Author: Mohammed Zeeshan
Hacking is the process of finding loopholes in a system and using them to gain unauthorized access to perform malicious activities. Whereas, Ethical hacking means finding these security issues and reporting them to the authorities so that they can be improved upon. An ethical hacker, also known as a computer security expert or a white hat, is someone who performs a structured hack with due permission from the organization or government.
How to become an Ethical Hacker?
There are a few basic steps to follow if one wants to pursue Ethical Hacking as a career.
1. Build a solid foundation – Even though there are no strict or fixed educational criteria to becoming an ethical hacker, having a bachelor’s in computer science or Information technology can help set a great foundation. Some companies require a degree and some don’t. Every company has its own set of requirements when it comes to hiring an ethical hacker, so be prepared accordingly.
2. Learn programming – More than your educational background, what you will need to become a successful hacker is a good command over the various computing languages. Therefore, learning programming languages like C++, Java, Python, SQL, PHP, and so on are critical to this field. You will also need to learn about operating systems like UNIX, Windows, LINUX, and IOS. There are plenty of online courses available these days where you can upskill your coding.
3. Get a certificate – After this, the next step in your hacking journey is to get CEH certified. Most companies require it and readily look for certified hackers. Even if you decide to open your agency or firm or become a freelancer, being certified is a way to show your expertise. The EC council is the most trusted body to get this certification. You will need to pass four tests consisting of 125 questions.
4. Keep on improving – The above 3 steps will help you become an ethical hacker and start your career as an ethical hacker. But like every other field, ethical hacking too is ever-evolving, and you need to be well-equipped with trending topics and newer concepts. So the final step is to have the attitude of always learning new ways by reading various magazines, books, and much more. Invest in improving your skills and someday you might become as legendary as Kevin Mitnick.
What is the scope in this profession?
With the development of the digital era, security is becoming crucial not only in the physical but also in the cyber-space. We are connected to at least 2-3 devices at once and with the thousands of others around us, there could be a major threat to our data.
As per the research conducted by Microsoft, an average company loses about $3.8 million and cybercrime has the potential to cost global communities a whopping $500 billion!
Keeping all that in mind, ethical hacking is a domain that has gone from having potential usability to becoming a necessity in this digital age.
According to CISO, ethical hackers make around INR 5.7 lakhs per annum on an average. The income depends upon the expertise and experience of the individual but hacking nonetheless is a lucrative field in India. Big names in the IT sector like Google, IBM, Wipro, and Infosys are constantly looking for skilled and talented ethical hackers.
Job Profile of an Ethical Hacker
There is one more step you will need to take in your ethical hacking career. It involves choosing the most suitable job profile for you, a step that you can take at any point in your career. But the sooner the better.
Work profiles you can choose to take after gaining an ethical hacking certification include:
1. Information Security Analyst
2. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
3. Security Analyst
4. Security Consultant, (Computing / Networking / Information Technology)
5. Ethical Hacker
6. Penetration Tester
7. Information Security Manager
These were some of the most common job profiles. In addition to this, freelancing is also a very popular choice in the world of ethical hacking. Just be ready to come up with ways of getting new clients.
About the Author
Mohammed Zeeshan is the CEO and Co-Founder of MyCaptain (https://mycaptain.in), an online mentoring platform. With a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering, Zeeshan always had a keen interest in Policy, Education, and Impact. His vision is to bring a societal mindset shift when it comes to Careers in India and all across the World.
Zeeshan is a GSEP scholar, 4 times TEDx speaker and guest lecturer at esteemed Colleges like IIM Bangalore, Symbiosis Pune, amongst others. He was also invited by UNESCO and UCLA Berkley’s Program to design education policy for girls and to facilitate Entrepreneurship Development amongst young students, respectively.