A certified ethical hacker, also known as a "white hat" hacker, is a cyber security specialist hired to use their hacking skills for legal and moral purposes. Certified ethical hackers utilise their computer and IT knowledge to identify and address vulnerabilities and potential threats to a company's computer systems or networks. They seek to thwart hostile assaults launched by unauthorised parties that take advantage of these weaknesses for their gain.
Let's explore how to make a successful profession out of ethical hacking!
Requisite Soft Skills for an Ethical Hacker
To succeed in ethical hacking, one must possess a variety of soft skills in addition to technical expertise. Some of the soft skills needed are listed below:
- Problem-solving skills: Ability to think creatively and outside the box to solve complicated challenges.
- Attention to detail: Ability to pay attention to minute details as the tiniest error might jeopardise a system's security.
- Communication skills: Ability to communicate simply and succinctly with clients and other team members to understand their demands.
- Time management: Ability to fulfil project deadlines and prioritise duties.
- Curiosity: Strong desire to learn and constantly upskill to stay up-to-date with the latest security threats and techniques.
- Ethics: Ability to uphold the confidentiality of the information about their clients.
Why Go for a Career in Ethical Hacking?
There are several attractions of an ethical hacking career. Some of the key reasons why individuals choose this career include:
- High demand: With the increasing dependence on technology and the rise in cyber threats, the demand for ethical hackers is overgrowing.
- Lucrative salary: Ethical hackers are in high demand, and their salaries reflect this.
- Job satisfaction: Knowing that you are making a difference in protecting sensitive data and preventing cyber-attacks can be very fulfilling.
- Flexibility: Many ethical hacking jobs offer flexible working arrangements, including remote work options, which can provide an excellent work-life balance.
Principle Programming Languages Required for This Role
Depending on the purpose or goal, any number of programming languages can be helpful for ethical hacking. The following list includes some of the most popular programming languages:
- Python: Python may be used for network research, scan vulnerabilities (to find out potential threats) and penetration testing.
- C/C++: C/C++ is an effective low-level programming language that may be used to create vulnerabilities and system-level applications.
- PowerShell: It is a powerful scripting language that may be used for pen-testing Windows-based systems. PowerShell is used for Windows administrative chores.
Best Resources to Learn Ethical Hacking
Engaging in any form of hacking without proper authorisation and legal permission is illegal and can result in severe consequences. There are several ways to practise hacking legally and ethically:
- Take online courses: You may learn ethical hacking techniques securely and legally by enrolling in any of the various online courses and tutorials that are easily accessible.
- Join a hacking community: Participating in a hacker community can open up chances for collaboration, learning new skills and ethical hacking in a safe and legal setting.
- Participate in capture the flag (CTF) events: CTF events are competitions that test hacking skills and require participants to find vulnerabilities and exploit them in a controlled environment.
- Attend cybersecurity conferences: Attending cybersecurity conferences might allow you to network with industry experts and learn about cutting-edge ethical hacking tools.
- Work for a company: Many companies hire cybersecurity analysts to identify vulnerabilities in their systems and networks. It can be a terrific approach to obtaining practical experience while practising ethical hacking legally.
- Ethical hacking tools: Both open-source and for-profit applications are readily accessible and may be used to test and find loopholes in networks and computer systems.
- Books: Several books on ethical hacking are available of varying complexity — from fundamental ideas to sophisticated methods.
Prerequisites for Entry-level Ethical Hackers
Getting a degree is the easiest approach to becoming a certified ethical hacker. For this, one may:
- Get certification in IT security
- Enrol in a four-year computer science program
- Join a two-year program that focuses on IT security and analysis
Entry-level ethical hackers typically have a fundamental understanding of the basics of cybersecurity and may have completed relevant certifications. The high demand for skilled ethical hackers has led to competitive salaries and benefits in the industry.
The salary of an ethical hacker without prior experience can vary depending on several factors, such as qualifications, skills, location, industry and employer. As they gain more experience and expertise, they can command higher salaries. Generally, the starting salary of an average certified ethical hacker is INR 5,10,958 per year, and that of an average cybersecurity analyst is INR 5,90,696 per year in India.
Hackers are no longer restricted to remote areas of the internet. One needs to learn hacking skills and have a good impact online to join them.
Imarticus offers an Advanced Certification Program in Cyber Security, which covers topics like network security, cryptography, ethical hacking and cybercrime investigations. It includes practical training, with hands-on experience in using industry-standard tools and techniques. It may be an excellent alternative for those seeking to acquire the abilities and information required to succeed as a Cybersecurity Analyst.