Todays 21st century generation wants more out of their careers than just a 9 to 8 job and a decent pay. The time has come to think differently and work innovately by moving out of the ambit of engineering, teaching and accountancy. Chartering the unconventional route is the latest norm for anyone who dares to think out of the box or wishes to create a niche space for themselves in the world. There are unlimited career options, measured through its length, breadth and height, around. Let us déjà vu some of the career options that doesn’t seems to be of much importance in amongst the middle class butyet, has stretched much attention among todays educated youths, like for instance, pet grooming, podcast production, crime investigation, professional hacking, wine tasting, Scuba Diving professional, radio jockeying, fitness trainer, Business owner, water slide testing, etc. With the increase in the number of cyber crimes across the globe, there is also an increase in the number of Cyber Security jobs and the role of a professional hacker or an ethical hacker tops the list.
AN ETHICAL HACKER
Unequivocal revelation of the previous estimation lets the people plumb that by 2021, there will be 3.5 million cyber security job openings, that is a huge number indeed; and also the US bureau of labour Statistics states that information security analysts, which includes ethical hackers, can expect to see jobs increase by 28% from 2016 to 2026.All these facts are the testimony of the great demand of ethical hackers at the moment. As mentioned above that the number of cyber crimes across the world would tremendously increase,as the digital era will only continue to grow in the near future and as a result, Organizations will be on the lookout for professionals,who can protect their data from these cyber thefts. And to fight these crimes,there will be a need of a professional who can think like a hacker, to be best suited to protect his/her organization from unauthorised digital access, and who is that,well,to do this job are ethical hackers. AS one might be knowing that an ethical hacker is also known as a “White hat hacker”, is a trained individual who discovers system vulnerabilities to ensure system security. This is achieved with the help of hacking techniques and tools.
STEPS TO BECOME AN ETHICAL HACKER
Moving on to the steps to become a successful ethical hacker. One might wonder, how to start an ethical hacking career, as an alternate career for oneself.Well,I would highlight its staircases step by step. Firstly, the candidate must have a Computer Science or an Information technology Bachelor’s degree but, one can also pursue this career without these degrees too, provided you have the required skill sets andexperience. The next requirement is that the candidate must have a minimum of a 2 years of experience in the Information security field. Now, coming to the certifications, it is necessary for the candidate to hold various cyber security certifications, as they play a vital role in the field of cyber security. The job opportunities of a person in this field, solely depends upon the certifications. In order togather certifications, one must start off with the foundations level certifications, such as CCNA and CompTIA security+ certifications.Finally,the last step to become an ethical hacker is to take up the highly recognised Certified Ethical HackerExamination (CEH); CEH certification is provided by the EC- council. This renowned council trains its candidates to protect the company’s network by using the same tools and methods, that a hacker would use.Moreover,CEH examination is scheduled for 4 hours. With 125 number of questions and if the candidate becomes successful in cracking this exam, he/she will be a certified Ethical Hacker.
Holding a degree and certificates will not only help out to pursue this career, one must possess some skill sets to approach one’s steps to this field. First and foremost is that, an ethical hacker must have the knowledge of different operating systems like Linux, Windows and Macintosh, forpenetration testing, creating exploits and for Bug huntingprogramming is required. Hence, the knowledge of programming languages, forinstance C++, HTML,PHP and python is also compulsory to be in this sector. Basic knowledge of networking IP protocols and routing protocols is necessary, as networking is the foundation of cyber world. Secondly, for the security of databases, one must be well equipped in the knowledge of SQL and DBMS,as an ethical hacker. Cryptography is used to secure information and is very useful in converting data from a readable format to a non-readable one and vice versa. An ethical hacker should be proficient in network security control measures, such as: intrusion detection and intrusion prevention techniques.
Responsibilities which are to be taken into consideration by an ethical hacker are also there to be highlighted. An ethical hacker is responsible for scanning systems for vulnerabilities, open and closed ports, that can become a victim of unprofessional hackers by using several tools and mechanisms. They then take measures to prevent these attacks, accordingly. IN addition to scanning for vulnerabilities, they also search the deep corners of the network to find critical informationssuch as passwords, which can make the organisation vulnerable to an attack.Now,In addition to building and maintaining IDS,IP, and firewalls, they also try to evade these security measures, in order to gauge the performance of the systems. Lotof times, acompany’s online fraud or online theft incidences are looked by an ethical hacker. They also check for sniffing networks, hijacked web servers and applications, to fix these issues.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM
An ethical hacker can also set his/her hands for various job rules, let’s look into a few of them. It is a misconception that an ethical hacker can only perform in the penetration testing;well,there are many other job opportunities in which an ethical hacker can apply for, for example, they can become an Information security manager, security consultant and Information securityanalyst. Various companies that hires ethical hackers are Bank of America,EY,KPMG-UNITED STATES,IBM and Urban Pro.In India, the salary of a certified Ethical Hacker is nearly on an annual average is ₹4,76,222 and in US, it is about$91K.
In conclusion, an ethical hacker or a professional hacker can become an alternative career in todays world, where every next thing is becoming digital, from chatting to transferring. The demand would only increase in the coming days of an ethical hacker, as we frequently come across hackers who involve in hacking accounts of the eminent personalities or organisations like ISRO,DRDO,etc. , through media and newspapers.Hence,try one’s luck in an ethical hacking.
Author: Sristi Srivastava, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow