7 Skills Required for Becoming a Practised Ethical Hacker

Almost every computer whizz bears an intense passion for becoming an ethical hacker but is unaware of the path they need to take. An ethical hacker is a connoisseur in the safety mechanisms of computer and network systems.

Often, people have a wrong notion about hacking and hackers. This is justified to some extent as there are malicious or black hat hackers who exploit computer security system vulnerabilities for personal benefit. On the contrary, professional ethical or white hat hackers also work to fix these vulnerabilities to safeguard data and information.

So, if you wish to make your career in ethical hacking, the information below is useful for you.

Unless you are looking to specialize in a specific field such as forensics or maybe mobile, all ethical hackers require undergoing courses that teach the following subjects:

Cryptography, penetration testing, scanning networks, buffer overflows, firewalls, denial of service, exploitation, SQL injection,  fingerprinting, footprinting, trojans and backdoors, reconnaissance, hacker types, wireless hacking, hacking tools, mobile hacking platforms, tcp/ip hijacking, viruses and worms, hacking web applications, hacking web servers, session hijacking, sniffing, social engineering, system hacking, and enumeration.

Here is what you actually need to master to be a skilled, ethical hacker:

  • Basic computer skills – Besides understanding Microsoft Word, you must also have knowledge of the command line, setting up a network, and editing the registry.
  • Networking skills – You must know about the internet protocols, routers and switches, and advanced TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)/IP (Internet Protocol)
  • Linux Skills – You cannot be an ethical hacker without the knowledge of Linux
  • Hacker Tools – TcpDump, Wireshark, Kali Linux, Cain & Abel, SuperScan, Burp Suit, etc., along with several others, are some hacking tools that an ethical hacker should know about
  • Virtualization– This allows you to create a virtual version of a device, wherein the device’s resources are dispersed to numerous execution environments. Different VirtualBox software are available to perform virtualization.
  • Reverse engineering – This is the understanding of how a specific process or software accomplishes a task using deductive reasoning.
  • Security concepts and technologies– knowledge of firewalls, SSL, IDS, etc.
  • Wireless technologies– You must clearly understand wireless encryption, wireless concepts, and threats related to them.
  • Scripting – Scripting skills are essential for any master ethical hacker. They should have knowledge of different scripting languages such as BASH, Windows PowerShell, Perl, Python, Windows Remote etc.
  • Digital forensics –It deals with the retrieval and examination of material discovered in digital devices connected to cybercrime.
  • Database skills– You must be able to navigate database software with ease and understand SQL (Standard Query Language).
  • Web programming and applications– Ways in which the black hat hackers target and exploit them.
  • Cryptography or encryption – This allows one to communicate safely and securely.

Learning from Other Ethical Hacking Sources:

While the above are some ideal courses for any individual pursuing the career path of an ethical hacker, there are many other sources from which they can enhance their knowledge. Here are some sources that offer free video tutorials, hands-on-challenges, articles, etc. that will allow you to expand your knowledge in ethical hacking:

  • Hacking Tutorial – This is a very famous website that offers tips and tricks to hackers. Although they may not be entirely illegal to practice, an ethical hacker should be responsible enough to understand their integrity before implementing them.
  • Hack this Site – This is an excellent website, especially for beginners looking for a legal and free place to learn hacking skills. It also has an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel where you can connect with other ethical hackers and share information.
  • Exploit Exercises – The site teaches you to learn and write coding. They offer a range of interesting courses. Click here to access this website.
  • Vuln Hub – The website offers ethical hackers a chance actually to practice their hacking skills. For instance, you can download a custom Virtual Machine and then work to get root-level access.
  • YouTube – The online video streaming platform offers myriad videos related to ethical hacking. Some of them come from geniuses. You just need to browse for the right videos.
  • Tutorials Point – This website offers several ethical hacking tutorials for beginners.
  • Open Security Training – This website is good for organizations looking forward to training several employees at a time. You just need to add an instructor to take Hacking Techniques and Intrusion Detection course. The course creator is meant for on-site training.

To further enhance your knowledge of ethical hacking, you must consider becoming an apprentice to an expert with good experience in this field. If you would like to gain knowledge about a specific hacking tool, the vendors tend to offer a comprehensive tutorial.

About ethical hacking: is it legal?

Yes. In 2015, the Librarian of Congress exempted the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act from white hat hacking to allow hackers to research vulnerabilities. This has been controversial as items with computers are increasingly prevalent in everyday life.

  • Expert advice on staying secure as an ethical hacker
  • Get express permission from the organization before trying to hack into their system.
  • Know the rules and policies of your target company
  • Verify if the company has an official Policy for Interns
  • Never create any weaknesses that will be exploited at a later date while you are trying to protect your system.
  • Keep records of your ethical hacking sessions.
  • Don’t break the law by doing something that violates copyright, intellectual property, and privacy laws.

Why choose an ethical hacking course?

Companies may hire an ethical hacker to find loopholes in their system. If they do not have the resources, they can train someone internally or have a staff member analyse logs in-house. In some cases, hackers are hired explicitly for finding these vulnerabilities. These types of hackers sometimes do it just to challenge them and don’t suffer maliciously from them if they do so on their own time. Bounty hunters get rewarded for finding these glitches in security, incentivizing ethical hacking done with good intentions, or for educational purposes.

If you opt for white hat hacker training, you’ll be in excellent company. Compare this with popular web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who hacked early in his career to gain access to restricted areas of university computers.

Kevin Mitnick was once described by the US Department of Justice as “the most wanted computer criminal in the United States history”, but he reformed and became an advisor for various Fortune 500 companies, the FBI, and other white hat hackers.

Earning a salary of more than $100,000 would be possible for an ethical hacker with certification. There are several courses available to help you earn this certification and the salaries could quickly increase in years to come.

CEH certification is becoming more popular among security professionals, with 23.7% of respondents to the 2018 Exabeam Cyber Security Professionals Salary and Job Report reporting attained such a certificate.

You can also enroll in ethical hacking courses with us at IEMLabs. We offer hacking courses for both beginners and experts. Besides offering online and offline superior training about the course, we also offer live practical sessions for in-depth understanding and clarity. Visit our website to learn more about the courses of services offered.

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