Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a globally recognized professional security certification for Ethical Hackers administered by EC-Council. The CEH certificate holder has proven that they are proficient in identifying weaknesses in computer networks and systems and addressing those vulnerabilities. This could entail utilizing hacking tools and techniques to pre-empt actual attacks and how to defend and protect against them to improve the security of an organization's digital infrastructure. The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) tagline for the course "to beat a hacker, you need to think like one."
An essential aspect of the CEH course mission is ensuring that information security professionals gain pivotal skills and knowledge that will be useful in the information security domain. The course has become a cherished one in the Information Security industry over the past several years. The IT security and cybersecurity field contains numerous professionals who may need to specialize in ethical hacking, such as penetration tester, cybersecurity analyst, security architect, systems engineer, network vulnerability analyst, etc.
Basic Skills Required
As per EC-Council requirements, an ideal CEH candidate should have a minimum of two years of experience in the information security domain or a related IT field and complete the CEH training course. The CEH certification does not have formal educational requirements for candidates interested in undertaking the course. However, having a strong background in an IT-related course, i.e., Computer Science, Software Engineering, Mathematics, Informatics, Computer Networking, etc., may be important in understanding the concepts delivered in the CEH course. Review the course study guide.
However, having the following key skills will maximize your course study and give you a deeper outlook of the CEH course and security in general.
- Basic Networking Skills
Networks form the basis on which systems are interconnected and operate, thus, making them prime targets by most attackers. With the increasing adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), the attack surface continues to widen, and security will be of even greater need in the future. Having a basic understanding and familiarity of network structures (LAN, WAN, VPN), the various port numbers and protocols, the OSI model, subnetting, etc., will be important in understanding the security loopholes that your organization can easily face.
Kali Linux, a Linux distro for security, has become a favorite for most security professionals over the years. Using a platform that allows you to practice utilizing a majority of the tools used in the cybersecurity space will give you an advantage in undertaking the lab sessions that are part of the CEH course and beyond.
3. Logical reasoning and troubleshooting
In cybersecurity, one must develop the ability to detect a problem and troubleshoot it appropriately to achieve a solution. Knowledge and using a tool or skill are two different things that the CEH tries to encompass. The practical lab sessions are a great way of learning and growing this skill and gaining the hands-on practice necessary in applying solutions logically when a security incident occurs.
4. Strong technical knowledge base
Security is one area of IT that brings together and utilizes all the other aspects of IT. While you should not aim to become a jack of all trades in security, the knowledge you obtained in other areas of the technology industry will come in handy when facing issues in cybersecurity and the CEH course. Security is like a puzzle, and to solve some of the exam questions and incidents, you will need knowledge outside of the cyber-space.
5. Applications and Systems
Attackers target database systems and web servers because these applications are utilized in most small and large enterprise environments. The course covers aspects of this area relating to cybersecurity but having the basic skills on how these applications run, are configured, and maintained is an area that must be improved both for undertaking the course and co-relating the concepts taught and your security career later.
The command-line interfaces of Linux terminal and Windows Powershell are the common modes in navigating interfaces in security. Perfecting your skill in this area for the exam and your future career in cybersecurity will give you leverage.
How will I benefit from the CEH Certification Course?
Some of the benefits of undertaking the course include:
- Ethical Hacking certification verifies you as a skilled professional capable of identifying security loopholes and vulnerabilities in target systems.
- Gain ethical hacking and network security skills.
- Exposure to security tools, technologies and how to utilize them to achieve organizational security resilience.
- Learn how to audit an organization's information assets and the important security checklists to consider.
- Practical sessions on security tools through the lab sessions the course provides.
- A walk-through on how to undertake a penetration test and the various processes involved.
Target Job Roles
The principal function of an ethical hacker is geared towards improving and strengthening the overall IT systems security of an organization. Ethical hackers can undertake various attacks that malicious hackers might launch. While performing these tests, specific vulnerabilities and security loopholes are found and can be determined and mitigated promptly. It is pivotal to ensure your IT personnel are knowledgeable and skilled in this area. The CEH course is undertaken by IT professionals who are involved in or responsible for a company's IT infrastructure and are looking to enhance their skill set in the security domain.
The possible job roles for a CEH certification holder include but are not limited to the following:
- Information Security Analyst/Administrator
- Information Assurance (IA) 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
The training options for the course are flexible and thus ideal for a wide range of professionals who would want to undertake it. Some training options include self-study, Live Online Instructor-led training, MasterClass from world-class expert trainers/instructors, In-Person or Online training from an authorized training/education center.
Cybersecurity skills are deemed highly valuable now and in the future. Although the workforce shortage is yet to be bridged, those with knowledge in the field will be a great asset. The CEH certificate is a great entry into cybersecurity if an individual is at the beginner or intermediate level.