In today’s world, computers rule. And the more you know about computers and technology and the Internet, the power you wield. Unfortunately, criminals know this as well. Any company that has a web presence or any digital presence at all is vulnerable to numerous kinds of hacking. However, while the well-known image of a bearded man sitting a dark room alone is a common trope when talking about this subgenre of careers, there is another kind of hacking steadily growing in popularity and usefulness in today’s connected society: ethical hacking.
What is Ethical Hacking?
First of all, we need to look into the problems that Hacking brings into this world. Hacking enables unauthorized users to break into the systems to steal, change or destroy the information. At times it leads to installing the malicious software. This article that I came across the other day helps us to understand further consequences and how ethical hacking helps us “Self-driving cars vs hackers: Can these eight rules stop security breaches?“.
Someone who hacks and is ethical will be able to identify and counter criminal hacking activity. Any ethical hacking course will teach you to protect people, governments, and organizations from malicious intent.
This can include penetrating networks, phishing, DDoS attacks, theft of information, blackmail, and more.
You stay up to date on the latest threats and vulnerabilities so that you can counter them and prevent people from being exploited. These kinds of hackers are helping real people, which is where the ethical part of the name comes from.
Being an ethical hacker requires knowledge of computer programming and networking. A common OS (operating system) used in this is Linux or Unix.
This is because of the open source nature of the software, meaning that it has a less chance of being backdoored by the NSA or another adversary.
If it was compromised, it could transfer viruses itself, which defeats the purpose of using it for security measures in the first place. As such a hacker, you would perhaps want to know about C, Java, Perl, and other programming languages that you pick up from an Ethical hacking course.
I’d also like to share this ebook link that helps you to understand more about Ethical Hacking: An Impact on Society.
One common misconception about ethical hackers is that they are a normal hacker who just happens to hack organizations for personal gain, charity, or profit. That’s not true. Ethical hackers don’t really “hack” anyone, rather they protect people from getting hacked.
The second major misconception is that hacking in an ethical manner doesn’t pay as well. The classic war of white hats versus black hats, as the community calls them, has created this perception. In reality, ethical hackers often make well into the six figures.
Thirdly, some feel that they need a lifetime of education to become an ethical hacker. Luckily, that’s not the case. If you study a course or school, you can quickly get the skills you need.
What Are the Top 10 Careers for Ethical Hackers?
- Penetration Tester: When it comes to computer networks, there are vulnerabilities within the connections. Various sockets and boards are used to create the connection, so when a hacker looks to exploit it, they do something to penetrate it. A penetration tester looks for ways to prevent against this by building up firewalls and performing the evaluations regularly.
- Information Security Analyst: As an ISA you are going to be looking at the big picture of a security diagram of the company or group. You’ll work with management teams to come up with ways to systematically protect the IT from any kind of attacks.
- Task Force Associate: Big government agencies like the CIA, NSA, and FBI all need great ethical hackers. They will often recruit them to work alongside them as they try to make their systems foolproof against attacks, such as the social security database or credit databases which are not breachable.
- Information Security Engineer: As an engineer in information security, you’ll create codes and scripts in something called BASH (Bourne Again Shell). This scripting language is used to control servers remotely and make sure outside assailants aren’t logging in.
- IT Security Consultant: As a consultant, you have the ability to help companies create plans in case of hackers. You can even use this role to sell and receive the commission.
- Computing Security Consultant: Computing is the realm of deep code. This is the computing power that rests at the center of machines like laptops and phones. It requires more math than other ethical hackers.
- Networking Security Consultant: Networking is how computers talk to each other. As a networking security consultant, you’ll help create shields against rogue waves and signals.
- Darkweb Patrol: The darkweb is the part of the internet where people can do illicit activities. Often times, black hat (unethical) hackers will gather here. Your job as a darkweb patrol is to stop them in their tracks before they have a chance to commit their crimes by infiltrating their organizations. It’s a lot like undercover work in law enforcement, although you’re working for private entities many times as well.
- Auditor: An auditor is a prized role in the white hat hacking community. Your position is to come in and sit down with the chief officers of a company like the CIO, CTO, CFO, CEO, and CMO. When you do this, you’ll discuss principled ways that you can assist them in protecting their data. After all, no company wants to have their customer list or secret sauce of how they offer solutions to be stolen by another company or thief on the black market.
- Site Administrator: This role involves setting up and managing a company’s website. You don’t need to be a brilliant graphic designer. Your focus is on the back end security and covering up potential exploits that could be penetrated.
Long gone are the days where you could simply set up a computer and feel safe with your information. Even with encryption and basic security measures, unethical hackers target businesses, people, and governments every day. The ethical hackers that are becoming popular today are the white knights against this invasion of privacy, security, and theft. The 10 careers above are an excellent choice for anyone wishing to have a great paying position in technology while knowing they are doing good in the world. Remember, you don’t need to be an expert today. There are resources to help you learn, so you can get great and be employed as an ethical hacker in just months.