When you hear the word hacker, you may imagine it must be someone who is doing infamy things behind the screen. That is not the case always as there are professionals called Ethical Hackers who use their skills with the intention of protecting the system of the organization they work for. They are also called White Hat Hackers or Pen Testers who earn handsome salary packages these days. Let’s learn more about it in this blog through the following topics:
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Who are Ethical Hackers?
An Ethical Hacker is a skilled professional who is employed in an organization permanently or sometimes through Bug Bounty Program to break into the system as a hacker might do. This is done to identify potential threats and bugs in the system that a hacker can exploit. An Ethical Hacker has the official permission to penetrate the system but complies with the rules of the organization.
What makes an Ethical Hacker different from a Black Hat Hacker is that in the case of the former, the intention is not to harm the system, instead to provide solutions that can fix the system’s possible vulnerabilities before a hacker takes advantage of them.
What does an Ethical Hacker do?
As the name suggests, Ethical Hacker hacks the system legally and ethically. Below are the roles and responsibilities of an Ethical Hacker:
- Perform Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)
- Scan for open and closed ports
- Identify security flaws and the areas that need high-level security
- Evade the intrusion detection system (IDS) and the intrusion prevention system (IPS) as a hacker might do
- Employ strategies such as sniffing the network, social engineering, cracking wireless encryption, etc. to detect possible vulnerabilities
- Research the target system via dark web and open-source channels
- Develop a new strategy to mitigate the vulnerabilities and threats
- Create security policies and check whether they are enforced aptly
- Monitor and research the company’s security system and network structure regularly to look for potential and suspicious bugs
- Suggest security upgrades and keep the security patches up to date
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Ethical Hacker Salary in India
In India, a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is offered a much more attractive payroll. In this section, first, check out the average Certified Ethical Hacker salary in India earned by professionals:
CEH Salary in India as per Experience
A year of experience one has in the field largely impacts the salary he/she gets. As you progress in your career with expertise, you will be paid higher. Check out the image below, which gives the graphical representation of the Certified Ethical Hacker salary in India as per experience level (Source: PayScale):
The Certified Ethical Hacker salary in India for freshers starts from ₹3.5 LPA. If you break it down, the average salary of an Ethical Hacker in India turns out to be between ₹29k and ₹41k per month.
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Gender Breakdown for the Ethical Hacker Profession in India
As per PayScale, the percentage of males and females who are employed as Ethical Hackers in the country are as follows:
Ethical Hacker Salary in India as per Cities
The Ethical Hacker’s salary in India per month also varies as per the cities these professionals work in. The below table has the statistics:
|City||Salary (Per Year)||Source|
How to become an Ethical Hacker?
It is said that knowing how to hack is an art. To become an Ethical Hacker, one should be a skilled programmer with proficiency in computer operating systems and machine coding. Below is the path for you to become an Ethical Hacker:
- Get a bachelor’s degree in computer science or an A+ certificate (CompTIA – Entry-level PC Technicians)
- Work as a programmer for a few years and switch to a tech support position
- Work on the top network certifications such as CCNA or Network+ and security certifications such as CISSP, Security+, or TICSA
- Work as a Network Engineer or a System Administrator to understand and gain experience working with networks and systems
- Think as a Network Security Engineer to know how to secure networks and systems
- Keep yourself updated with the latest security threats by going through various books, blogs, papers, and tutorials
- Enroll yourself in courses that cover topics such as Cyber Security threats, Trojan horses, Ransomeware, viruses, backdoors, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, SQL injection, session hijacking, and so on. Use these attacking methods to learn how they work and fix them
- Master footprinting, reconnaissance, penetration testing, and social engineering
- Crack the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, and go for it!
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Why are Ethical Hackers in demand?
Some of the worst cyberattacks in history sent a shockwave across the world, putting forth the tremendous need for the role of an Ethical Hacker. One such attack occurred in October 2013 when Adobe faced a major cyberattack that had an impact on 153 million of its users. Adobe reported that the hackers had taken advantage of almost 3 million protected customer credit card details and login information of customers where the actual number of victims is uncertain.
If it can happen to Fortune 500 companies like Adobe, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. who have the best security postures to count on, it can happen to any company or individual.
Here are a few facts to consider for why Ethical Hackers are in demand:
- Unfilled Cybersecurity jobs are expected to grow to 3.5 million in 2021.
- According to a technology review conducted by MIT, only one out of four security professionals is qualified to take on a Cybersecurity position.
- Almost every company holds a Cybersecurity position now to protect their data, apps, infrastructure, devices, and people.
- The worldwide Cybersecurity unemployment rate is 0% (CSO Online).
- By 2021, 100% of large companies will have a CISO position for hiring.
With high competition among cyber talents, Ethical Hacking is one of the much sought-after careers in Cyber Security, which happens to have a lucrative salary to offer as well.
Career Path for an Ethical Hacker
After you become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), you are offered various other roles as well, other than that of an Ethical Hacker. Some popular job roles are mentioned below:
A Penetration Tester is the one who performs penetration testing to find the vulnerabilities, bugs, and faults in the organization’s system. The aim is to improve the company’s security system by doing a pen-test regularly, which determines the strength and weakness of the target system against malicious cybercrimes.
Data Security Analyst/Specialist
As the name suggests, a Data Security Analyst’s role is to maintain the data privacy of the organization from intruders, who have an intention of harming the system. The analyst monitors for any type of improper or unauthorized access to sensitive data.
A Network Administrator has the responsibility to set up the organization’s network and keep it up to date with regular security patches. The professional helps computer systems interact with one another by setting up a local area network (LAN) and the other components of the network for the company.
Web Security Administrator/Manager
As a Web Security Administrator, you need to make sure that the whole system is working properly. You need to set up firewalls, monitor new users, check for frequent updates, and resolve issues in times of urgency.
Computer/Digital Forensics Investigator
A Digital Forensics Investigator comes into the picture after a security breach happens. The professional investigates the cybercrime to retrieve evidence, reports, and documents all the findings and submits them to the superior authority.
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Ethical Hacker Certifications
Being a Certified Ethical Hacker makes you a qualified professional who has a better understanding of how to identify, analyze, and rectify Cyber Security intrusions. Most of the employees who seek a job as a professional Ethical Hacker undergo certifications to become qualified Ethical Hacker. Here are the top three Ethical Hacker certifications of 2023.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
This is the world’s most extensive certification exam for Ethical Hacking aspirants, which requires a complete experimental, hands-on understanding of computer systems. You will have to learn how to break into a system/program with the use of various hacking tools to identify potential vulnerabilities. Earning this certificate qualifies you as a skilled professional who has the knowledge and expertise to identify the potential weakness in the target system and has the ability to legally break into the system to do so.
You need to think like a hacker to beat the hackers at their own game. This high-demand highly recognized certification, issued by EC-Council, gives you an in-depth understanding of the phases of Ethical Hacking and knowledge of various hacking tools and preventive countermeasures.
Check out this blog now if you are curious about how to pass the CEH Exam.
The individuals who are CEH-certified are paid a lucrative salary in India. The below image shows what the CEH certification is all about.
There are two ways to sit for the CEH certification exam. Check the below image to know about the fee structure for the certification, along with the eligibility criteria:
Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
GIAC certification is issued by one of the oldest organizations, SANS Institute, which provides information security certifications. It offers over 30 Cyber Security certifications. This certification holds proof that an individual has the minimum standard to qualify for the job. It is an online exam, which tests not only the candidate’s theoretical knowledge but also the practical knowledge to work on real-world problems. It checks the candidate’s skills to defend any network and infrastructure against domestic and foreign threats.
Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
This certification is purely practical-based, where it entirely focuses on candidates’ hands-on knowledge. It is issued by the for-profit organization, Offensive Security. It is designed for technical professionals who need to understand penetration testing, networking protocols, systems internals, software development, and Kali Linux, an open-source project maintained by Offensive Security.
The exam requires the candidates to gain administrative access by identifying vulnerabilities of a system, research networks, and finally, hack into the system within 24 hours. The committee reviews the detailed penetration test report at the end of 24 hours to determine whether to grant the certification.
This blog has covered the in-and-out of the various Ethical Hacker salaries in India. It has given you a brief overview of CEH, along with the career opportunities for an Ethical Hacker. If you plan to enter Ethical Hacking, all you have to do is get yourself enrolled in Intellipaat’s Instructor-led training for the CEH Certification, and you can make your career future-proof! Also, the ethical hacking tutorial will help you learn more.
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