being CREST accredited so important for penetration testing?

It is vital to choose a cybersecurity company that is accredited to an internationally recognised organisation with the proper credentials, to attain adequate protection and demonstrate your security commitment with clients and customers. In cybersecurity, that organisation is CREST.

What is a CREST penetration certificate?

CREST presents the industry standard of practice, service and customer satisfaction. It stands for ‘Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers’.

The organisation was initially set up as a response to unregulated penetration vulnerability testing. A lack of regulation led to a lack of uniform methodology and varying outcomes for testing subjects. It is a not-for-profit accreditation body that seeks to establish professional standards for penetration testers. CREST accreditation represents companies that are recognised as offering the highest-quality and most professional network or website penetration testing.

What is penetration testing?

Penetration testing is the intentional execution of attacks on your IT system. They are undertaken by IT professionals, to expose the weak spots in your system’s defences. Penetration tests give a picture of the security vulnerabilities of your website, network and systems.

What does it mean to have a CREST certification?

There are three levels of CREST accreditation, all requiring different levels of experience and expertise.

To be recognised as a ‘CREST practitioner professional’, testers must take an entry-level exam and have 2,500 relevant hours of experience. Testers at this level should be able to conduct routine assignments under general supervision.

To be accredited as a ‘CREST registered professional’, testers must take a more extensive set of exams than above. These testing professionals will have 6,000 hours (3 years plus) of relevant and frequent experience and be in a position to undergo testing projects by themselves.

The most prestigious acknowledgement for testers is to be designated a ‘CREST certified professional’. These professionals will have at least 10,000 hours (5 years) of experience. This certification recognises that these testers are capable of running full testing projects independently, as well as managing and coordinating teams.

The benefits of using a CREST accredited member company

Using a CREST certified professional means that you are accessing services that are highly skilled, knowledgeable and competent. To be certified, practitioners must demonstrate that they have met industry standards. 

An external body should validate pen testers (or testing companies) because they are likely to come into contact with highly sensitive and critical information. After all, the goal of network penetration testing is to see how airtight your company’s security processes are. To put the responsibility of testing your security system on someone untrustworthy would be disastrous.

The benefits of choosing a CREST member company for penetration testing include:

  • Testing by highly trained security professionals – with six to ten thousand hours of experience
  • Customer assurance – you show clients, partners, and customers that you are protecting their data
  • Globally recognised accreditation 
  • Regulatory compliance – with support for PCI DSS, GDPR, NIS, and ISO 27001
  • Up-to-date knowledge – individuals and cybersecurity companies are regularly updated and tested


Why is it essential for businesses to carry out CREST-certified penetration testing?

CREST-approved companies ensure you have all the proper processes and controls in place to prevent potential outsider and malicious insider attacks. The CREST accreditation is confirmation that your penetration testing company has the correct, up-to-date skills, strategies, and techniques to give you the best assessment of your cybersecurity.

You can be confident that you are using a legitimate company and know they have passed and continue to pass strict controls to maintain their accreditation.

Contact us if you’re interested in working with CREST certified professionals. 

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