How to make a career in ethical hacking?
Indeed, cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Moreover, due to the growing number of cyber attacks, almost every organization is demanding on professionals who can deal with such situations and can take preventive measures to avoid security breach or data loss. And here comes the role of ethical hackers – a cybersecurity professional who legitimately assesses or penetrates the organization’s network structure to find security vulnerabilities and fix them accordingly. There are various IT giants like Microsoft , Intel , Amazon , etc. which offer delightfulcareer opportunities in ethical hacking .
Before we go any further, let’s do a brief introduction to Ethical Hacking . Ethical Hacking is a legal practice of breaking into the system or network that is performed by professionals to identify potential security threats and data breaches in the organization’s network. The main purpose of practicing ethical hacking is to strengthen an organization’s network security system. Additionally, ethical hackers are also known as “white hat hackers” and follow the same techniques and methodologies as black hat hackers, but in a legal and authorized manner. An Ethical Hacker can be responsible for various roles and responsibilities in an organization such as:
- Determine security holes and vulnerabilities in the organization’s system or network.
- Regularly monitor data flow, network activity, etc. to analyze the level of security.
- Offers various suggestions and plans for improving network security.
- Perform penetration tests on the latest on-board security measures, etc.
Now the question arises – How to make a successful and worthwhile career in ethical hacking? And with the same concern, let’s review the full career path one needs to take to get started in Ethical Hacking:
1. Start with academics
This is the first and main thing you need to do to pursue a career in ethical hacking – make sure your field of study is concerned with or related to ethical hacking (usually cybersecurity or the IT world !!). Although it is not mandatory to have specific training to enter the field of ethical hacking, having a degree or university education in the related field such as computer science , information technology , etc. will lay your foundation and help you do it. big in ethical hacking. You can opt for a Bachelor or a Master in CS/IT or you can alsoopt for specific programs or courses related to ethical hacking. Moreover, various organizations also require these educational qualifications as prerequisites when recruiting Ethical Hackers.
2. Learn programming languages and operating systems
To be a valid ethical hacker, you must master programming languages and frameworks. It helps ethical hackers identify programming errors or vulnerabilities, implement security solutions , automate tasks , and many other aspects. You can opt for programming languages like C / C++ , Java , Python , Ruby , etc. to get started in ethical hacking. Meanwhile, you also need to learn about several operating systems such as LINUX , UNIX ,Windows , iOS , etc You must have a thorough understanding of the features of these operating systems along with the respective commands to become an affluent ethical hacker.
3. Good knowledge of network and security
Needless to say, understanding the concepts of computer networking and cybersecurity is the core aspect of ethical hacking. You should have knowledge of computer networks and security from basic to advanced level, such as virtual private networks (VPN) , firewalls , cryptography , denial of service attacks (DoS attacks) , etc. . Although several hacking concepts such as Penetration Testing , Malware Cloud Computing , SQL Injection , Vulnerability Assessmentand various others must also be considered. You can opt for books , tutorials , journals , and various other resources that control computer networks and cybersecurity concepts.
4. Join training programs to improve ethical hacking skills
Ethical hacking is a broad and deep field and you need to acquire the knowledge of ethical hacking from beginner to advanced level to gain expertise in the field. During this time, you can start learning ethical hacking skills by reading books, watching videos, etc., but after reaching a certain level, you will need to interact with the professionals , gain practical knowledge , etc. the domain. And with the same concern, you are recommended to attend relevant and useful training programs or boot camps to learn and practice ethical hacking skills in a real environment.
5. Obtain relevant certifications
Once you have completed the learning processes mentioned above, you now need to get certified and validate your ethical hacking skills . These certifications will not help you prove your knowledge and skills, but can directly open various career opportunities for you with IT giants, even without having enough experience in the industry. There are various prestigious certifications in the field of ethical hacking such as Certified Ethical Hacker , Global Information Assurance Certification , Offensive Security Certified Professional , Certified Vulnerability Assessor and many more.
Among all these certifications, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is one of the most demanding and reputable ethical hacking certifications. The CEH exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions related to ethical hacking domain such as SQL Injection , Backdoors , Session Hijacking , etc. , which must be resolved within 240 minutes.
6. Dive into the profession of ethical hacking
Now is the time to start your professional career in the field of Ethical Hacking . In the early stages, you can start with several entry level jobs in the field such as Security Analyst , Penetration Tester , etc. and then move on to higher level Ethical Hacker jobs. There are various job profiles related to hacking ethics such as Network Security Administrator , System Manager , Web Security Manager , Security Information Manager, and many others. Meanwhile, apart from private IT giants, you can join several government organizations such as investigation service, law enforcement and military etc. as ethical hackers.
Apart from these technical aspects, you also need to work on several soft skills and other required areas. First of all, you have to be a creative thinker and come up with various innovative ideas because you have to mess with many tricksters (yes, Black Hat Hackers!!) on the network. Meanwhile, you need to be a problem solver , investigator , and adaptable to be a competent ethical hacker. In the meantime, there are several recommended books mentioned below that you can consider on your journey of learning ethical hacking:
- Hacking: A Beginner’s Guide to Hacking
- The Underground Hacker’s Handbook
- Hacking: the art of exploitation
- All-in-one CEH certified ethical hacker
So, these are several major approaches you need to follow to become a successful ethical hacker. Moreover, considering the current scenario of the IT world, the demand for ethical hackers is going to increase rapidly. Here, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, follow the approaches mentioned above and become a proficient ethical hacker to make the digital world safer for everyone!!