Before jump to the skills of an ethical hacker, I would like to brief you about what is hacking and who is a hacker. Many times we heard in the news about the hacking attacks on government websites, social media sites or big brand’s websites. Sometimes public figure’s social handle also get hacked. These all attacks performed by hackers. These hackers are bad guys who perform all the cyber-attacks, to damage and stole the important data.
Hacking is the process to find the entry point that exists in every system or network and finally enter into them. Hacking performed in the legal way known as ethical hacking. To provide security and safety to the networks, applications and other computer systems, businesses and organizations hire security professionals who are known as Ethical Hacker or White Hat Hacker.
Hacking can be divided into the following categories:
- Website Hacking – To take the unauthorized control over a web server to monitor a website is considered as website hacking.
- Network Hacking – Network hacking uses some tools to gather information about the particular network. The tools are Ping, Tracert, Telnet etc.
- Email Hacking – It’s an unauthorized access in the email account of someone without his/her permission.
- Ethical Hacking – This is a process to find the weaknesses of the system or network by which hacker enters and break the system. Then fix those weaknesses.
- Password Hacking – This is used to crack the password of a system or network.
- Computer Hacking – By applying hacking techniques, one can steal computer ID and password and unauthorized access to a computer system.
The Skills required to Become an Ethical Hacker
Ethical hacking is also known as a penetration test. Every business or organization that provide online services or has a network connected to the internet requires safety to its network. Therefore they hire security professionals or penetration testers to protect and improve their networks.
To be an ethical hacker, there are not any fix criteria. Every organization prefers their own requirements but bachelor’s or master’s degree in information security or computer science is a must. Beyond that, there are some certifications, programming and networking skills are required to have expertise in the field of ethical hacking. The following are the details of them:
A+ Certification: Start with your A+ certification to have strong knowledge about most common hardware and software technologies.
Networking Skills: There are some certifications available, which provide essential knowledge about networking. CCNA and Network+ are best of them.
Database Management System: All the information and data used in the system stored in the database. So this is also required to know the vulnerabilities and security threats of different databases.
IT Security Certifications
CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) – This certification is offered by International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC Council). After this certification course, you will have an understanding of the mindset of a hacker. This is the high demand certificate. After having this, you will be a certified ethical hacker. For this, you should have Windows and Linux system administration skills, TCP/IP protocols knowledge and familiar with virtualization. CEH provides broad knowledge in every domain of system security.
GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) Penetration Tester (GPEN) – This is a more comprehensive and high-cost certification course in ethical hacking. This offers a large material to study and practice sets to give you the industry knowledge. On the other side, its impractical to spend this much amount around $5000+ who can’t afford.
Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) – OSCP is the hands-on approach for the long run. This is not popular but more technical certification. OCSP emphasizes your efficiency in taking a creative approach to the problem-solving. You should have strong knowledge of TCP/IP, Linux and networking to have this certification.
Apart from all tools, techniques, and certifications, you must have a deep understanding of the latest technology trends and a strong mindset to think one step ahead then the black hat hackers.
It requires a lot of planning and then running the tests safely because this is often that attackers also use the same technique. An Ethical Hacker needs to think like attackers to protect the system before it gets hacked. Rest of the expertise will depend on your self-learning and desire to find new ways in the field of hacking.
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