What is a CREST certification?

Businesses today need to know their systems are safe from hackers. Often, this means turning to professionals with skills such as penetration testing, ethical hacking and incident response in order to stress-test their systems and plan for any attacks.

People who have the right credentials to prove their skills and experience in these areas will therefore be in high demand. And one certification that will be highly valuable for these professionals is a CREST qualification.

What is CREST?

CREST stands for the Council for Registered Ethical Security Testers. It is a non-profit accreditation body for the information security market. It certifies both companies and individuals and provides an internationally-recognised career path, from entry-level qualifications through to certifications for highly-experienced senior professionals.

What CREST certifications are available?

CREST provides a wide range of certifications for individuals in areas including penetration testing, cyber incident response, threat intelligence and Security Operations Centre (SOC) services. 

These services are all in high demand among companies of all sizes, so will be extremely valuable for anyone looking to enter or further a career in these areas.

CREST offers examinations in several disciplines, including:

  • Penetration testing
  • Simulated target attack and response (STAR)
  • Incident response
  • Security architecture

CREST certifications fall into one of three categories, from entry-level to expert. These are:

Practitioner - These are entry-level exams into the field and are aimed at individuals with around 2,500 hours of relevant and frequent experience. Those who hold this level are considered able to conduct routine tasks in structured environments.

Registered - The next step on the career ladder, Registered professionals have demonstrated their ability to work independently without supervision. The certification showcases an individual's skills as an information security tester. Exams for this level usually require around 6,000 hours of relevant experience.

Certified - This qualification marks an individual as being at the very top of their profession, with the ability to manage and sign off on the most complex projects. This is the level to which senior professionals should aspire.
What are the benefits of being CREST-certified?

CREST certifications demonstrate professionals are among the best in their field, and serve as an internationally-recognised benchmark of skills, knowledge and experience.  Professional qualifications are increasingly being listed as requirements for large numbers of roles, and a CREST certification will be one of the most valuable.

The organisation highlights several key benefits that can be enjoyed by those who complete CREST courses and pass the relevant exams. These include:

  • A structured and widely recognised career path
  • Certification recognised and approved by regulators and government agencies
  • Gold standard, industry-leading certification
  • Access to a large community of security professionals
  • Opportunities to further your career development through networking and information sharing

The job roles available for those with CREST certification

CREST qualifications are highly valuable for individuals looking for roles in areas such as penetration testing, SOC analysis and digital forensics.

These certifications can also be particularly important for those looking for consultancy roles. Because of their rigorous standards, CREST certifications are highly valued by organisations looking to conduct activities such as penetration testing. Many firms may not have in-house capabilities to do this, so will look specifically for CREST-certified third-parties.

If a CREST certification would be a good step for your career, check out what CREST courses are available today to help you achieve these qualifications.