Ethical hackers are “white hat” or “good guys” in the world of hacking. Rather than using their advanced computer knowledge for criminal purposes, ethical hackers identify data security flaws for businesses and organizations worldwide to protect them from malicious hackers.
Companies and organizations that need to protect their data and systems from the malicious activity are in high demand for ethical hackers. Companies need people with the skills and knowledge to outwit cyber criminals as cybercrime evolves and becomes more sophisticated.
Being a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is more than a job title. It is a chance to make the world a better and safer place. CEHs use their understanding of cyber security and hacking techniques to identify threats before they become significant issues. As cybersecurity is constantly evolving and changing, and organizations must stay current on the latest trends and technologies. Hiring certified ethical hackers are one of the best ways to protect your organization from cyber threats.
The demand for ethical hackers increased in 2023, so now is the time to start preparing for a career in this exciting field. This article covers detailed knowledge on how to become a Certified Ethical Hacker.
Role of an Ethical Hacker
A subcategory of cybersecurity known as “ethical hacking”. The prime objective of ethical hacking is to prevent unauthorized access, theft, and attacks. It is a legitimate effort to gain access to a business’s network and systems to identify potential threats before hackers take advantage of them. Ethical hacking is crucial in the banking sector of larger companies when it comes to protecting the company and consumer data. As a result, the majority of companies use ethical hacking to protect their clients.
Ethical Hacking involves lawfully bypassing a system’s security safeguards in order to find possible threats and data breaches on the network. Ethical hackers can work for businesses as simulated offensive cybersecurity specialists, in-house security guards for their websites or mobile apps, or as independent freelancers. Although the in-house ethical hacker may just need to be knowledgeable in a certain class of software or digital asset, all of these career options require knowledge of current attack tactics and tools.
Who is a Certified Ethical Hacker?
A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a skilled professional who understands how to look for vulnerabilities in target systems and employs the same knowledge and Ethical Hacking tools as a penetration tester. A malicious hacker makes legitimate use of security target systems. Ethical hackers must notify the administration of any vulnerabilities or flaws discovered during the procedure.
Stages of Ethical Hacking
The first stage of ethical hacking is reconnaissance, which involves gathering information on the target system or network. Gathering publicly available data such as IP addresses, domain names, DNS records, and so on, as well as assessing any physical or social engineering risks associated with the target, are all part of this process. The goal is to gather enough data to understand how the target system works so that further analysis can be performed in later stages.
The second stage of ethical hacking is scanning. During this phase, various tools scan the target system or network and identify potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses that malicious hackers could exploit. These scans may include port scans, vulnerability scans, banner-grabbing scans, TCP/IP sweeps, etc.
Exploitation is the final stage of ethical hacking. Any vulnerabilities discovered during the scanning phase are tested and exploited using various techniques, such as exploiting operating system flaws or exploits specific to specific applications or services running on the target system or network. The goal here is to gain control of the target system to demonstrate the type of damage a malicious hacker could cause if they gained access.
What Tools Do Ethical Hackers Use?
The following are some of the popular ethical hacking tools:
- Nmap — A network investigation and security scanner. They are utilized to locate network hosts and services and spot security flaws.
- Wireshark — A packet analyzer can be used for network analysis, software development, and other purposes.
- Metasploit — An instrument for testing system security and identifying vulnerabilities.
- Burp Suite — It is used to find flaws in web applications.
Steps to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker
- Step 1: Gain Information Security Experience
Before earning your certification, you must gain some experience in information security. This could include anything from taking courses related to cyber security or networking or even hands-on experience with penetration testing or malware analysis. You do not necessarily need to be an expert in these topics before taking the CEH exam; however, having some knowledge will help you understand the material better and pass the exam.
- Step 2: Choose the Right Certification Program
There are many different certification programs available, so you must choose one that best fits your needs and goals. To become a Certified Ethical Hacker, look for programs that offer comprehensive training on topics such as network security, computer forensics, cryptography, system vulnerabilities, and much more. Also, check out any prerequisites for the program — some may require prior knowledge of specific topics or technologies before enrolling in the course.
- Step 3: Take the Exam
Once you have chosen your certification program and have completed any necessary prerequisites, it is time to take the exam! While each program is slightly different, most exams consist of multiple-choice questions designed to test the understanding of various information security topics. Some exams may require additional components, such as practical exercises or simulations.
How Can You Become an Ethical Hacker With No Previous Experience?
If you lack computer science knowledge, getting a degree is the best way to become an ethical hacker. You may:
- Get your IT security certification.
- Get an IT security certification and enroll in a four-year computer science program.
- Enroll in a two-year program that focuses specifically on IT analysis and security.
Benefits of Becoming an Ethical Hacker
The following are six advantages of becoming an ethical hacker:
- Job Security
Organizations will need ethical hackers to help them identify and fix security vulnerabilities as they become more reliant on computer systems.
- High Salaries
Ethical hackers are in high demand and earn a lot of money. The average salary for an ethical hacker in the United States is more than $100,000 annually.
- Job Satisfaction
Ethical hacking can be both a challenging and rewarding career. It combines technical skills with creativity and gives you a sense of accomplishment knowing you are helping to protect people and organizations from cyber-attacks.
- Flexible Work Hours
Many ethical hackers work as freelancers, which allows them to set their work hours.
- Work from Home
Many ethical hackers can also work from home, which provides excellent flexibility and convenience.
- Career Growth
Ethical hacking is a rapidly expanding field, which means numerous opportunities for advancement. Becoming an ethical hacker is an excellent way to stay ahead of the curve.
What Is the Outlook for Ethical Hackers?
Cyberwarfare is extremely common, and many high-profile businesses have experienced significant hacking incidents. In this day and age, global spending on IT security is approaching the trillion-dollar mark.
The demand for ethical hackers has reached an all-time high and is expected to rise further. Many experienced, ethical hackers can earn more than $120,000 per year.
The Abilities needed to become an Ethical Hacker
While there are numerous anecdotal stories of blackhat hackers being converted to whitehats in the past, an essential requirement for becoming a successful ethical hacker today is to have high ethical standards, as implied by the name. Ethics distinguish the good guys from the bad guys.
A cybersecurity team member with a history of cybercrime poses an unacceptable risk. This risk would be unacceptable to a large corporation with an experienced legal team.
What’s the Demand for Ethical Hackers?
As businesses have become more aware of cyber-attacks dangers, the demand for ethical hackers has increased in recent years. As a result, many colleges and universities now offer ethical hacking courses.
A variety of professional certification programs are also available. Ethical hackers must have strong technical skills and the ability to think like a criminal to identify potential security vulnerabilities. They must also effectively communicate with both technical and non-technical personnel.
While there is a growing demand for ethical hackers, the field is still relatively new, so there is a current shortage of qualified professionals. It is expected to change in the coming years as more people enter the field and more organizations recognize the importance of safeguarding their systems against cyber-attack.
Career Path of a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
There are a variety of skills required to turn into an Ethical Hacker, as per the following:
- Learn and become a master in programming
- Bigger level knowledge of an Operating System
- Understand the nuts and bolts of Network and Security
- The understanding of coding platforms, such as:
- HTML, PHP, JSP, ASP [for web applications]
- Java(Android), Swift(iOS), C#[for mobile application]
- Java ,C#, C++, Python [forDesktop-Based Applications]
- Learn the fundamentals of programming languages, data types, variable manipulation, its functions at the operating system level, assembly language, network and system administration, etc.
How Does an Ethical Hacker Get Experience?
Vulnerability testing tools like Metasploit, OpenVAS, and Nessus are essential for ethical hackers to learn since they offer a valuable framework for managing and detecting vulnerabilities. The next step in practicing ethical hacking is to imitate manual attacks that are made against the target.
- To move from fundamental to advanced principles regarding vulnerabilities in a system or network, practice resolving susceptible machines from Hack The Box and Vulnhub.
- To practice the real-world circumstances, consider bug bounty platforms next.
- Advance to hacking actual environments after that. Real websites employ every conceivable tactic to strengthen security, which can initially be difficult because ethical hackers’ practice machines are made susceptible.
What jobs can you get with CEH certification?
- Information security analyst/administrator
- Information assurance security officer
- Information security manager/specialist
- Information systems security engineer/manager
- Information security professionals/officers
- Information security/IT auditors
- Risk/threat/vulnerability analyst
- System administrators
- Network administrators and engineers
Salary Details for Top 5 Countries
According to surveys, workers’ wages vary significantly across countries. The top five countries in terms of average worker wages are:
- Ethical Hacker salary in Australia
Average CEH Salary: AU$101K
- Ethical Hacker Salary in the USA
Average CEH Salary: $90K
- Ethical Hacker salary in Canada
Average CEH Salary: C$73K
- Ethical Hacker Salary in Singapore
Average CEH Salary: S$67K
- Ethical Hacker Salary in UAE
Average CEH Salary: AED 177K
What Opportunities Exist for Ethical Hacking as a Career in the Future?
There is no end in sight for ethical hacking. In this field, a wide range of sectors including the government, business operations, healthcare, entertainment, and banking are rapidly growing.
Even though only 32% of workers are employed in the ethical hacking sector, the need for new employees is growing as a result. By the end of 2023, it is expected that there will be 20% more ethical hackers than there were in 2017. This number will therefore increase going forward.
Ethical hackers will be in high demand in the coming years. If one have the necessary skills, you can become a certified ethical hacker and work in this in-demand field to keep data and systems safe from cybercrime. In addition, you must start studying for certification exams and gaining field experience. Continue to learn and practice new skills and stay up to date on the latest security threats.
Becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker is difficult, but it is well worth it! By taking these steps (gaining information security experience; selecting the right certification program; and taking the exam), you can join the ranks of many other successful CEHs who protect businesses worldwide from malicious actors daily. Not only will this provide you with excellent job opportunities, but it will also provide you with the satisfaction of knowing that your efforts are helping to make cyberspace safer for everyone.