In the digitised industry, ethical hacking has become one of the most sought-after courses, thanks to the lucrative prospects in this field. Based on your current level of expertise or your needs, you would have to choose a suitable ethical hacking course from a reputable institute. It is possible to learn ethical hacking completely from scratch under professional guidance too.
What is ethical hacking, and why is it important?
Currently, cybercrime poses a significant threat to individuals, businesses, and governments alike. With the world fighting against increasing cybercrimes, the demand for experts in this field has risen. However, to counter a hacker, one needs to think like a hacker. This is where ethical hackers come into play. In ethical hacking, a professional uses the same tools and technologies as hackers with malicious intent. However, an ethical hacker does the job intending to protect against unethical hackers.
Various organisations hire ethical hackers to protect their interests. These hackers try to seek out vulnerabilities in the systems of their clients that unethical hackers can exploit. Then they inform their clients about the issue and suggest solutions if needed. Unlike hackers who aim to use their skills to commit cybercrimes, ethical hackers do not have to face legal actions. However, you would need an ethical hacker certification for this.
Learning ethical hacking: Certifications that you can opt for
Currently, a variety of courses are available for those trying to learn ethical hacking. Certifications from EC Council are among the most valued and can be a great addition to one’s portfolio. Based on the job roles you are preparing for, there are several certifications that you could go for. The CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) certification is the most basic among them and would identify you as an ethical hacker. Once you possess this certificate, you can also opt for several other more specialised certifications:
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
As you may have already guessed, these certifications validate a candidate’s skills for particular job roles. You will have to choose from these certifications based on the field you wish to build your career in or the designation you seek.
What skills do you need to become an ethical hacker?
One of the key factors to consider before pursuing any job role and the necessary certifications are the skills that you would need. Now, ethical hackers happen to among the most skilled professionals in the field of IT. They need an in-depth understanding of various networks and technologies to perform their job. Here are the key skills that you would need to become an ethical hacker.
- Soft skills: These are the general skills that you would need, apart from your technical skills:
- Creative thinking: Quite naturally, creative thinking is necessary to be able to come up with innovative hacking techniques and security solutions.
- Problem-solving ability: This is one of the key skills that ethical hackers need. An ethical hacker would have to solve a variety of complex problems in this line of work.
- Persistence: Failure is a common occurrence in the field of ethical hacking. You may have to try numerous times to be able to hack a system successfully.
- Analytical skills: An ethical hacker needs to carry out detailed analyses of various security systems and vulnerabilities.
- Communication skills: Excellent communication skills help ethical hackers interact better with their clients and explain the vulnerabilities and solutions as needed.
- Hard skills: These are the technical skills necessary for an ethical hacker to possess. A cybersecurity certification validates that the candidate holding the certificate possesses the required hard skills. The hard skills that an ethical hacker needs include:
- Linux skills
- Wireless technologies
- Computer skills
- Digital Forensics
- Advanced TCP/IP
- Wireshark or Tcpdump
- Database skills
- Web application
- Networking skills
- Security concepts & technologies
Becoming an ethical hacker would require you to possess a large set of technical skills. In addition to these, you may also need a Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity, computer programming, and other relevant fields while seeking a job.
How should you get yourself started?
If you have a passion for ethical hacking, the chances are that you have already been going through various tutorial videos and other resources available online. There is certainly nothing wrong with this, as the more you learn, the better you can develop your skills. However, if you wish to obtain prestigious certifications from EC-Council, you might want to opt for more professional training. Institutions like Koenig offer comprehensive training for various ethical hacking exams. Receiving professional guidance and valuable courseware from such reputed institutions can undoubtedly be of great benefit.