The job of an ethical hacker is quite similar to ‘hacking’, but instead of unfair practices, he/she uses this knowledge for the benefit of the organisation or business.
Ethical hacking has grown into a lucrative career over the past few years. Digitization may have ushered limitless possibilities but it has also made the internet more vulnerable and exposed to cybercrimes. Today, the world is experiencing a marked rise in cyber threats and crimes, and many big companies, government organisations, and industries are hiring hackers and paying hefty fees to protect their confidential information and documents from cybercriminals.
A recent survey in 2018 shows that there were about 27,000 registered cases of cybercrimes and in 2019 more than 627 million records of data has been breached. The numbers are quite alarming and businesses have incurred heavy losses. For small businesses, the damage is more severe and many had to close down their business.
A few years back there was not much awareness about a career in ethical hacking. The term ‘hacking’ itself was considered controversial and people associated it with illegal practices to infiltrate security and do malicious activities on the internet. However, today people have understood the importance of network security and hire ethical hackers to identify network loopholes and protect their businesses from cyberattacks.
Who is an Ethical Hacker?
Certified ethical hackers (CEH) also known as White Hat hackers are IT professionals proficient in “penetration testing” who locate vulnerabilities and loopholes on the internet and protect the system from unauthorised access and illegal activities.
The job of an ethical hacker is quite similar to ‘hacking’ but instead of unfair practices, he/she uses this knowledge for a greater good or for the benefit of the organisation or business.
Why Choose a Career in Ethical Hacking?
Ethical hacking is an emerging career. It is a part of the cybersecurity industry and is gradually gaining significance due to the rising number of cybercrimes and breaches reported over the recent years. There is a huge surge of ethical hackers in industries like law enforcement, government organisations, departments in national intelligence, IT sectors, airlines, financial institutions, etc. Even small businesses need ethical hackers to safeguard their protective information. Needless to say, due to the growing demand, the salary package of certified ethical hackers is quite lucrative.
Before embarking into this industry, one must remember that ethical hacking is not only about educational qualifications and technical skills, you need to be a person of strong ethics, honesty, and above all should be ready to take up new challenges. So, do you think you have it in you? Here is an easy guide to help you leap into this interesting career.
• A Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science/Information Technology/Mathematics/Computer Engineering.
• Other certification courses like CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) or CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional).
• A CompTIA A+ certification course.
• CEH (Certification in Ethical Hacking) certification.
• Understanding the basics of operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.
• Strong knowledge of programming languages like C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, HTML, ASP, etc.
• Sound knowledge of penetration software.
• Fundamental knowledge about network supporting and security.
• Tech-savvy and get updated with the latest ethical-hacking trends in the market.
• Ability to hack wireless networks.
• Knowledge about DoS (Denial-of-Service) attacks.
• Cracking difficult passwords.
• Good ethics.
• Think and act like a hacker.
• Analytical skills.
• Ability to solve problems.
• Patience to work long hours.
• Investigative mind.
• An eye for details.
• A person with integrity.
• Think beyond conventions.
• Updated with the latest technical knowledge.
Career Scope in Ethical Hacking
1. Certified Ethical Hacker
A Certified Ethical Hacker is one of the most desired job roles in the field of ethical hacking. He/she researches and identifies security issues in the computer system, performs penetration tests, suggests security solutions, and makes recommendations for security upgrades.
Qualifications: Certification in CEH (Certification in Ethical Hacking) or a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Information Technology or related field. Good communication skills. Good technical knowledge about servers, firewalls, hijacking, etc.
2. Information Security Analyst
An Information Security Analyst monitors computer networks and data for security breaches, fixes vulnerabilities, installs security software for firewalls protections, provides penetration testing, firewall protection, and keeps the company updated with network security solutions and problems.
Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Information Technology or related field or an MBA in Information Systems. Knowledge about firewalls, antivirus, etc.
3. Penetration Tester
Penetration testers are professionals who perform security tests on computer systems, networks, or web applications to detect security breaches and malpractices. They must keep themselves updated with the latest penetration tools. They conduct network security audits at regular intervals to see if the network system is working properly or not.
Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology/Computer Science/Information Security. In-depth knowledge about programming languages, operating systems, and security frameworks. Familiarity with wireless networks, cryptography, security software, etc.
4. Security Consultant
A security consultant plays a key role in the organisation. He/she is responsible for managing security protocols in the enterprise, managing ISMS (Information System Management System) frameworks, implementing security policies, assisting documentation processes, and reviewing and updating the company with the latest security policies.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science/Information Technology/Cybersecurity or related field. Experience in IT Risk Management. Good written and verbal skills.
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