We are familiar with the terms like ‘cyberthreat’, ‘data breach’, ‘hackers’, ‘cybercrime’, as they happen every other day, sometimes with big names, not sparing even smaller and local ones. We generally read the news saying hundreds of millions of people affected, sensitive data leaked, etc.
And we don’t think for a second before sharing our information over the internet.
Eliminate all negative connotations because
We will not discuss hacking today!
Rather we will discuss hacking with ethics!!
Yes! Today organizations across every industry are looking for ethical hackers to protect their systems from going down and save themselves from huge losses. And some IT professionals who are specifically creative and innovative can break into the system to look for vulnerabilities and save systems from getting hacked. These are professionals who are greatly paid for doing so. This is why many IT professionals wish to learn ethical hacking and make a career in this ever-evolving and exciting domain.
Want reasons to learn ethical hacking?
There will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs for ethical hackers by the end of 2021, according to some recent reports.
Also, the median annual salary of a Certified Ethical hacker is around USD 92,969.
Let us explore who is an ethical hacker and how you can learn ethical hacking.
Who is an Ethical Hacker?
When an IT professional performs hacking, under legal permissions, in order to safeguard networks and systems from malicious hackers. So, keep all the negative phases of hacking aside, because we are discussing ethical hacking. Ethical hackers are good people in any organization as they are hired to protect their systems.
The tools and techniques used by ethical hackers are just the same as malicious ones, but they use them in a legal manner. They try every possible way to break into the system just as a hacker does and remove those vulnerabilities or loopholes such that it stays protected from hackers.
A loophole is all that a hacker needs.
An ethical hacker is, therefore, the most crucial professional in an organization who lets your organization identify countermeasures for protecting the systems.
One good thing about becoming an ethical hacker is that you get paid greatly even for freelancing work. There are bounty programs held for ethical hackers that pay huge amounts.
A Career in Ethical Hacking
To enter into an ethical hacking domain, you need to be patient as the journey goes in some steps. You cannot expect high salaries at the beginning itself but can move high within a very short duration.
1. The Beginning with a foundational degree
It is crucial to have a degree in computer science. Another option is to have a CompTIA A+ certification, that requires you to take and clear two separate exams.
For this, you are required to take a qualifying exam and possess at least 500 hours of hands-on computing experience. Then comes the CompTIA Network+ certification or CCNA(Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification. The Network+ certification demonstrates your foundational level knowledge in networks, their management, control, installation, and troubleshooting; while the CCNA credential also validates your expertise in foundational level knowledge in networks.
2. Network Support
The next stage in the career of ethical hacking is network support. You are now required to undertake tasks such as monitoring and updating, installing security systems, and checking for weaknesses.
With network support, you gain expertise in network security, and you go with the next step as a network engineer.
3. Network Engineer
As a network engineer, you are required to design and plan networks, apart from just maintaining them. Now, you should obtain some certifications related to security such as CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CompTIA Security+, or TICSA (TruSecure ICSA Computer Security Associate). These credentials let you gain expertise in securing networks and systems and play a role in information security.
Attaining CISSP means you have earned a globally recognized credential that validates your knowledge in risk management, application development, and cloud computing. TICSA also proves your expertise at the same level.
4. Expertise in Information Security
Working as an information security analyst requires you to examine the system as well as network security, handle security breaches, and try to put security measures properly. To perform all these tasks properly, you have to gain expertise in penetration testing and gain experience in tools of the trade.
Now you can go with applying for Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH which is a certification issued by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (the EC Council). With CEH, you attain everything required to become an Ethical Hacker. With the certification, you will come across every prospect of hacking and become a professional ethical hacker.
Basic Requirements for Learning Ethical Hacking
To learn ethical hacking, you should have basic knowledge of hacking tools and techniques, fulfill basic academic criteria, go with necessary training and certification, and the work experience required (as mentioned above).
You are required to have a comprehensive understanding of computer technology and IT. TO attain CEH and become an expert professional hacker, some crucial skills required are:
- Computer Networking Skills
- Computer Skills (including MS Office, Database Management, Spreadsheets, Email, Web, Social Media, Enterprise Systems, etc)
- Linux Skills
- Basic Hardware Skills
- Wireshark for TCPdump
- Digital Forensics
- Web Applications
- Advanced TCP/IP
- Wireless technologies
- Security Concepts and Technologies
Apart from hard/technical skills, every job role requires you to possess some soft skills, which may include:
- Excellent communication skills (both verbal and written)
- Creative thinking
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
How do I Learn Ethical Hacking?
After knowing about the skills and qualifications required, if you wish to learn ethical hacking, it is strongly recommended that you take up an online training course. An online training course allows you to go with self-paced learning, and that too with 24*7 teaching assistance. You will come across real-life projects and go hands-on with hacking techniques; doubt sessions are conducted at the end of the course by industry experts. You get career guidance as well.