Ethical Hacking: How to Start Your Career?

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In recent times, cyber security has become crucial due to the increased number of cyber-attacks. As a result, there has been an increase in demand for cyber security professionals throughout the world. Various organizations are hiring ethical hackers to secure their network systems. You can also make a career in cyber security by getting an ethical hacker certification from a certified institute.

What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is a profession wherein you can legitimately penetrate a security network to find and solve vulnerabilities. There are three types of hacking:

  • White Hat
  • Grey Hat
  • Black Hat

‘White Hat’ and ‘Grey Hat’ hackers are legitimate and ethical. Whereas the ‘Black Hat’ hackers are unlawful and malicious. The government or private organizations hire ethical hackers to defend their cyber networks. You can become an ethical hacker only after getting an ethical hacker certification.

If you plan to make a career in ethical hacking, you need to prepare yourself beforehand. The following guidelines can help you in starting your career as an ethical hacker:

Academic background

Even though there are no specific academic requirements for cyber security certification, it can be beneficial if you have relevant academic background. For example, if you know of subjects like computer science, information technology, or mathematics, it can be helpful. You can get a bachelor’s or a diploma degree in either of the subjects to prepare yourself for the future. 

You also need to have analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills. You would also need to be adaptable, flexible, and able to handle pressure.

Programming languages and operating systems

To identify and solve problems in a computer network, you need to be proficient in programming languages and operating systems. You would require this knowledge for your training and ethical hacker certification. You can learn various programming languages like C, C++, Java, Python, etc. Learning programming languages can help you in finding programming errors. Also, you must know about operating systems like Windows, Linux, iOS, etc. You need to learn the functionalities and framework of the operating systems.

Network and security knowledge

If you plan to get an ethical hacker certification, you must first acquire computer network systems and cyber-security knowledge. You can learn the basic and advanced concepts through online classes, books, or journals. In addition, it is also advisable to learn about concepts like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), cryptography, firewalls, cloud computing malware, and vulnerability assessment. Thorough knowledge of these concepts prepares the foundation of your career as an ethical hacker.

Training programs and certification

The next step includes enrolling yourself in an ethical hacking course and getting certified. In the training program, you are going to learn about all the concepts of hacking. In addition, you get to apply the ethical hacking concepts in a real-life scenario during the program. The training programs help you gain practical experience and prepare you to communicate with other professionals. 

The Certified Ethical Hacker program (CEH) conducted by the EC Council is one of the best and reputed programs. Its credentials and certification are recognized all across the globe. There are various other programs like Global Information Assurance Certification and Certified Vulnerability Assessor also available. The certification provided is for a specific period. After the period is over, you need to take a certification test to get your certificate updated. 

You can start your career after getting your ethical hacker certification. The demand for ethical hackers is growing every year due to the increased malicious activities by the Black Hat hackers. You need to be creative and innovative as an ethical hacker to solve the threats. Initially, you may work as a security analyst or penetration tester. But after gaining experience, you can get senior-level jobs like Web Security Manager, Network Security Administrator, or Systems Manager. You can work in private IT companies or various government departments (Military, law, and IT departments). 

As an ethical hacker, you are going to be responsible for the following:

  • Determining network vulnerabilities and breaches in the security
  • Monitoring the network activity and data management
  • Analyzing the security of the network system
  • Planning and improving network security 
  • Conducting penetration tests and updating security measurements

The role of an ethical hacker requires you to be responsible, creative, and analytical. You can succeed in this career by getting the required training, ethical hacker certification, and working ethically.

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