Ever wondered what if your chat is accessible to all ? Wouldn’t it be a true nightmare if your crush could read your instagram search history. It is an absolute death sentence, we understand. Well not to scare the wit out of you but it’s all possible. How, some of you may ask, well that’s the power of hacking. To be able to combat these dreaded scenarios, it’s essential to have an antidote . Ethical hacking has gained value as an antidote to hacking.
Ethical hacking refers to authorised attempts that are made to gain unauthorised access to a system, applications or data of any kind. Carrying out an ethical hack includes duplicating strategies and actions of any threats or any kind of malicious attacks. This practice also helps to identify vulnerabilities that can be utilised by any hacker to use data etc, for otherwise purpose.
Ethical hackers are also called ‘white hats’ that are experts who perform security assessments. Their work proactively contributes to improve any organisation’s security.
The sole aim of ethical hackers is to strengthen the security state of the enterprise, organisation etc they are associated with.
Different types of hackers:
1. White hat
Ethical hackers, who get into a system with the intention of hacking but to deter a threat of any kind etc, are called White hats.
2. Black hat
The unethical hackers who hack and get into the systems with the intention of disrupting the system and causing harm to and by accessing important information and also often ask for a ransom to not leak the information and keep it as it is or safe.
3. Grey hat
These hackers are known for performing a blend of both black and white hat activities. They often look for multiple vulnerabilities in a system without the owner’s permission or any heads up. If there are existing issues they often report them to the owner of the system. Sometimes they even ask for a very minimal fee to fix the problem.
Skills needed to be an ethical hacker:
1. Basic of programming:
It is essential for security professionals who are working in the field of application security and Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
2. Scripting Knowledge:
The knowledge of scripting is needed and is of paramount importance as well because professionals have to deal with network-based attacks and host based attacks.
3. Networking Skills :
The skill is vital as the threats mostly originate from networks. The professional must know about all devices present within the network and also be aware of their topology. They should also know how to identify if the devices are compromised or not.
4. Databases’ Understanding:
It’s just as important to understand the databases as most targets are made at databases. Knowledge of these database management systems like SQL help the candidate to effectively inspect operations that are being carried out in the databases.
5. Knowledge of various platforms:
The candidate has knowledge of Windows, Linux, Unix etc. The tendency to work with multiple different tools gives an edge to the candidate over their contemporaries. As a candidate like this is an asset and reduces the cost of hiring other multiple candidates.
Roles and responsibilities of an Ethical Hacker:
- Ethical hackers must be reposbilbe enough and embibe it in their conduct to seek authorisation from the respective organisation that owns the system to begin with.
- They must at all times make their discoveries confidential.
- They are expected to act smartly and yet swiftly as they should report any kind of breaches and vulnerabilities found in the system of the network.
- They should erase all traces of the hack after they are done checking the system for any vulnerabilities.
- They should determine the scope of their assessment and devise their own plan to the organisation.
Benefits of Ethical Hacking to the Enterprises :
1. Make a network strong: Ethical hacking is a way of studying the mindsets and techniques of black hat hackers and testers. So as to understand, learn to identify and correct the various vulnerabilities within a network.
2. Multifaceted aspect of ethical hacking:
The knowledge of ethical hacking is vital and can be applied in many security pros across many industries and a multitude of sectors. The sphere is inclusive of network defender, quality assurance tester and risk management.
3. The most obvious and popular benefit of ethical hacking is the potential to improve and defend corporate networks.
4. It helps in prioritising the most immediate attacks and also to remediate the best way possible.
Scope of Ethical Hacking:
After having learnt what Ethical hacking is, the skills one requires to learn and get started in ethical hacking let’s look at the scope of ethical hacking.
Ethical Hacking is a field with vast scope and ever progressing job opportunities. It is the need of the hour because a secure business environment is what every enterprise, organisation as well as individuals are looking for. It facilitates just that.
The certified professionals in this field are close to all organisations as they share invaluable feedback on the improvement of the vulnerabilities in any system. They are invaluable in terms of analysing threats and further devising effective solutions. The candidate who is certified has a better shot at their desired salary. According to research Certified Ethical Hackers earn an average salary of $85-90k in the U.S.
This job role is in demand and the demand seems to be increasing in the foreseeable future. The futuristic aspect of this job role is bright and indicative of growth.
On the whole the field of ethical hacking: cyber security is one growing at a rampant speed. The need for ethical hackers is also on the constant up as data safety is of prime concern and with the help of the former, facilitating this becomes easier. Hence this field is a good career choice for [people willing to learn and also grow in their current job roles or even to switch their job role.