The question, which most of us are trying to find an answer to, is ‘How to become an Ethical Hacker?’ Even today, most people associate the term ‘hacking’ to something unlawful and illegal, which is completely wrong. Like the two flip sides of a coin, hacking too has a right side and a wrong one. The illegal way of hacking is black-hat hacking, while the Ethical Hackers, who do their work by the law, are the ones wearing the ‘white hat.’
As per the predictions by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a rise of 32% in Ethical Hacking jobs from 2018 to 2028.
This Ethical Hacker blog mainly discusses the steps you need to follow to become an Ethical Hacker and what this job role entails. Mentioned below is a list of topics that are discussed further in this blog:
Before getting into our topic, you need to understand the meaning of Ethical Hacking and who Ethical Hackers are.
What does Ethical Hacking mean?
When you hear the term ‘hacking,’ does it bring unwanted and negative connotations to your mind? Naturally, it does, but let me tell you one thing; hacking is not all bad. The reason for this negativity is that the exact job role of Ethical Hackers is not completely understood. Ethical Hacking is part of cybersecurity that involves the legal practice of bypassing the security of any given system that will help in identifying probable threats and data breaches in the network. Thus, companies that own a particular network or system hire professionals to test the defenses of it.
Check out this YouTube video on Ethical Hacking and get insights into the field:
You have briefly understood what Ethical Hacking is. Before going into the details of becoming an Ethical Hacker, let’s try and understand who these professionals are and what they do.
Ethical Hacker Definition
Ethical Hackers are professionals who use their advanced computer knowledge not for notorious activities but for figuring out the weakness of the system security for a particular organization and secure them from external threats and hackers who hack in with less honest intentions and motive.
You have briefly understood the meaning of the terms: Ethical Hacking and Ethical Hackers. Now, in your journey of ‘How to become an Ethical Hacker?’, you need to acquire specific skills and master certain tools and technologies that will make you a successful Ethical Hacker.
Certified Ethical Hacker Prerequisites
As a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), there are a plethora of concepts that you need to master, along with the skills required in this profession. Following are some of the skills that you need to become proficient in:
- Networking skills
- Experience in Linux OS
- Basic knowledge of computer hardware
- Knowledge of reverse engineering and cryptography
These are a few of the Ethical Hacking requirements that you must fulfill to become a Certified Ethical Hacker.
Ethical Hacker Tools
The top 10 tools that you can choose from to master and become a Certified Ethical Hacker are as follows:
- John the Ripper
To attain these skills and master the Ethical Hacking tools, you must enroll in our Ethical Hacking Course!
The Journey of an Ethical Hacker
On the path of becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker, you must keep in mind that to become an Ethical Hacker, you need to have patience as it is not a one-day process. For becoming a professional in this field, you need to develop patience and experience in various roles and responsibilities of specific job roles. You would not land a high-position job at the beginning with a huge salary. Instead, you will have to go through a few job roles to get there. However, the time span to get there is short.
Here is a step-by-step process on how to become an Ethical Hacker.
Starting with It
Most Ethical Hackers either start with a degree in computer science or by obtaining the A+ certification, otherwise known as CompTIA. To attain this certification, you need to clear two examinations that involve testing one’s ability to dismantle and rebuild a personal computer, along with having in-depth knowledge of its components.
To apply for these tests and qualify them, you must have 500+ hours of practical experience in the field, and this will just be the beginning of your career in the Ethical Hacking field. To move ahead in this career, you must gain further professional experience and qualify in CCNA or the Network+ certification. Both CCNA qualification and Network+ certification will help you validate your foundation-level understanding in the networking field, including installation, maintenance, management, and troubleshooting.
Working in Network Support
After qualifying any of the mentioned certifications, you can get into the next stage of your Ethical Hacking career, which is entering the network support domain. In this role, you will work on numerous activities, such as installing cybersecurity programs, monitoring and updating them, and testing the programs for weakness to improve them.
Working as a Network Engineer
Once you gain professional experience in network support, you can move onto the next phase of your career. In the next phase, rather than just supporting, you will begin to design and plan networks. Now, you need to start focusing on the security domain in the journey of becoming an Ethical Hacker. For this, you must get a certification in the security field, namely, CISSP, Security+, or TICSA. The US Department of Defence approves the Security+ qualification, which comprises the testing of crucial and significant topics such as cryptography, identity management, and access control.
The CISSP certification, on the other hand, is recognized globally for the security qualification in terms of testing knowledge and experience in application development, Cloud Computing, and risk management. Further, TICSA is at a similar level in terms of cybersecurity testing as it tests the same concepts and skills. Achieving this accreditation in more than enough for you to land a job in the field of information security, which is the ultimate step to become an Ethical Hacker.
Working in the Field of Information Security
Working in the information security domain is a milestone in the path of becoming an Ethical Hacker. The main job role of an information security professional in an organization is to deal with various security breaches, examine the network security and the system, put security measures in place in the organization, etc. As part of this job profile, you need to keep your focus on penetration testing and gain practical experience in the tools and techniques of Ethical Hacking.
In this stage, you must reach out and qualify the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. Our course on Ethical Hacking will help you qualify this certification by making you proficient in the core concepts to become a successful Ethical Hacker. Further, you will learn to hack into networks, identify existing security issues in a company, and more. Once you complete this training program, you will gain the capability and skills to become an Ethical Hacker.
In this ‘How to become an Ethical Hacker?’ blog, you have learned about the various stages of becoming an efficient and successful Ethical Hacker. Now, you will come across the numerous job opportunities available for professionals in this field.
Looking to learn more about Ethical Hacking? Read our full guide on Ethical Hacking Tutorial.
Ethical Hacker Jobs
There are numerous Ethical Hacker job opportunities for both entry-level and experienced professionals today as most companies are looking for those who can improve their security systems and prevent them from any external threats and breaches. Due to this, the demand for Ethical Hackers has shown immense growth in recent years, which will only continue to do so.
Various job profiles for Ethical Hacking professionals are mentioned below:
- Ethical Hacking Manager
- Junior Cybersecurity Analyst
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- IT Security Analyst
- IT Security Operations Technical Analyst
- Software Security Engineer
- Network Security Specialist
- Information Security Analyst
You have learned about the various job roles that you can apply for in this Ethical Hacker career guide. Further, you will get a clear idea of the job description of an Ethical Hacking job profile.
Ethical Hacker Job Description
Now, let’s take a look at the job descriptions and requirements mentioned by some of the major companies in the world, such as Accenture, Phillips, etc.
Federal – Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst, Accenture
Product Security Professional, Philips
Check out our Ethical Hacking Interview Questions blog to prepare yourself for job interviews to assume these roles.
Ethical Hacker Salary
As per Glassdoor, entry-level Ethical Hackers earn an average of about US$69,100 per annum in the United States. With experience and as per the companies they get into, the salary of these IT professionals may rise to approximately US$102,000 per annum.
According to PayScale, in India, the average salary of a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is about ₹490,900 per annum, and this amount may increase to ₹3,000,000 per annum.
Boost up Your Career in Ethical Hacking
This blog on ‘How to become an Ethical Hacker?’ gave you insights into what Ethical Hacking is and who Ethical Hackers are. Moreover, you came across various stages you need to get through to become an Ethical Hacker. Here, you also learned about the numerous job opportunities that are open for Ethical Hacking professionals, along with their job descriptions and the salary they earn. So, get ahead in your career in Ethical Hacking and become a Certified Ethical Hacker!
If you have any questions on Ethical Hacking, reach out to us at our Cyber Security Community!