The age of internet has revolutionized the communication field, thereby bringing the huge chunks of information at your fingertip in a single click. With this impulse rise in the usage of the internet, the internet, security and cyber crimes have raised by leaps and bounds. These threats didn’t restrict to government agencies, government organizations and corporations, but even to a normal computer user at home. This was confirmed even by the FBI in its latest press statement: “The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) disclosed that it notified 3,000 companies—including banks, retailers, and defense contractors— that they had been victims of cyber security breaches in 2013.”
Like physical security, even cybersecurity has become a crucial and a hard-hitting thing. Even framing cyber laws haven’t come to rescue from the cyber-attacks.
So as to counter these hackers (those who take part in cybercrime), the organizations have taken a step ahead and hiring hackers. This can be best presented in the words of a leading International certification body, EC Council, as: “To beat a hacker, you need to think like one!” This has flagged a way for the evolution of Ethical hacking as a heavenly career option for young aspirants who want to have a great challenging career in computer security and networking.
What exactly Ethical Hacking is?
A system, information security breech is said to be evidenced Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA) of information security are violated. In this context, information security can be defined as a process of ensuring CIA. The one who intrudes into the network or a system in an unauthorized way to perform malicious activities is referred to as Hacker and this process is referred to as Hacking. The process of defending this malicious act within the framework of cyber laws or the nation is referred to as Ethical Hacking.
Classification of hackers:
We often mistake the word hacker as the wrong guy, but indeed hacker is the one among the vast classification of the types of hackers.
- White hat: This hacker works of the organization and is termed as ethical hacker. So, ethical hacking can be thought of as a white hat job.
- Black hat: Is the one who breaks the computer security for personal gains, such as fetching and destroying data. These are referred to as crackers.
- Grey hat: These hackers are individuals who intend to get into unauthorized network to find if the network is having any defects. If so, they will notify the website owner to remove the defect for some money.
- Elite hacker: These are self-extolled hackers, who hack to show their elite ability.
- Blue hat: A blue hat hacker is the one who intrudes into the network while testing a system whether it is robust or not. Usually it is conducted by the third party organization for testing.
- Hacktivist: He is the one who hacks the networks for broadcasting his ideologies. Cyberterrorism comes under this classification.
- Nation State: These hackers work for the interests of nation’s security agencies or governmental official organizations.
- Organized criminal gangs: These are a group of individuals who hack into the network with a criminal
Market Research on Ethical hacking careers
The government organizations, private organizations and even normal household computer users are in unremitting fear and holding their nerves tight because of cyber attacks are being more sophisticated and staying ahead of these hackers knowledge scale is a colossal task. The research conducted by the PwC stated that, “The research found that the number of detected information security incidents has risen 66% year over year since 2009. In the 2014 survey, the total number of security incidents detected by respondents grew to 42.8 million around the world, up 48% from 2013—an average of 117,339 per day. ”
These victims list includes big giants like google, yahoo, eBay, IBM, FBI, NASA, etc. Worth to mention is, a 15 year old boy hacked NASA computers leaving them shut down for 21days, such is the intensity of these cyber attacks. In total NASA website has been hacked 13 times. Now NASA spends $58 billions every year for IT security. This situation is resulting in companies to pour billions of dollars on saving themselves from cyber attacks. This bone-chilling situation has raised many job opportunities and new career options in IT industry.
The graph below shows the exponential growth of number of cyber attacks over the time frame of 2010-2014.
The below chart displays the budget allotted by companies every year to counter the cyber-attacks:
Figure: Extracted from Global State of Information Security Survey 2015
The above figure demonstrates the expenditure rising over time on the rescue operation. These efforts are reflected on the pay scales offered for those who does this job.
- The primary responsibility that the ethical hackers hold is to ensure CIA(Confidentiality, Integrity and Authenticity).
- Detect possible vulnerabilities of the internal servers and systems that can lead to an attack.
- Conduct penetration tests to detect if any machine is weak.
- Work with developers on security needs and requirements
- Keeping up to date of security policies
These are just a few major roles to be performed among the many existing roles.
While there are many job profiles for Ethical hacking professionals, few among them were listed below:
- Network Security Administrator
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- Security Analyst
- Licensed Penetration Tester
- Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator
- IT Security Specialist
- Network Security Specialist
- Security Administrator
- IT Security Consultant
- Penetration Tester
- Site Administrator
- IT Auditor
- Computer Forensics Analyst
- Homeland Security Specialist
- Businesses & Hiring Managers
Technical Skills on needs to equip!
The candidates who like to pursue their career need to be highly effective in following skills:
C, C++, Python, Ruby, operating systems (Linux, Windows, etc.), network programming concepts, security concepts, cryptography, Encryption techniques, firewalls, information security concepts, wireless concepts, etc..,
Certifications and Respective Institutes:
Don’t conclude that, if you know all the above technical stuff you can become an Ethical hacking professional! It is advised to get equipped with certifications, so as to be stamped as a professional in the industry. These certified bodies authenticate your knowledge scale, which would help to score high pay scales and high profile jobs. Here we tried to provide some certifications offering bodies and training institutes in the below list:
- CompTIA – Security
- CompTIA – Network
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- (ISC) 2 – Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- ISACA – Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- EC-Council – Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate – Security (CCNA – Security)
- Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA)
- Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE)
- GIAC – Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)
- Institute of Information security
- Arizona InfoTech
- Entersoft Labs
- Innobuzz Knowledge Solutions
- IMT Ghaziabad
- EC council
The salaries range from 4.5 lakhs/ Annum – 12 lakhs/ Annum and can be more than that based on experience and knowledge. The packages rises high in proportionate with your knowledge and experience.
In the US the pay scale for the candidates who get ECH certified are paid as follows:
- ENSA: Network Security Administrator: $85,000
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker: $89,000
- ECSA: Certified Security Analyst: $90,000
- LPT: Licensed Penetration Tester: $92,000
- CHFI: Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator: $96,000
Apart from the above roles few others are mentioned in the below chart:
Image Source: payscale.com
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