Everyone around asks one simple question, “How to become an Ethical Hacker”? There is no right or wrong answer to the question. And, there are many ways to achieve the target. But, before we move on to answer the question, “How to become an ethical hacker”, let’s understand the basic notion of what actually “Hacking” and “Hacker” stands for.
How to become an ethical hacker 2015
Hacking is current generations misnomer; almost everyone out there has a subjective view of hacking a destructive, evil or a bad profession or habit. But, the reality is far different from the general understanding of Hackers and their behavior. Today, we will recall the path of becoming an ethical hacker.
Hacking is the art of understanding a system completely. There are two ways of approaching the situation; the bad way and the good way. The bad way includes the complete devastation of the situation or a part of it. The good way is to run tests on the system before the “bad” hacker finds out the opening in the system.
Currently, the most venerable systems are the industrial system that homes critical business logic and other important transactional information. So, which path to choose? Most of the hackers may find becoming bad the easier path as they reap the benefits of thrill and fun in destroying the system anonymously. But the price of becoming a black hat hacker is immense. Once caught the hacker can land in jail for years.
On the other hand, the ethical hacker(good guys) brings harmony and stability to the system. They find out the issues and fix the whole system up. Hacking being an art present no full-proof system. The system needs over-time care and can costs corporations a bomb. The need for Ethical Hackers is all time high and for anyone who wants to be the part of “good” side can dream of becoming one. The perks from becoming an Ethical Hacker are also high; fame is instant and guaranteed.
Before getting started, three things are needed for becoming an ethical hacker. Dedication, motivation and curiosity. Apart from that formal training and the undying urge to constantly learn about new technology is also needed. Technology is moving at rapid speed and with time the iterations are only going to match the exponential curve. To overcome this, an ethical hacker must be a self-learner and a fast one!
So, are the above advice enough to become an ethical hacker? Nope, there is more to the story.
The days are gone when becoming ethical hacker was all about technical skills. Now-a-days, one need to possess stable mind, capable of capturing information in a concise and clear manner. Soft skills add the advantage to the Ethical Hacker for recovering information to the missing puzzles. Soft skills also ensure strong work ethics. They may sometimes need to go across different cultures to understand the meaning of gestures and word.
Ethical Hackers are not only smart in front of the computer, but they understand people as well.They can easily connect the dots and bring valuable information for the organization.
The term “social engineering” means that the Ethical hacker, gather information by capturing body and word clues. They can also persuade people around themselves to share vital information such as credit card numbers, phone numbers and more. The only thing, that an Ethical Hacker should maintain is high integrity under all circumstances and not use the information for their personal gain.
Certification is an important path for becoming an ethical hacker. There are various ways to get certified, but it is necessary to understand that the path is not simple. It is first advisable to start your career as a network administrator or a network technician. Ethical hacking has its own complexities and it’s not advisable to get up and running before learning the basics.
Learn about operating system, networks, Linux, programming languages such as Python, HTML5, JS, CSS and others. The topics are endless and it is necessary to learn the basics before moving on. The hacker must also learn how the databases work and learn basic query languages like SQL.
The importance of having a computer science degree is another important step of becoming an Ethical Hacker. But, by all means the computer science degree is not at all necessary to become an ethical hacker. Currently, there are open online courses that can teach you everything including the basics. Once you get hold of the basics, you can then really get started with the hacking part. Try Udacity, Coursera or Edx.
Remember that there is no shortcut, and you might need to learn a lot before you can even land a job in the ethical hacking arena.
A basic computer science degree sure helps, but getting security certification such as Security+, TICSA, CISSP will skyrocket your chances to become an ethical hacker. There is another famous certification known as Certified Ethical Hacker(CEH), currently being offered by EC-Council.
What you will learn in CEH!
CEH is the right and well known path of becoming an ethical hacker. Once you get in, you can easily understood how a hacker mind thinks. You will also be able to counter the attacks as you can learn how a hacker thinks and works. That’s why becoming an ethical hacker is a tough task. It requires constant self-evaluation and improvement until you die!
In CEH, you will learn techniques on preventing the major attacks such as SQL injection, session hijacking, DoS attacks, buffer overflow and more. Wireless hack prevention is also an important part of preventing hackers from intruding the system. It is well-known fact that wireless traffic can be easily penetrated compared to other forms of networks.
You will also learn how to sniff packets using tools like WireSack, protect firewalls with the help of IDS protection system and configure firewall packet system.
Resources, that will help you become an ethical hacker
- Popular EC-Council Resouces
- KaliLinux Penetration Testing OS
- Massive Open Online Courses
- Tools listed on TechAltair
There are more questions, that surround the premises of Ethical Hacking. I tried my best to answer the counter-question that reasoned well in my mind.
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