Is the OSCP Worth It? Cost, Comparison, Benefits

Is the OSCP Worth It Cost, Comparison, Benefits
Is the OSCP Worth It Cost, Comparison, Benefits

What is the OSCP?

The OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional) certification is issued by the Offensive Security organization, which is also responsible for the distribution of Kali Linux. It is valid for two years. Even though the OSCP is only one of several penetration-style certifications offered by Offensive Security, it is probably the most well-known. Of the certifications and training options offered by Offensive Security, the OSCP is the most basic and introductory certification and training option, which they consider to be their foundational certificate.

Known as the OSCP, the Offensive Security Certified Professional certification, which Offensive Security issues, is an information security certification.

The OSCP is one of numerous penetration-type certifications offered by offensive Security (Operative Security Certified Professional). Because it is considered their fundamental certification, the OSCP is the first certification and training option for Offensive Security employees.

Is the OSCP Worth It? Cost, Comparison, Benefits

In cybersecurity, penetration testing is one of the most talked-about careers. As a result, many aspiring cybersecurity professionals aspire to be a “cyber-whiz”. Throughout this essay, I’ll discuss the OSCP offered by the Offensive Security group and is one of the most well-known penetration testing certifications in the world.

Is OSCP a worthwhile investment? 

The Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification is widely recognized as a highly sought-after credential. However, those who wish to advance to the position of senior penetration tester must complete this difficult and time-consuming exam.

OSCP Key skills

In their training program, which is designed to prepare candidates for the OSCP certification, the Offensive Security organization lists the following topics as ones that are covered in-depth:

  1. Passive Information Gathering
  2. Active Information Gathering
  3. Win32 Buffer Overflow Exploitation
  4. Linux Buffer Overflow Exploitation
  5. Privilege Escalation
  6. Client-Side Attacks
  7. The Metasploit Framework
  8. Bypassing Antivirus Software
  9. Assembling the Pieces: Penetration Test Breakdown

What other certifications are offered by OSCP?

Offensive Security also offers the OSCE, which stands for Offensive Security Certified Expert, and is the next step for serious penetration testers who have already obtained the OSCP certification. Specifically, the OSCE is interested in exploit development, which could be characterized as “Cracking the Perimeter.”

  1. OSWE is an acronym that stands for Offensive Security Web Expert, and it is considered a logical progression from the OSCP. The OSWE is concerned with the exploitation and Security of online applications.
  2. Offensive Security Exploitation Expert (OSEE) is a certification offered by Offensive Security. The company claims that it is the most difficult certification they offer, so it is only available at Black Hat USA.
  3. The OSWP, or Offensive Security Wireless Professional, is a follow-up certification to the OSCP, which is also an OSWP.

Who should have this OSCP?

According to Offensive Security, the OSCP is intended for professionals already working in the information security field who wish to take a “meaningful step into professional penetration testing.” They specifically mention network administrators and security professionals as potential candidates. Additionally, they clarify that this certification is intended to serve as a stepping stone into penetration testing and vulnerability assessment.

What kind of work experience is required to sit for the OSCP examination?

To sit for the OSCP exam, candidates must finish the “Penetration Testing with Kali Linux” course, which is required by Offensive Security. This course is only available through Offensive Security, and it is a prerequisite for the OSCP certification exam. In addition to being available in both self-paced and instructor-led formats, this course has three prerequisites that must be met, which are defined by Offensive Security as follows:

  1. A thorough knowledge of TCP/IP networking is a must. Comprehensive knowledge of the TCP/IP networking protocol suite
  2. A reasonable understanding of the Linux operating system
  3. Knowledge of Bash scripting, as well as basic Python or Perl, is a plus.

We can infer from this that you should have solid networking and Linux knowledge, preferably gained in a live environment, and scripting knowledge, preferably gained through Python, to get the most out of the training course (and have the best chance of passing the certification exam).

Even though these requirements are straightforward, it is recommended that candidates interested in taking this course and the OSCP exam have extensive prior experience in the field due to the challenging nature of the exam and the content covered in the course.

What is the cost of the OSCP?

The cost of the OSCP certification isn’t prohibitively expensive, especially when you must also purchase the proprietary course and access the testing lab environment for all options. At the moment, the bare minimum cost of the package is $800, which includes the course, 30 days of access to the lab environment, and an exam voucher (if applicable).

Additional options include the ability to purchase additional lab time in 15-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day increments and the ability to purchase an exam retake voucher. Even though Offensive Security has previously stated that they do not offer coupon codes or general discounts, they offer corporate training options for businesses interested in training their employees.

How long will it take to prepare for the OSCP?

The Kali Linux course can be completed online right away if you have the prerequisite knowledge required to begin the course. There are normally five days of classroom instruction followed by access to a lab environment for the duration of your subscription.

After completing the course, you should expect to spend at least 30 days studying and practising in the lab to prepare for the exam; however, many people with little or no prior experience in penetration testing may require much more time. In addition, exams must be taken within 90 days of course completion by the course requirements. As a result, anyone interested in pursuing the course and certification should choose a timeframe in which they will have several months available for focused study and ensure that they have sufficient networking and Linux experience to get the most out of the training course.

What types of positions would be aided by the OSCP?

Cybersecurity professionals who aim to work in the following industries can greatly benefit from obtaining the OSCP certification.

  1. Penetration testers –Those who conduct offensive tests against a system or systems by ethical hacking standards.
  2. Cybersecurity consultants –Professionals who work in a consulting capacity in cybersecurity, including offensive Security, are known as cybersecurity consultants.
  3. Systems auditors are professionals who carry out cybersecurity audits on computer systems and networks.
  4. Advanced security professionals are individuals who perform Security or cybersecurity-related job tasks, such as cybersecurity analysts, network security engineers, incident responders, and other similar positions.

Closing Thoughts

The OSCP is unquestionably worthwhile in terms of both monetary and time investment. Compared to other certifications available, it is one of the more reasonably priced options available. It also includes excellent learning resources, excellent support, and an active and responsive community. Another advantage is that the exam can be taken from anywhere, and retakes are relatively inexpensive.

It has been suggested that the PWK labs/OSCP exam content is out of date, which has been criticized. The argument, while partially correct, fails to recognize the other valuable skills that can be acquired through participation in the course. During your time with the OSCP, you will learn a sound methodology that is timeless: from initial enumeration to exploit research to execution, and finally, the importance of thoroughly documenting your findings in a well-written report. When you factor in the resilience and ‘try harder’ attitude that you’ll need to succeed in penetration testing, the OSCP prepares you for a career in the field.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.