Ethical hacking is a profession where hacking methods are used with good intent to help others and serve a greater purpose. Before getting into details, here is a quick overview of how to start a career in ethical hacking:
- Learning ethical hacking – the fist and the most obvious step
- Understand different types of hacking
- Build required skillset to become an ethical hacker
- Learn Programming and Operating Systems
- Knowledge of network and security
- Get Certified
If you are someone who is not acquainted with ethical hacking much, or if you are a fresher in the field, this guide is for you! So, let’s begin.
Learning Ethical Hacking
Before getting into any domain, the first thing is to learn about the basics concepts of the subject or domain. Same holds true for ethical hacking. Ethical Hacking is an approach of defending system and network security by exploiting existing vulnerabilities of the same. Ethical hackers strengthen systems and network security by identifying weaknesses and rectifying with appropriate countermeasures.
Ethical hackers follow the same techniques as the notorious ones to find system vulnerabilities and fix them. Also, they offer their services only when they are lawfully employed to do so by an organisation.
Understanding Different Types of Hacking
The term ‘hacking’ is controversial in nature and is often considered in a negative context. There are different types of hackers that serve different purposes, ranging from malicious to beneficiary. Three different types of hackers are:
- White Hat
- Black Hat
- Grey Hat
White Hat and Grey Hat hackers use their hacking skills for ethical hacking. On the other hand, black hat hackers are involved in illegal hacking and malicious practices.
Knowing about different types of hackers will help professionals understand their boundaries as ethical hackers and the legal nuances of being an ethical hacker. As a fresher in the domain, you could start by seeking the role of a Penetration Tester. It involves identifying vulnerabilities in a system or an application to protect it from various cyber-attacks. They inform the organisation about faults in their system.
Skillsets Required For a Career in Ethical Hacking
There is no one formulated way to become an ethical hacker. Depending on the requirement of an organisation, they create a job description and look for skills in a candidate as per the same. But still, a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Mathematics will lay the foundation of a career in ethical hacking.
You will also need good problem-solving skills, ability to handle pressure, and out of the box thinking. To pursue a career in ethical hacking you need to have an attitude towards continuous learning and ever-evolving. On the technical front, you would need to have a working knowledge of programming languages such as HTML, ASP, C/C++, Python, Java, and others.
Soft skills such as passion towards the domain, strong communication skills, flexibility, and innovative thinking also bode well for a suitable ethical hacker.
Learn Programming and Operating Systems
A career in ethical hacking demands a sound knowledge of programming language as it involves working on different systems on a daily basis. You should also know about operating systems such as Windows, UNIX, LINUX, and IOS.
A vivid understanding of programming languages helps ethical hackers identify programming errors or vulnerabilities. It will also help in implementing security solutions where coding is needed and enabling automation of tasks along with other coding requirements.
Thorough knowledge of the functionalities of operations systems along with the respective commands will help you a lot in your role as ethical hacking.
Knowledge of Network and Security
An understanding of computer networks and cybersecurity concepts is critical to a career in ethical hacking. An aspiring ethical hacker should be well-versed with basics as well as advanced knowledge of computer networking and security. Some of these concepts include VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), cryptography, firewalls, and different types of cyber-attacks such as DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.
There are various books, journals, and online courses available on the internet for you to learn about network and security for the purpose of ethical hacking. These resources will help you gain command over computer security concepts.
Join Training Programs and Get Certified
With an increase in the demand for skilled ethical hackers, many training programs and certification courses are being presented in the market for the aspirants. You should sign up for a training program or a boot camp to enhance your skills and practice ethical hacking in a real-world environment.
Getting certified is important as it adds credibility and value to your professional profile as an ethical hacker. A valuable certification from a good institute can help you land a job in big tech giants. Great Learning’s Stanford Advanced Computer Security Program is a great certification program for those who aspire to pursue a career in ethical hacking.2