Ethical Hacking Career: A Career Guideline for Ethical Hacker

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Technology has created many new jobs in the IT sector, and most of them offer a good salary. One of the jobs that came into existence after the dawn of technology is Ethical Hacking. Hacking is not considered a reputed work, but ethical hacking is acceptable, and it offers an excellent salary to hackers. If you find career counselling after graduation, ethical hacking is best for you; you must pursue the course related to this. If you are a certified ethical hacker, then a career in ethical hacking is bright.

Ethical hacking is compromising and accessing a computer system’s security with required permission from the vulnerable party. Many job roles related to the protection of networks and computers need professionals with hacking skills. The count of ethical hacking jobs has increased in recent years. Individuals that love technology can have a career in ethical hacking. If the counselling indicates that you should go to the IT field, then ethical hacking can be a perfect career choice. Ethical hacker’s salary is one of the highest offered salaries in the IT industry.

The term ‘hacker’ is associated with those who get unauthorized access to another’s computer. It is not a reputed term in IT, and people think all hackers are cybercriminals. Though hacking is illegal, many government and private firms hire hackers to maintain their servers, computers, and network. Let’s understand what hacking is and how can you have your career in ethical hacking;

Who is an Ethical Hacker?

You must have heard about the ‘Wannacry Ransomeware Cyberattack.’ It was one of the most infamous attacks that have affected the IT system of most of the companies around the globe. The attack was malware, and a hacker designed it. In this attack, some unwanted and unknown virus encrypted the affected computers’ files and asked for the money to access files. It was one of the deadliest cyberattacks and was planned by hackers. The hackers find out the weak points of an OS or app and attack it. There is a misconception that all the hackings are illegal, and all the hackers are criminal, but in reality, not all types of hackings are unlawful.

Hackers are divided into three different types; Black hat hacker, White hat hacker, and Grey hat hacker. Black Hat Hackers create malware and plan cyber attacks. The white hat hackers take the permission of computer owners to look for vulnerabilities. These hackers are also called ethical hackers. The white hat hackers maintain and update the security of computers and networks by checking the loopholes. The third type of hackers is grey hat hackers that scan the vulnerabilities in a computer without the computer owner’s permission.

So, ethical hackers don’t do any illegal activity and take all the required permission before accessing any computer. The white hat ethical hackers access unauthorized files on computer and network and duplicate the strategies and attacks. Based on the response of computer and network, the hackers plan security for the computer or network. So, ethical hackers are security experts too. The actions that white hat hackers perform on computers are proactive actions that will keep the critical file safe in a cyber attack. As hackers’ colour code suggests, the white hat hackers do just the opposite of black hat hackers. To maintain the security of the IT assets of the company, they hire ethical hackers.

Requirements to Become an Ethical Hacker

Ethical hacking looks easy and appealing to a newbie. An ethical hacker has to hack a computer or IT asset with the owner’s permission. There is a general assumption that hacking is cracking the password of someone’s account or cracking a website. Thanks to movies for this but a hacker’s job is more crucial than guessing a password.

An ethical hacker needs to be smarter than a black hat hacker. To be a hacker, you must have a degree in IT or computer but having an interest in hacking is more critical. The hacker must have a vast knowledge of computers, networking, and programming languages to find the loopholes in-network, computers, or applications.

If we talk about the required educational qualification to be a white-hat hacker, then the aspirant must have a UG degree in any one of the followings courses;

BCA, B. SC (IT), B. Tech (Computer), B. Sc (Computer Science), or masters in computer-related courses like MCA. M.Sc (IT) or others. Candidates who have done UG and PG diploma courses can also be an ethical hacker.

To get admission to the above-mentioned courses, you must have scored a minimum of 50% marks in the 12th class. Many colleges and universities offer admission in UG degree courses in computers based on the merit list. Many universities provide an entry in B. Sc computer science to only those who have studied Physics, Chemistry, and Maths in 10+2. The students who want to get access to B. Tech (computers) must be 12th pass outs with PCM.

To get admission to the UG program in computers, the students will have various options. For B. Tech, the students, can take the JEE examination or other entrance tests conducted on the state level. Generally, universities and colleges release the notification to invite students for admission in April and May month. The college administration prepares a merit list to offer seats to the students on the UG (computer) course based on the received applications. The same process continues to take the students on board in a master’s course in computers.

Along with the UG or PG degree in related subjects, an aspirant needs to do some certification courses. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification will help you understand security and hacking. Candidates can enrol in CISSP after graduation, and CEH available for wanna be white-hat hacker after the 12th. These courses are readily available at the various centres in Delhi, NCR, and other big cities.

Ethical hacking certification courses also help hackers to understand the basic and advanced types of hacking. Certification courses like SANS, Offensive Security, or ISCA offer the opportunity to learn more about hacking. EC Council- certificate courses provide the necessary practical knowledge of ethical hacking. It is a must for new ethical hackers to get enrolled in some ethical hacking certification courses to get a righteous hacking job.

Roles and Responsibility of an Ethical Hacker

Generally, people think that an ethical hacker finds out the system’s loopholes and repair them to make it secure. Still, in actuality, an ethical hacker’s work is much more complicated. An ethical hacker has to test the company’s system and network from time to time to find out any thread to the security. He is responsible for implementing all the required security measurements to the computer and network system. If you are an IT person, you can understand how crucial it is to upgrade or implement new security patches on all the company’s running computers. It is also a must for an ethical hacker to all R&D on the latest patches before installing them to check their security level.

An ethical hacker has to scan all the open and close ports with tools like Nessus and NMAP. White hat hackers will also be responsible for making decisions about evading Intrusion Detection systems, firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems, and honeypots.

An ethical hacker will have to engage in social engineering methodologies. Implementing strategies like cracking and bypassing wireless or mail encryption and sniffing the network also counts as an ethical hacker’s roles and responsibilities.

It is expected from a white hat hacker to replicate the black hat hacker’s work and find out its exit way. The hackers are brilliant as they access confidential information, so an ethical hacker needs to be smarter than him. The white-hat hacker needs to make sure that the organization’s data remain safe even in the attack of any malware. The ethical hacker needs to work as a team with the server and network engineers. Maintaining the security of the network and computer data and defeating all the hackers’ attempts to steal the company’s data is the responsibility of ethical hackers. In the case of cyber-attack, they are to act proactively to save the data.

Ethical Hacker Skill Set

To be an ethical hacker, you must have a degree or diploma in a computer or IT. the certification course in ethical hacking will also help you understand the small details of hacking. Along with the degree, diploma, or certificates, you must have some skills that will help you to have a bright career in hacking. Let us know about the skills that an ethical hacker must possess;

· Computer skill

One of the most fundamental skills that a hacker must have is knowledge about computers. You must know about the different kinds of operating systems and all the basic and advanced information about the computer’s hardware and software. Good command on the CMD prompt will help you handle the OS when a few of its files get corrupted. Knowledge about editing the registry and shortcut keys will make a strong base for ethical hacking.

· Database management systems (DBMS)

A hacker accesses the computer’s data, and an ethical hacker saves it by implementing different security patches. So you must have the basic knowledge of DBMS. It is not expected from ethical hackers to have as advanced information about DBMS as Data Base Administrator carries, but it should know all the ins and outs of different DBMS engines and schemes.

· Programming skills

Hackers use the same language to get access to any software or app in which it is developed. To be a successful ethical hacker, you must know different programming languages, and your logic must be clear to design a program in any programming language. If not all, then the knowledge of common languages like C, C++, SQL, Python is a must for the hackers for initial years of their career.

· Networking

The cyberattacks in one or more organizations took place because of networking. If one system gets infected with malware, it can travel to other computers connected to the network. So the hackers target the computers in the network to steal or encrypt more data. An ethical hacker must know the necessary information about networking, the protocols. DHCP and others. AN ethical hacker should also know about adding and computer to a network and deleting one from a network. IT will help him in his work of preventing hacking.

· Linux

Linux is known as one of the safest operating systems with minimum loopholes. Most of the companies have a Linux operating system on their server. Most of the web servers also run on this operating system. To be an ethical hacker, you must know the small details of Linux and commands to access its server.

· Wireless technologies

Wireless connection has become one of the most popular ways of networking for small organizations and homes. The hackers can hack the wifi network and get entry into all the devices connected with wireless technology. So an ethical hacker must know about these technologies as well. The necessary information about WPA, WPA2, WEP, WPS will help the ethical hacker in his work. When the ethical hacker knows about wireless technology, he can easily find the network’s expected and apparent loopholes.

· Cryptography

Another critical skill an ethical hacker must have is knowledge of cryptography. Cryptography converts a message into a non-readable message to save it from the hacker. It makes sure that the conversation between two people remains confidential. An ethical hacker has to ensure that this technology is working fine or not.

· Web applications

Web applications have become a soft target for hackers. The black hat hackers get the entry in web application and through them to one’s computer. So an ethical hacker must know about web applications’ coding. When an ethical hacker has the information of HTML, JavaScript, and PHP, he can strengthen the security of web applications and secure the data.

· Social engineering

If you want to be an ethical hacker, then you must know about social engineering. It is one of the most common ways hackers get an entry into another’s data. Black hat hackers used Trojans, phishing, social engineering, and other similar tricks to access people’s information on their devices. Ethical hackers need to check the loose points by replicate the black hat hackers’ actions. So it is just that they know about it in detail.

· Problem Solving Skills

An ethical hacker needs to be smarter than a black hat hacker, so he has to perform different kinds of testing on various platforms and OS. At a few times, the white hat hacker may get stuck somewhere. Or while replicating the hacker’s trick, he can be clueless at some times. The problem-solving skills will help him at this time. So to be an ethical hacker, you must have patience, problem-solving skills in your personality.

Ethical Hacker Job Trend

2020 was an unusual year, and none of us has ever thought of the time when everything will stop working. The lockdown period has snatched the job of many, but hackers’ work didn’t get affected by this lockdown. The economy’s growth chart was on a straight slope, but the hackers’ job was safe. In previous years companies didn’t show much interest in hiring programmers. Still, they release the vacancies for ethical hackers as the organizations’ data and information are always at risk.

If we talk about 2021, it is expected that everything will become normal again, and companies will hire more people to run their businesses and get their targets. More vacancies will be available for certified ethical hackers. Both full-time and freelancer ethical hackers will be in-demand in 2021. Ethical hacking can be done remotely. Hence, the pandemic’s effects are not much visible in this particular job. If you are passionate about hacking, you can enrol in ethical courses without thinking much about available vacancies. The IT industry always keen to take intelligent, ethical hackers on board. The righteous hacking job is one of the most secure and high paying jobs in IT.

The ethical hacker’s experience ethical hacker play an essential and crucial role in the offered salary. Ethical hacking salary gets rise based on experience and knowledge of the hacker.

Companies Hiring Ethical Hackers

All the companies are to make an online presence to tell its customers about its existence in the present competitive time. So all the companies are at risk of a cyber-attack. All large and small organizations need an ethical hacker or team of ethical hackers based on their requirements. Very few companies give a freelancer ethical hacker the responsibility to find out the security loopholes and finish them, and the rest hire ethical hackers on board. All the IT companies, private and government banks, government offices release the vacancies for ethical hackers. Ethical hacking jobs are readily available in India and overseas as well. Now many start-ups are also hitting the markets so the scope and number of opportunities will increase for ethical hackers.

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