My GIAC GPEN certificate arrived in the mail today. I went to SANS Scottsdale 2016 for the SANS 560 Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking course. The training was great and I met some cool people. Ultimately the goal of the training and certification is to become a better pen-tester. I’m hopeful that a side effect is having a better job, or at least getting my resume into more interview piles.
This was my third SANS course and I highly recommend them for training. I have taken SEC401 with Dr. Eric Cole, MGT414 with Paul A. Henry, and SEC560 with Ed Skoudis. I’m deliberately listing the instructors here because I deliberately chose venues where they taught the sessions. My relationship with them extends no further than having paid them (SANS) to teach me material for six days each. Even after a year of reading several pen-testing books I still decided to take the SANS SEC560 course. I knew it would be the gentle push I needed to better grasp pen-testing. I was not disappointed.
Make no mistake: This post is essentially a recommendation for SANS. If you have any questions about my experiences please don’t hesitate to email me. I subscribe to several subreddits that discuss the topic of security training and certifications regularly. It’s worth talking about these experiences to help others facing the difficult task of budgeting their knowledge.