How to become a Certified Ethical Hacker in India.
BY ROSHAN BURNWAL
Ethical hacking has become a hot topic and with cybercrime awareness being on a rise (thanks to the various crime documentaries), the question, “how to become an ethical hacker” surely comes to everyone’s mind once.
Perhaps you are a curious soul who just wants to explore his/her options or maybe you are someone who wants to become a certified ethical hacker.
Whatever the reason may be, ethical hacking has maintained the buzz around it. As a result of which, it has constantly pulled the attention of a lot of people towards it. Just like yours.
First, take a look at the basics of Ethical Hacking. After this, we will look into how to become a certified ethical hacker in India.
Let’s start by understanding the importance of ethical hacking.
Importance of Ethical Hacking
Despite how misleading the name may sound, ethical hackers or white hats are an important asset in maintaining the security and safety of people.
For instance, just take a good look around you and count the number of digital devices surrounding you. Now, each of these devices can be hacked using the right skill set and can be used for malicious intents.
With the development of the digital era, security is becoming crucial not only in the physical but also in the cyber-space. Therefore, it can be said that one malicious malware can bring down an entire nation.
Similarly, the importance of ethical hackers and cybersecurity stays the same for the business world.
As per the research conducted by Microsoft, an average company loses about $3.8 million and cybercrime has the potential to cost global communities a whopping $500 billion!
Keeping all that in mind, ethical hacking is a domain that has gone from having potential usability to becoming a necessity in this digital age.
How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker in India?
Does the world of technology intrigue you? Do you want to play your part in bringing justice against cybercrime? Then, becoming an ethical hacker might be the right path for you.
So let us take a look at the steps that will help you become a Certified Ethical Hacker in India:
1. Work on building a solid foundation
The very first step in learning anything is building a solid foundation. This is especially true for ethical hacking.
But how do you build a good hacking foundation?
Start by taking an IT field after passing your +2. If you are already pursuing a bachelor’s in a non-IT field then switching to one might not be a bad idea. Additionally, if you have a bachelor’s in something like computer science this will help you get a taste of what’s about to come.
While your educational background doesn’t matter in your ethical hacking career, some companies do give preference to IT graduates.
The second way to build a great hacking foundation is by looking for an ethical hacking course online. There are numerous courses online that will train you to gain an ethical hacking certification.
But be sure to conduct thorough research before enrolling in any ethical hacking course online or offline. Some might take hefty fees and teach you just the basics which you could learn on your own.
One of the greatest tools for humanity is books. Here’s a list of hacking books, as compiled by ceos3c that will help you understand the basics as well as advanced concepts:
- The Hackers Playbook 2 by Peter Kim
- The Hackers Playbook 3 by Peter Kim
- RTFM: Red Team Field Manual by Ben Clark
- Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition by Jon Erickson
- The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws by Dafydd Stuttard & Marcus Pinto
- Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking by Georgia Weidman
- Kali Linux Revealed: Mastering the Penetration Testing Distribution by Raphael Hertzog & Jim O’ Gorman
- Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick
- Advanced Penetration Testing: Hacking the World’s Most Secure Networks by Will Allsopp
2. Learn to keep all the codes at your fingertips
Reading books, enrolling in an ethical hacking course online or offline, or gaining a degree in IT isn’t enough to become a certified ethical hacker.
You’ve to dive deep into programming and learn various programming languages.
Think of it this way, human beings communicate and work using verbal languages. Ethical hackers have to work on a computer or a system that only understands the programming languages.
So the next step in your journey of becoming a hacking master is to learn the languages that the various systems speak.
3. Become a professional by gaining an ethical hacking certification
Every ethical hacker needs to be certified. It acts as proof of his/her skill sets. And well, you cannot become a certified ethical hacker without a certification.
So to turn what may seem like a hobby into a professional career, you need to earn one or multiple ethical hacking certifications
EC council is one of the most trusted place to gain your ethical hacking certification. These are the five certifications you could consider gaining:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council – the most common type of certification
- Global Information Assurance Certified Penetration Tester (GIAC Penetration Tester/ GPEN) by SAN and GIAC
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- The council for Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST)
- Certified Network Defender Certification (CND)
If we talk about the first and the most common ethical hacking certification – Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – these are some of the various qualification you’ll need to ace it:
- Mastering Penetration Testing.
- Social Engineering
- How to create Trojan Horses
- What are Backdoors
- What are viruses
- Denial of Service attacks (DoS attacks)
- SQL Injection
- Buffer Overflow
- Session Hijacking
- System Hacking
- Hijack Web Servers
- Hijack Web Applications
- Scan Networks
- Crack Wireless Encryption
4. Aim to become a master
If you take the above three steps, you’ll have become a certified ethical hacker, ready to take on challenges and start earning money.
But ethical hacking is an ever-evolving field. New hackers emerge every single day and each new hacker brings his/her own new style and techniques to make a name in the hacking community.
An ethical hacker, depending on the job profile, must be well equipped with the knowledge to counter any and all cyber attacks.
So the final step is to have the attitude of always learning new ways by reading various magazines, books, and much more. Invest in improving your skills and someday you might become as legendary as Kevin Mitnick
Skills Required by an Ethical Hacker
Ethical hackers are professionals with a specific set of skills. For instance, a person who wishes to make an ethical hacking career is expected to have excellent soft skills along with the ability to manage huge databases, networks, and operating systems.
An ethical hacker must also be a creative thinker and should be able to come up with creative solutions on the go. Therefore, he/she constantly needs to come up with various ways to exploit the system and should be able to prevent these breaches.These are the technical skills that a certified ethical hacker should possess:
- Network traffic sniffing
- Orchestrate various network attacks
- Exploit buffer overflow vulnerabilities
- SQL injection
- Password guessing and cracking
- Session hijacking and spoofing
- DNS spoofing
Scope of Ethical Hacking in India
It’s time to do the money-talk.
How much does a certified ethical hacker make in India? Is there a good scope of ethical hacking in India? Is it all worth it?
Information security personnel are in demand these days, over 60,000 worldwide. In fact, a survey conducted by the International Data Corp. showed that the demand for ethical hackers in India is about to grow to a whopping 77,000 and 188,000 worldwide in just a few years.
Big names in the IT sector like Google, IBM, Wipro, and Infosys are constantly looking for skilled and talented ethical hackers.
And as far as the money goes, well…
A beginner in ethical hacking can expect a salary of INR 5 Lakhs per annum. But this number grows to a whopping average of INR 12 lakhs per annum for individuals with higher education, better skills set and work experience.
“It pays to become the Jedi of coding”
Job Profiles of an Ethical Hacker
There is one more step you will need to take in your ethical hacking career. However, it involves choosing the most suitable job profile for you.
There’s a reason to not include this with the steps above. It’s because you can choose to take this step at any point in your career. But a general tip states, the sooner the better.
Work profiles you can choose to take after gaining an ethical hacking certification:
- Information Security Analyst
- Security Analyst
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Ethical Hacker
- Security Consultant, (Computing / Networking / IT)
- Information Security Manager
- Penetration Tester
These were some of the most common job profiles. In addition to this, freelancing is also a very popular choice in the world of ethical hacking. Just be ready to come up with ways of getting new clients.
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