Ethical Hacking is a process of infiltrating an organization’s security systems and processes with proper authorization and industry best practices to detect vulnerabilities and patch them before suffering great consequences of a cyber-attack.
It is essentially a process to dig out loopholes in security regulations and protocols, to fill them with appropriate patches to fend off any criminal activities in accessing unauthorized data.
Ethical Hackers work the same way as Hackers penetrate an organization’s sensitive areas stealing data and infecting systems with malware, but Ethical Hackers don’t indulge in such illegal activities, rather they take the approach of hackers but have radically different end-goals.
Here we will discuss the career of Ethical Hackers, their career scope, skill sets required, and job prospects.
Ethical Hacker’s Job
As we discussed above, Ethical Hacker is a security professional who will check for vulnerabilities and loopholes in computer systems, databases, and other network systems to ward off cyber criminals attempting to access these for personal or economic gains.
These professionals will be experts in the security domain, devise ways to ensure data protection, communicate essential information with clients, prepare detailed reports, etc.
Being ethical is what differentiates an Ethical Hacker from a Black Hat Hacker. Ethical Hacker works similar to a Black Hat Hacker but does so ethically (with proper authorization and transparency) to simulate data breaches to test the strength of security systems put in place.
The job entails high responsibilities. You must be comfortable working in high-pressure working environments. And the work will vary from searching and digging out a bug to developing or even creating a safer environment against outside threats.
How To Become An Ethical Hacker?
- Graduate from an engineering college, with a stream in Computer Science, IT, or any other fields that have high transferable skills. You can opt for B.E, B.Tech, or even B.Sc. Other options are online courses such as Intellipaat CEH training.
- After which, you could also enroll in a Master’s course if that’s what your plan is. Many postgraduates find excellent job opportunities after they complete their studies.
- Make sure you get an internship to get the best working experience before you start applying for real jobs. Because internship experience gives you a good experience that will help you get yourself prepared for the real working conditions and help you adjust your goals and ambitions accordingly.
- The skills are mandatory to survive in this high-demand domain. We will speak about the essential skill sets down below.
Ethical Hackers Required Skill Sets.
- Good experience in cryptography.
- Proficiency in Networking skills.
- Coding knowledge is mandatory. You can focus on programming languages like C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, SQL, PHP, etc.
- Good Operating System knowledge and work experience
- Good experience in inspection, pen-testing, footprinting, and other skills like social engineering
- Problem-Solving skills
- Analytical thinker
- Logical skills
- Good observational skills
- Experience in working in high-pressure situations
- Always learning attitude
- Keenness in learning and updating the current hacking methods by studying the modus operandi of various criminal groups
- Proficiency in working with various tools used by real hackers
Job Prospects Of Ethical Hacking
Ethical Hacking brings various career prospects to the table. If you are a qualified Ethical Hacker who has the required skill sets and tool knowledge, you can work for government agencies, private firms, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), and anyone who is wishing to keep their systems and data secure from cyber threats.
You can work in different roles like:
i). Network Security Engineers
They will have to implement, maintain, and integrate corporate LAN, WAN, and many other server architectures. They also have to enforce network security policies.
ii). Network Security Administrator
These professionals write the policies for network security and perform security audits to ensure the policies are implemented.
iii). Security Consultant
These professionals play a role as consultants to businesses and organizations by evaluating their IT systems and infrastructures and suggest ways to patch up vulnerabilities.
These professional’s job is to test the security measures put in place by penetrating the system by identifying the loopholes. They plan, carry out regular tests, simulate attacks, and advise improvements and other recommendations to tighten the security policies and measures.
Some Things You Must Keep In Mind
- Even though Ethical Hackers are in high demand, the selection process is inconsistent and sometimes difficult to make through.
- If you are planning to upskill, then make sure you do from recognized partners, or else, your cert will be of no use.
- Your work mostly might be part-time. And the compensation depends on the firm or organization you are working with.
The Final Verdict
The work of Ethical Hacker is mostly confined within the four walls. But that could be an office setup or in the home. You could work as a consultant too, offering suggestions and helping out many companies without being restricted to only one company or organization. The routine is flexible, some days, it could be normal working hours, and the other days it could stretch beyond 12 hours in case of an emergency.