What is Hacking? It is the process of gaining control of the victim’s data and using that for personal or economic gains. Any individual or a group with malicious intent can become a Hacker. But what makes Ethical Hackers different? Ethical Hackers, as the name suggests, hacks into systems ethically. Ethically means, when a hacker gains authorized permission to break into the system to gain control of data by the organization itself, he/she is called an Ethical Hacker.
We will discuss the important details that one must understand before planning to step into this domain to become an Ethical Hacker. So, let’s get started.
Past and Present of Security domain
Earlier, when someone hears about Hackers, they remember a young guy working in a basement, wearing a black hoodie trying to break into some company’s database or their network by sneaking past their firewall. It is this picture that surfaces in their mind, it’s not their mistake the media industry has always portrayed these hackers like that. So, it’s natural to presume like that, as many people don’t have sufficient information about these hackers, how they look or what work they do.
And the other case is about terminology used to differentiate good and bad hackers. Good hackers are the ones who work for organizations or enterprises to protect their data and infrastructure from becoming a playground for cybercriminals. Bad Hacker is the one we remember from the movies. One who attacks a company’s infrastructure to get hold of their sensitive data by compromising their firewall and then demanding a ransom to release their data. Well, Ethical Hackers are good hackers here termed as White-Hat Hackers. Black-Hat Hackers who are Bad Hackers. The problem with these terms is they are outdated. Except for the fact that Black Hat Hacker is still the bad guy.
Today there is much more differentiation than what existed before. Good guys are differentiated based on their activities:
Red Team-These guys use offensive techniques to ensure security.
Blue Team-These guys are defensive in their approach.
Purple Team-This team is a mix of both Red and Blue team members.
Ethical Hackers and Penetration Testers work for companies in different ways, in-house, consultant, or freelancer. Take up CEH Course to master concepts of Ethical Hacking to clear CEH exam and validate your skills.
Security Analysts or Security Engineers often get categorized under the threat and vulnerability management group within a company.
Who is an Ethical Hacker, and how do they help organizations?
Ethical Hackers are inevitable in today’s scenario. When the Digital Era is stretching its upward trajectory, Companies are flocking to Cloud, EDGE computing adoption is on the rise, 50 billion IoT devices will be in the market in a few years. An Ethical Hacker will review the security systems in place from an attacker’s perspective, to help companies by detecting the vulnerabilities that could be utilized by the bad guys. This approach benefits companies or organizations from a potential cyber-attack by patching the loopholes before any attack happens and thus saving their hard-earned reputation, trust and money.
How to become an Ethical Hacker?
Let’s break down some actionable points that are necessary to keep in mind if you are planning to break into this domain.
- Getting a Bachelor’s degree is a good place to start with. The stream that you choose must be Computer Science, Network Engineering, or any other Computer-related fields. Just make sure that the program must have strong interdisciplinary skills.
- You must be proficient in both wired and wireless networks, Operating Systems (Windows and Linux), sound knowledge in firewalls, file systems, and a good understanding of file permissions, servers, computer science, workstations, etc. Strong Coding skills are a must to become the best in the field.
- Good Ethics, technical strength, analytical thinking, and good communication is the best mix of skills for anyone aspiring to become an Ethical Hacker.
- Professionals must have sufficient experience in pen-testing following the industry-recognized practices, must study the attacker’s ways, perspective, various modus operandi, Social Engineering strategies, and tactics to stay ahead of the game.
- You must always be willing to learn and keep yourself updated, by YouTube, online forums, and other resources. The best way for you to do this is to build Networking skills. Follow famous Ethical Hacker works, and get in touch with them to learn industry experience in a better way.
- Gain experience in working with various tools used for the purpose. Experience matters in this field, the more experienced you are, the better you become.
- Getting yourself certified is the best way to break into this domain. Several certifications are available like, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council is the best certification that tests and validates your knowledge that will help you enter the domain.
If you are aspiring to become an Ethical Hacker, then enrolling in a course/training from a recognized e-learning platform is the best way to start your journey to land up great offers and bigger opportunities.