The topics covered in this blog on Ethical Hacking are as follows:
Before moving on to the key skills required by an Ethical Hacker, first, let’s understand what Ethical Hacking is and who ‘Ethical Hackers’ are.
Who is an Ethical Hacker?
The process of finding vulnerabilities to bypass the security applications of a system is known as hacking, and if this hacking is done by a legitimate or legal hacker, who has taken permission from the organization, then it is known as Ethical Hacking.
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The person who is responsible for performing Ethical Hacking is known as an ‘ethical’ hacker or white-hat hacker.
An Ethical Hacker has to perform penetration testing on the system, which includes various phases as given below:
- Reconnaissance: Gaining knowledge about the organization’s network and servers
- Scanning: Scanning the network of the organization to know about what severs and hosts it uses
- Gaining access: Trying to exploit the vulnerabilities of the system
- Maintaining access: Installation of some backdoors so that the Ethical Hacker can access the system in the future
- Clearing tracks: Clearing all the log files related to the attack
- Reporting: Preparation of a report explaining everything about the hack
The objective here is to intentionally hack into a system by finding all the loopholes in it so that these loopholes can be fixed before a ‘malicious’ or ‘black-hat’ hacker finds them.
Apart from performing penetration testing, an Ethical Hacker has different roles in an organization. Let’s understand these roles of an Ethical Hacker in detail.
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Roles of an Ethical Hacker
The main goal of an Ethical Hacker is to protect the system from getting hacked, and for this purpose, he/she has to follow different methods. Let’s discuss the various roles of an Ethical Hacker in this section.
First, you can check out the following job descriptions of some job profiles offered in the field of Ethical Hacking.
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From the above job descriptions, we can conclude that some of the key responsibilities of an Ethical Hacker are as follows:
- An Ethical Hacker performs tests on a system for finding various security breaches and evaluates the performance of the system.
- To enhance the effectiveness of the security system, Ethical Hackers have to suggest appropriate solutions to the weaknesses found in the system.
- They have to perform regular penetration testing on the network, web applications, and the system to identify the vulnerabilities.
- Ethical Hackers also have to prepare a detailed report about the hack, which includes the weaknesses found in the system, tools that were used, etc., and once the issues are solved, they have to provide feedback for the same.
- An Ethical Hacker has to inform the organization about how the attack can affect its operations and users.
- To ensure greater security, an Ethical Hacker has to test the system regularly to find as many weaknesses as possible.
These are some major roles of an Ethical Hacker. However, an Ethical Hacker must be prepared to face some undiscovered challenges as well, because ‘malicious’ hackers are as innovative as ‘ethical’ hackers.
After understanding the basics of Ethical Hacking, you might be wondering, what are the Ethical Hacking career opportunities offered by different organizations?
Keeping that in mind, let’s move ahead to our next topic, which is the Ethical Hacking career scope.
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Ethical Hacking Career Scope
As per the current statistics, we have only 32 percent of people in the IT industry who are professionally skilled in fighting against cyber attacks.
Seeing the exponential growth in the digital economy, we can say that the field of Ethical Hacking is also going to expand, and every organization will require highly skilled Ethical Hackers to ensure greater security of critical data and systems.
In fact, organizations like the Armed Forces, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton are hiring certified Ethical Hackers the most to improve their security systems.
Ethical Hackers are also offered a pretty good salary ranging from ₹4.5 LPA to ₹12 LPA in India and US$6,100 to US$16,000 per year in the United States. It is stated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that an Ethical Hacker can expect a 28 percent increase in jobs by 2026.
Now, let’s check out various job roles provided in this field:
If you are confused about the right career path for Ethical Hacking, then these are some basic job roles that you can apply for in the field. Let’s move further in this Ethical Hacking Career blog and discuss the skills that are required to become a successful Ethical Hacker.
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Skills Required to Become an Ethical Hacker
If you are willing to start a certified Ethical Hacker career, then you must be proficient in some areas such as networking, programming, databases, and operating systems (both UNIX/Linux-based and Windows-based). Along with this, you must have good knowledge of the fundamentals of the IT field.
A good Ethical Hacker also knows how to gather information using search engines and the Internet effectively. You should also learn some programming languages, which are mentioned further.
Languages to Learn
Let’s check out the programming languages that you must learn to become a successful Ethical Hacker:
- HTML: It is used to create web pages. Some websites use HTML forms for data entry purposes. Having a deep knowledge of HTML will help you identify and exploit vulnerabilities in the code.
- SQL: It is used to communicate with the database. You can use SQL injections to bypass web applications, delete or modify data, etc.
- Python: It is a high-level programming language that is used when there is a need to develop scripts and automation tools. It can also be used for customizing the available tools.
- C/C++: They are also high-level languages that are used mostly for writing shellcodes, rootkits, exploits, etc.
Learn about the difference between Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking in our comparison blog on Cyber Security vs Ethical Hacking.
Well, a professional hacker would always prefer a Linux operating system for the purpose of hacking as all the operating systems are based on the Linux kernel.
To provide better security to computer systems, UNIX/Linux-based operating systems are used. It is free and open-source software that was developed by AT&T in Bell Labs, and it has contributed a lot to the world of security.
Hence, you can say that it is not possible to learn Ethical Hacking without learning UNIX/Linux. Linux kernel-based operating systems are freely available, and anyone can download and use them.
Some of the Linux kernel-based operating systems that you can use are as follows:
- Kali Linux
- Parrot Security OS
- BlackArch Linux
- Fedora Security Spin
Now, you know the various programming languages and operating systems that you should work with if you aspire to be an Ethical Hacker. To get one step closer to your certified Ethical Hacker career path, let’s discuss some certification courses that you can do to become an Ethical Hacker.
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Certification and Courses
After acquiring all the skills required to become an Ethical Hacker, it is important to acquire a certification related to the field as it increases your chances of getting a secured job.
Certifications do help in becoming a successful Ethical Hacker as certification exams, such as CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) certification exam, help you test your knowledge in Ethical Hacking.
Once you pass the exam and achieve the certification, you will be in high demand among the recruiters in the Cyber Security industry, and you will also be offered a good salary. The pay scale of a Certified Ethical Hacker is around US$88,000 per year in the United States.
Apart from CEH, there are a few more certifications that will increase your demand in the Cyber Security industry:
- Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Vulnerability Assessor (CVA)
- Certified Professional Ethical Hacker (CPEN)
- Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE)
- Offensive Security Wireless Professional (OSWP)
These are some certifications that you can pursue to boost your career growth in Ethical Hacking. To qualify for these certifications, you can enroll in the best Ethical Hacking courses available.
Intellipaat is now offering an industry-designed CEH course that is managed by the EC Council. In this course, you’ll learn all techniques and tools used in Ethical Hacking, and along with that, you will work on real-world projects in scanning, testing, and hacking security systems.
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Now, let’s talk about the Ethical Hacking career in India.
Ethical Hacking Career in India
If you want to start your Ethical Hacking career in India, then there are plenty of companies, including IBM, Wipro, Infosys, TCS, etc., that hire Ethical Hackers to improve their security systems.
Ethical Hackers are also paid higher salaries than the other fields of IT in India. It is expected that the country will require more than 70,000 Ethical Hackers shortly.
If you have the capabilities to find new vulnerabilities in a system and also have good knowledge of networking, programming, and the internal working of a system or network, then it won’t be difficult for you to build an Ethical Hacking career in India.
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You must have an undergraduate degree in computer science to start your Ethical Hacking career. Along with that, having a certification in Ethical Hacking, such as CEH, CPEN, etc., will increase your chances of getting hired as an Ethical Hacker.
Ethical hacker salary depends on your experience, as a fresher in the field of Ethical Hacking, you can earn up to ₹4.5 LPA. After getting a few years of experience in this field, you can earn up to ₹6.5 LPA. Those who have work experience of more than 5 years can expect a salary of around ₹12 LPA.
Even if you have all the basic skills and certifications required to become an Ethical Hacker, you might still have to put some extra effort to land the highest paying job in this field.
You can also find Ethical Hacking jobs in government agencies, such as defense organizations, military, law enforcement agencies, investigative services, etc., and in private detective companies.
Check out this video on a career in Cyber Security:
In this blog, we discussed Ethical Hacking, the roles of an Ethical Hacker, skills required to become an Ethical Hacker, major Ethical Hacking certifications, and finally, we discussed having an Ethical Hacking Career in India so that you won’t find any difficulty in starting a career in Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security. I hope this blog provided you with all the relevant information to start your Ethical Hacking career.
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