How to get started in Security Testing?

Hey guys, quite often many testers will claim that they perform some security testing simply because they do some sql injection in their test sessions. Yet security testing in depth is a specialization that is quite large.

For those of you who specialize in security testing, how did you get started? What books or courses helped you? If you helped a team specialize in security testing, how did you do it?

I think the answer to those questions can be very useful to those of us who want to specialize in security testing.


Alex Dillon


I had a colleague that used two security testing tools on 3-4 projects, one from HP, one from IBM. He knows them very well. So he and everyone else now thinks he’s a security testing expert.

Moral: It depends what your expectations are…or what the market expectations are and how you market yourself…


I would start here


I’m a bit late to the party but this might be a good article to explore for anyone interested in this topic


Hey guys, I am a bit late to the party but I was hoping I could bump up this topic.

I work as an automated tester and as part of my job I do manual and automation testing (C#) and performance testing. I know that Security testing is a whole different world with its own certificates. How can I get involved in security testing? How can I get experience and what I need to do to be taken serious in a job interview?

Certificates are just pieces of paper. Don’t worry about those! You are going to have to make a choice for yourself if you wish to become a full-time security tester or just some a few tests.

What I mean with a few tests is setup automated SQLi, XSS, account enum, vulnerability scans etc…
I believe every tester should know at least the basics of security testing. I prefer to focus on API security & web app security. Security is very broad so if you don’t plan on becoming a penetration tester, I would pick a few topics to start with.

How I started getting involved in security is first of all get to know the vulnerabilities. Follow a course, google and attend webinars, conferences, meetups,… Eventually I setup a penetration test lab at home and went nuts and learnt a lot about “the how and what & what is (il)legal”. Afterwards you can apply this on your project (with permission). I started pointing out security issues just like regular bugs and explained myself why it was a bug and how it could be abused. People got interested into it and I was allowed to setup some security automation also. Which was a huge success due to the many vulnerabilities we found!

If you want a starting point check out OWASP and their Top 10’s.

Pentest lab:
They have some build in exercises too I believe.

Hope it helps you out @rubenfppinto

Kind regards


I would largely agree with you that they are just paper, but Security is one of those disciplines where in industry, it does help to get a foot in the door.

Unless you’ve been headhunted from the hacking community into the security services, something like CEH, CISSP, OSCP, CREST and some others are a great way into a security career.

Our company bought a SAST tool to scan our code, some of our testers are becoming more familiar with code in order to review our code. We are also looking at a front end application that scans a web site while doing manual testing. Hoping to implement that this year.