When I first heard there is something called ethical hacking, and people get paid to do it, my eyes widened. How cool is that! Many of you must have thought the same thing when you crossed paths with this field. The mystery and allure connected to hacking has attracted many people. It is a common belief that ethical hackers keep hacking websites or systems, and retrieve useful information James Bond Style, but that is only partially true (because that could land you in jail!)
Ethical hackers are responsible for penetrating systems, but it is for a reason. They are supposed to provide solutions to the problems concerning cyber security. They understand the vulnerabilities of a system, and then attempt to find solutions to prevent them.
Here is your one-stop guide to becoming an Ethical Hacker. Everything you need to know!
1. Understand the Different Types of Hacking
“Hacking” is a controversial term, and that is not without reasons. There are different types of hackers for different purposes – White Hat, Black Hat and Grey Hat. White Hats and Grey Hats generally use their hacking skills for the good (ethical hacking), while Black Hats use their skills for illegal jobs. Since they serve different motives, organizations make use of all of them. You would want to focus on becoming a Penetration Tester, since most ethical hackers are employed for this job. “Penetration Testing” identifies the vulnerabilities in a system or an application to protect it from external attacks. It is carried out to inform the organization of the faults in their system.
2. Evaluate your Skills and Academics
There is no fixed criteria to becoming a hacker. Every company has its own requirements, but a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology or Mathematics will lay a great foundation for your ethical hacking career. Apart from this, the skills you need to be an ethical hacker are good problem solving, ability to handle pressure and to think out of the box!
3. Learn Programming
AAAs an ethical hacker, you are going to be working on systems day in, day out, thus a good command over programming languages such as C++, Java, PHP, Python, et cetera is critical. Also, learn about operating systems such as UNIX, Windows, LINUX and IOS. There are websites that offer programming courses such as Coursera, Udemy, Simplilearn, and the likes.
4. Update your Knowledge Base
Your learning should not be limited by your educational background. There are newer hacking techniques coming up every day so you need to be updated. Companies wouldn’t want to hire you only because you have a certification; you need to stand out and give them a solid reason why you are the most eligible Hacker in town.
5. Get Certified Already
When you are ready to unleash your inner hacker against the monster that is cyber-crime, you need to get certified. The most-trusted body that you can get certified with is the EC Council. Most companies would readily hire you, if you have this certification. To get certified, you would need to take a four-hour test which consists of 125 questions. The application fee is $100. The EC Council also recommends you to take a five-day training for this test, which is optional. The present version of the test is V9, and it is valid for 3 years. You are required to take the certification test again, every time a new version is released.
Almost all the MNCs employ full-time ethical hackers; you can also find work in Hacking Consulting Companies, Military Service as well as Server Provider companies. You can even have your own Ethical Hacking Firm (Entrepreneur alert!). The likes of Stephen Wozniak, Ankit Fadia, Neel Mehta, Rahul Tyagi and others have made it big in this field, and so can you!
So, don’t just sit there. Go, Hack!
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