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Is Ethical Hacking In Demand?

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By: Divya Bora

August 31, 2021

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What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical Hacking is an authorized attempt where the ethical or white-hat hacker tries to gain unauthorized access to computer systems, applications, or sensitive data. They imitate the various strategies or procedures that a malicious hacker might do to acquire the essential data. Usually, it is performed to identify security vulnerabilities so they can be resolved beforehand, and black-hat hackers won't be able to exploit them. Now to make the terms like a white hat and black hat hackers a bit more clear let's see the different categories of hackers:

1. Black Hat Hacker- These hackers hack into systems illegally to exploit them for money or personal gain. They are also called Unethical hackers or Security crackers. This kind of hacking is illegal.

2. White Hat Hacker- These hackers hack into systems legally with permission to test the system's security and use similar techniques as black hat hackers. This kind of hacking is legal.

3. Grey Hat Hacker- These hackers hack into systems without permission but do not exploit or steal from them and usually inform the administrator about the flaws. This kind of hacking is sometimes legal and sometimes not legal.

Importance of Ethical Hacking

So let's see why should one learn Ethical hacking:

1. To Understand the Malicious hacker's mindset. Ethical hacking can be immensely useful in understanding the hacker's mindset. It can efficiently improve and defend a corporate's network as they are primary targets for any hacker. So if one learns about this topic, they can identify and eliminate potential threats for an organization boosting their network security and protect their essential assets from being compromised.

This is not only limited to cybersecurity. Still, it is also a requirement for network defenders. They need to identify and correct all the potential vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker might exploit to gain a foothold in an organization's network. In addition, the scope of ethical hacking has increased since cyberattacks and data leaks have become prevalent these days.

2. Due to the transition to the cloud. Cloud technology has boomed very quickly over the last few years, and many organizations have been shifting their resources and data to the cloud. As a result, the quantity and intensity of threats have increased over time, leading to an increased demand for ethical hackers. To avoid security breaches and data leaks, various organizations have been employing ethical hackers on a large scale and providing them a lucrative salary to ensure the best security for their businesses and customers.

3. To assist Development and Quality Assurance. An ethical hacker and quality assurance tester have a lot in common. A tester is responsible for verifying various software functions under normal and extreme conditions, but security testing is generally overlooked. They can be beneficial to conduct an efficient security test as they will give valuable inputs to enhance the security of the software according to industry standards and best practices.

It is also helpful in developing tools for the identification and eradication of some common vulnerabilities. As a result, it will assist developers in writing error-free codes and efficiently test their codes for any coding vulnerabilities.
4. Regulatory Compliance. Since the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) has added new regulations to simplify and penalize breaches, organizations need to ensure that their software and networks are free of any vulnerabilities. Freshers looking forward to being network defenders and software developers can benefit from adding ethical hacking as a skill as it will assist them in identifying and protecting an organization's networks and software. Even the people going for management and strategic planning should be aware of common attacks to incorporate their knowledge while creating risk-management plans.

5. To advance in your career and specialize. Organizations appreciate and reward employees that prove their competence and value to the company from time to time. Usually, entry-level applicants have a basic knowledge of their field. For both entry-level and long-term employees, ethical hacking can prove to be a beneficial skill to learn for growth and advancement.

It can be an excellent add-on for someone who wishes to pursue IT, software, or development-related roles. It would be a specialized skill that a few people will possess. This knowledge will help to build the right mindset, tools, and techniques used in cybersecurity. It will also make the person aware of the best practices followed in the security industry to minimize the risks.

What is CEH?

Certified Ethical Hacker(CEH) v11 is the latest version of the certification which accredits a person's abilities and skills related to the latest commercial, ethical hacking techniques. International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is the world's largest cyber security technical certification body. It offers certifications in cyber security like Certified Ethical Hacker(CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator(C|HFI), Certified Security Analyst(ECSA), and more which are recognized worldwide. The modules covered in CEH v11 are:

modules of CEH

There are two exams that EC-Council offers for Certified Ethical Hacker:

1. CEH(ANSI) Certified Ethical Hacker(ANSI) is a multiple-choice test to measure knowledge in the course-specified CEH domains.

Number of Questions: 125 Duration: 4 hours Availability: ECC EXAM/VUE Test Format: Multiple Choice Passing score: 65-80% Exam Cost: $100

2. CEH(PRACTICAL) Certified Ethical Hacker(Practical) is a rigorous assessment to test one's practical skills and abilities to complete specified ethical hacking techniques.

Number of Practical Challenges: 20 Duration: 6 hours Availability: Aspen-iLabs Test Format: iLabs cyber range Passing score: 70% Exam Cost: $550

If one passes both the exams successfully, they are provided the Certified Ethical Hacker(Master) by EC-Council.

Salary & Job Opportunities

According to The US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Information Security Analyst's Outlook, cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing careers nationally. BLS predicts a growth of 31% in cybersecurity jobs by 2029, which is seven times faster than the national average job growth. According to Burning Glass Technologies(a leading labor market analytics firm), employers are ready to pay more for workers equipped with cybersecurity skills to prevent attacks before they occur. The New York Times reported 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs unfilled globally by 2021, which Cybersecurity Ventures predicted. According to MIT Technology Review, only one in four candidates that apply for the job are qualified. The University of Pennsylvania shared that nowhere is the workforce-skills gap more pronounced than in cybersecurity.

So learning ethical hacking is the most feasible way to enter the cybersecurity field and position oneself to take advantage of the skill shortage in the industry. One of the best ways to compete against other entry-level applicants while seeking an entry-level position in a dynamic field like cybersecurity is to demonstrate competency and knowledge through certifications that may help one land the job. Certified Ethical Hacker(CEH) offered by EC-Council is one of the most highly-regarded and admissible cybersecurity certifications, which also serves as a prerequisite to apply for most cybersecurity and even information security-related jobs. A CEH certified professional is expected to know about the various tools and techniques utilized by penetration testers, hackers, and network defenders and the necessary actions to be performed.

Ethical Hacking is a course designed for beginners and intermediates to strengthen their basics of this subject. However, for someone looking forward to giving the CEH exam, Ethical Hacking Certification Prep is an entire detailed course that will prepare you for the exam. The study guide for your CEH exam can be found at CEH Study Guide.


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