The internet has turned our huge world into a global town. Every office work that you can imagine is carried out through computer systems these days, and internet connection has become a necessity. With everything moving online, there hasn’t been more urgency to secure the systems, networks, and sensitive information. Well-defined security protocols need to be laid out and followed by organizations to prevent any data breach. Post that, ethical hacking and cybersecurity professionals must keep on monitoring the systems and apply various tools and techniques to ensure everything is protected.
The term ‘ethical hacking’ must not be new for you. It involves all the steps taken to detect vulnerabilities and loopholes in a system and fixing them before they can be exploited by malicious hackers. So, an ethical hacker, also called a white hat hacker, is an information security professional who is authorized to penetrate an organization’s systems and networks to identify and strengthen loopholes to avert any risk posed by ill-intended hackers. With data breaches occurring at an alarming rate, ethical hackers are in demand in every organization. An ethical hacking certification is helping candidates become eligible for this role and find great career opportunities.
Willing to explore more about an ethical hacker role? Well, this article discusses the roles and responsibilities of an ethical hacker and how you can step into this promising career field.
What Exactly do Ethical Hackers do?
The Data Security Council of India (DSCI) has stated that the global cybersecurity services market is expected to be worth $116 billion by the year 2025. Undoubtedly, it will open up new job opportunities in the field of ethical hacking, so now is the best time to become an expert in this domain. But wait, before doing that, you should know what to expect in a career as an ethical hacker. Knowing the responsibilities and day-to-day activities performed by an ethical hacker will help you decide whether you will be the right fit for the role or not.
Here we go with some of the responsibilities of an ethical hacker:
- Collaborate with clients to understand the security system currently in place.
- Check for vulnerabilities and plan security measures to protect a company’s digital assets.
- Use reconnaissance tools to scan open and closed ports.
- Perform multiple penetration tests on systems, identify security flaws, and prepare test reports.
- Perform rigorous vulnerability assessments after examining patch releases.
- Identify areas of high-level security and review and rate the security network.
- Suggest the management regarding any security updates required in an organization.
- Perform preventive, corrective, and protective countermeasures against any malicious attempts.
- Undertake appropriate evasion techniques and measures against phishing, trojans, social engineering, malware, etc.
- Ensure that the computer systems are firewalled, all the security protocols are in place, and sensitive information is encrypted.
How to Become an Ethical Hacker?
Looking at the entire set of responsibilities handled by an ethical hacker, you may sense that becoming one isn’t a walk in the park. Seasoned ethical hackers seem to have a passion for technology and practice their craft on their own to polish their skills. They may have gained ethical hacking experience by pushing the limits of what constituted legal activity. Such talented security professionals suggest beginners not avoid the basics. First off, individuals need to have a strong understanding of networks and computer systems. Proficiency in any one programming language is also recommended. For example, if you know Python, you can automate repetitive tasks, and if you know SQL, you can exploit a vulnerability that occurs in the application’s database layer.
Next, one should know about recent security protocols for commonly used operating systems like macOS, Windows, and Linux. They should have an in-depth understanding of the phases and methodologies of ethical hacking along with encryption techniques and cryptography. So, they should be knowledgeable enough to perform such tasks and adhere to the code of ethics and perform hack under professional conduct.
If you are concerned about the required educational background, many ethical hackers are qualified with an IT degree or an advanced diploma in network security. Other graduate degree options include a bachelor’s in computer science, computer engineering, electronics, and telecommunications, etc. Don’t have the required qualifications? Well, with some relevant experience in IT, you can still step into the world of ethical hacking. All you need to do is achieve an industry-recognized certification in this domain.
An Ethical Hacker Certification (CEH) administered by the EC-Council can be your best choice. It will not only show your seriousness towards the role, but also offers value if it is viewed as building a foundation of ethical hacking knowledge, and not only indicating mastery of the entire subject. The certification helps you start off with protocols and networking hardware and then delve into vulnerability assessments and penetration into networks. So, when are you weighing your options to become an ethical hacker!