If tackling problems that require an ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to be solved is your thing, ethical hacking might just be your career of choice! In this “How to become an Ethical Hacker?” article, I’ll be drafting a roadmap for you, the reader, to help you become an Ethical Hacker. Let’s start off by listing down all the topics that are going to be discussed in this article:
Who is an Ethical Hacker?
An ethical hacker is a computer network specialist who deals with the security posture of an organization. His job involves eliciting security flaws in the organization he is working for by testing all aspects of the system and its services for any sort of vulnerabilities. The key point to notice is that all this is done with the permission of the owners of the organization and without any malicious intent. An ethical hacker is also known as a white hat hacker and is the stark opposite of a black hat hacker, a.k.a crackers who hack with the sole purpose of bringing about some sort of disruption, or chaos from the vulnerabilities they find.
Getting Started with Ethical Hacking
How you begin your road to become an ethical hacker very much depends on your current field of occupation, study or research. If you are not in a field that is remotely related to computer science, information technology or cybersecurity, you might need to shift into one. For someone who is at that infancy of their career, this might be an easy task but for others, suddenly changing their field of work is a daring task. Having a bachelor’s degree certainly helps you snag the job, but you can pass the most beginner-level interview with a general knowledge of networking and operating systems!
Technical knowledge aside, an ethical hacker must be a creative thinker. Ethical hackers have to predict and prevent cracker activities an this requires an ‘out-of-the-box’ approach for solutions to general problems as you have to stay one step ahead of black hat hackers. Ethical hackers also need to be able to work under pressure with immaculate judgment. Last but not least, an ethical hacker must be proficient at communicating the problems he finds to the corresponding department.
Those who are skeptical about going to college could also pursue a career in the military. Having some experience in the military, particularly in the intelligence faction, could help your resume get noticed by necessary employers. Getting a job as an ethical hacker prior to gathering any industry experience is really difficult. After getting an entry-level job as tech support engineer or a security analyst, you may try attaining some of the more pertinent certifications which will definitely give you a certain edge over others when applying for a job. Let’s discuss these other certifications you may want to achieve!
While talent and ability aren’t established only by certifications, they do help when proving your knowledge and skill to others. Even if you don’t have ample industry experience, a certification like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) unquestionably helps. CEH is an unbiased credential and generally, CEH certified ethical hackers are in high demand. According to PayScale, a CEH certified ethical hacker earns around $88,000 per annum. Apart from CEH, there are a few other noteworthy certifications that prove your skill as an ethical hacker for example:
- SANS GIAC certification
- Certified Vulnerability Assessor (CVA)
- Certified Professional Ethical Hacker (CPEN)
- Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE)
For now, let’s discuss CEH certification
How to become an Ethical Hacker: About CEH Exam
The CEH exam is a multiple-choice exam which verifies your knowledge pertaining to the penetration testing structure and the tools used within that structure. It equips prospective job seekers in the information security industry with a solid start, making sure the holder of the certificate knows how to do the basics like:
- information gathering
- attacking computers or servers
- wireless attacks and social engineering
Objective of CEH
The following are the targets of the CEH exam:
- Inform the public that credentialed individuals meet or exceed the minimum standards
- Establish and govern minimum standards for credentialing professional information security specialists in ethical hacking measures
- Reinforce ethical hacking as a unique and self-regulating profession
- Exam Name: EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
- Exam Duration: 240 Minutes
- Questions in Exam: 125 Questions
- Exam Type: Multiple Choice
- Passing Score(%): 70%
- Exam Registration: OR
Eligibility Criteria for CEH
There are two ways to satisfy the exam eligibility requirements:
- Attend Official CEH Training: This can be in any format, e.g., instructor-led training, computer-based training (CBT) or live online training, as long as the program is approved by EC-Council.
- Attempt without Official Training: In order to be considered for the EC-Council certification exam without attending official training, you must:Have two or more years of documented information security experienceRemit a non-refundable eligibility application fee of $100.00Submit completed including verification from employerUpon approval EC-Council will email you a voucher number to register for the CEH exam
This brings us to the end of this “How to become an Ethical Hacker” article. I hope this article was enough guidance to start off your preparation to become an Ethical Hacker. For more information regarding cybersecurity, you could check out my other blogs.
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