Cyber Security Professionals have access to many certifications. Among them, Certified Ethical Hacker(CEH) and Offensive Security Certified Professional(OSCP) are the most popular certification exams. This OSCP vs. CEH blog discusses what distinguishes them and which is the best for you.
What is the OSCP Certification Exam?
The OSCP(Offensive Security Certified Professional) certification exam is the certification exam carried out by the Offensive Security Organization. It is aimed at cybersecurity professionals who are determined and serious about entering the penetration testing domain.
Initially, OSCP certification was designed for the professionals to demonstrate their ability to carry out efficient attacks and prove their skills. Clearing this exam needs you to take and hack the control of 50 targets throughout three networks in 24 hours.
You must build a report of the achievements you have made in detail and describe how you did it. Hacking proficiency displayed in various applications and environments is needed for the OSCP certification exam.
What is the CEH certification exam?
CEH(Certified Ethical Hacker) is another certification exam gained by clearing the exam administrated by the EC council. This certification, the same as OSCP certification, is not for newbies.
The CEH certification tests your proficiency in the security discipline of ethical hacking of a particular network from the viewpoint of vendor-neutral. As the CEH certification exam is quite popular, it acts as a benchmark for offensive security professionals.
The EC-Council declares the purpose of this certification as follows:
- Instruct the public that these certified professionals match the standards or surpass them.
- Extend the awareness about ethical hacking as a distinct and autoregulatory profession.
- Setting up minimum standards validating certified information security specialists in the ethical hacking actions and administrating them.
CEH vs. OSCP
1) Exam Requirements
The EC Council decides how the paper is conducted. For the CEH, we will have two options to select for preparing and attempting the exam. To prepare for the exam, we have to buy a curriculum approved by the EC Council.
The curriculum cost varies as per the region you are from, whether you are taking training from the authorized trainer. You don’t require any experience to take the training. If you are not taking any training, you should have two years of experience to be eligible for taking the CEH certification exam.
To take the OSCP certification exam, you don’t need experience. However, you need to complete Penetration testing with the Kali Linux course. After completing that course successfully, you will be eligible to take the OSCP certification exam.
To take the Penetration Testing with Kali Linux course, you must have the following skill set:
- Good Understanding of Unix
- Awesome and thorough knowledge of TCP/IP Networking
- Awareness of Bash scripting with Python or Perl
2) Career Path
The CEH certification is suitable for professionals who want to start a career in the IT field. This certification will be helpful for IT professionals who are not interested in making a career in ethical hacking and penetration testing but still want to enhance their skills in the cyber security domain.
Furthermore, with CEH certification, you can start your career more rapidly than with the OSCP certification.
On the other hand, OSCP is ideal and the best option for professionals who want to pursue a career in penetration testing. Additionally, you must have an understanding of the fundamentals of Cyber Security and CEH for the OSCP certification exam.
The salary of a CEH professional can vary from $35K to $786K per annum.
A certified OSCP professional can get $113K per annum.
Both CEH and OSCP are expensive; however, the cost of CEH is much more than OSCP. EC Council conducts the CEH exam, charging you $1,199 for the first attempt and $450 for retake.
In comparison to the CEH exam price, the OSCP certification cost is reasonable. To take the OSCP certification exam, you need to buy the exam ticket at $850. If you fail the exam, you need to buy a ticket, which costs $150 only for re-appering the exam.
5) Benefits of CEH and OSCP
The CEH training includes 5 phases for professionals. Every phase sets out computable indicators to understand and identify vulnerabilities. CEH certification provides expert knowledge in all of the five stages. As the cybercrimes and security risks are increasing, ethical hacking has become a mandatory skill for network security professionals.
After passing the OSCP certification, you can work for organizations to protect their servers. This includes understanding the potential threats the organization encounters and working on them. You will manage the network of your organization and identify the security issues.
Using OSCP certification, you will learn how to work with exploits, client-side attacks, vulnerability scanning, password attacks, client-side attacks, etc.
Some other differences are:
It is restricted to penetration testing. You will not get any OSCP training or guidance. However, you can learn independently.
Teaches the expertise associated with different cybersecurity aspects, like cryptography, cloud security, penetration testing, mobile testing, etc.
OSCP does not have a DoD Clearance.
If you want to work with the government, then you should have DoD clearance, and CEH has that.
The OSCP certification exam will have 150 questions and lasts 3 hours. You have to score 700 out of 1000 to get certified.
The CEH exam will have 125 MCQs, and its duration is 4 hours.
Pros and Cons
● It’s Tough to crack the exam.
● Costly and includes lot of domains
● Required more than five years of experience in Information Security
● Study to think like a Hacker.
● Progressive security career
● Raise your salary
● Learn using real-world hacking tools.
● Enhanced understanding of vulnerabilities and risks.
Who must take CEH certification?
If you want to pursue a career in ethical hacking, you can take the CEH certification. If you have worked or are working in any of the following roles, consider taking CEH.
- InfoSec Officer
- InfoSec Professional
- InfoSec Specialist/Manager
- System Administrator
- Risk Analyst
- Information Security Administrator/Analyst
- IT Auditor
- Network Engineer
Who must take OSCP certification?
The OSCP certification is meant for penetration testers with good ethical hacking and technical background. If you work in the following fields, you will get huge benefits from OSCP certification. The fields include
- Penetration Testers
- System Auditors
- Cybersecurity Consultants
- Advanced security professionals
In this OSCP vs. CEH blog, we have included all the differences between OSCP and CEH to help you learn which certification is suitable for your job role and experience.