Is it the Right Time to Choose a Career in Ethical Hacking?

by Apoorva Bellapu
April 17, 2022

The first step towards becoming an ethical hacker should be getting job experience in the Information Technology field.

With unemployment reaching the 4.8 million mark in June (for nonfarm payroll only), surpassing the number of jobless in the US during the time of the Great Recession, it comes as no surprise that anxiety about job loss is looming over everyone’s heads. Since the coronavirus hit the US, nearly 1 in 5 households either experienced a layoff or a reduction in working hours. While a section of employers may consider less harsh options, like pay cuts and furloughs, the uncertainty of losing jobs will remain. As millions wonder what to do when a potential job loss hits them, organizations are beginning to classify most cybersecurity jobs as “essential” or National Critical Functions. This is the right time for students and working professionals to look for assured career prospects in the cybersecurity industry, that too in ethical hacking. In order to kickstart your cybersecurity career, you will need to acquire cybersecurity skills in ethical hacking that are mapped to the cyber roles demanded in the industry.

Why switch to a cybersecurity career?

With almost 3 million jobs vacancies globally, Cybersecurity is an obviously attractive industry to be in. Day after day, more and more security breaches are making headlines and organizations are eagerly hunting for skilled cybersecurity professionals to shore up their defenses. If you’re looking for one good reason to make this switch, we’ll give you three major reasons to consider a cybersecurity career

1. Ever-Expanding Growth and Unlimited Options

It is true that every IT role has its cybersecurity counterpart. The primary focus on security gives birth to a plethora of new career options. With the right cybersecurity skills and knowledge, you can start as a security operation engineer and move to become a risk assessment analyst, cyber forensic investigator, compliance educator, and several other options. Apart from that, the unlimited growth potential of the industry enables you to take up challenging learning opportunities to change tracks as the industry matures.

2. Number of Unfilled Cybersecurity Jobs

As per a report by the Center for Cyber ​​Safety and Education, the unfilled cybersecurity jobs are expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022. The number obviously suggests that the cybersecurity skill gap is only going to increase in the next couple of years. Isn’t it the right time for you to build your skills and get started as a security professional?

3. Exciting Cybersecurity Salary Offers

While looking at the exciting salary offers for entry and mid-level security jobs, keep in mind that the role is most coveted and sought after, which you can reach with a few years of experience is that of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) . CISO’s ensure the security of a business, its invaluable data assets, and its people. Ethical hacking has been a lucrative job option for several IT professionals out there due to the good salaries being offered. Moreover, it is a challenging job, which would never let you bored. Furthermore, it also generates a sense of responsibility and achievement, which is essential to get going with any of the jobs. You can also undergo CEH training in Bangalore for kick-starting your hacking career. Let us discuss in detail, all the factors that may help you to become an ethical hacker, and if it would be a good option for you to go ahead with it as a prospective career option.

What is the Job Profile of an Ethical Hacker?

Hacking refers to finding loopholes in any system and gaining unauthorized access to the same. Unauthorized access to one’s system can lead to the collection of private data, deleting system files, and many more such things. Hacking is considered illegal in most countries and can lead you to imprisonment if caught in serious issues.

However, hacking is considered legal if done with due permission from the concerned authorities. Several companies hire hackers to test the feasibility of their system security and to find out and fix loopholes if any. This decreases their system’s vulnerability to unethical hackers with the malicious intent of hacking into their systems. Such people who have the knowledge of hacking and do so with the company or the concerned organization’s permission are termed, ethical hackers.

The first step towards becoming an ethical hacker should be getting job experience in the Information Technology field. Usually, a person with a degree in computer science or any other related field in cybersecurity is highly preferred for the post of a professional ethical hacker. However, there might be some exceptions with people who have extraordinary knowledge and experience in the same, without a valid degree. One of the most valued certifications which can help you make your way into the world of ethical hacking is the CEH certification. You need to have working experience in IT for appearing the same and have pretty good knowledge about the systems. CEH course is considered to be pretty tough by most professionals, however, for a person having at least 5 years of work experience in IT or cybersecurity, clearing the same must not turn out to be difficult.

What roles does an Ethical Hacker play?

The job of an Ethical Hacker involves a whole lot of important roles and responsibilities. As we all know, with great power comes great responsibility, having an exceptional knowledge about the computer systems also brings in a lot of important responsibilities which can have quite an impact on several lives as well as professions. Some of them are as mentioned below:

Penetration testing for various systems and applications to test for vulnerabilities.

Scanning various ports by making the use of tools such as NMAP & Nessus.

Performing vulnerability analysis tests to examine the patch releases.

Testing the performance of firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems,

and Intrusion Prevention Systems.

Employing activities such as wireless connection intrusions, hijacking servers, retrieving hijacked servers, and sniffing important network systems.

Apart from the above-mentioned responsibilities, ethical hackers look forward to protecting various organizations’ servers. They ensure that the organizations react soon enough to any kind of protocol leakages or vulnerabilities in the systems to prevent further harm by malicious hackers.

Skills should you behold to become an ethical hacker

There is a list of specialized skills and fields with which an ethical hacker must be completely acquainted with. Here is a list of the major skill set that plays an important role in satisfying the job of an ethical hacker:

Spoofing and Session Hijacking

SQL Injection

Modulating system attacks

Sniffing the network traffic

Put up barriers against exploiting vulnerabilities in the systems

Password Cracking

DNS Spoofing

The above mentioned are some of the most common and must-have skills that could help you in the way of becoming a professional ethical hacker. It is really important for an ethical hacker to be highly creative and to think one step ahead of the malicious hackers to be able to perform their jobs with high efficiency.

How much can an ethical hacker Earn?

The average pay of an ethical hacker is much more than other professionals in the same field due to their demand amongst the organizations as well as a shortage of professional and certified ethical hackers who can perform the given job with high proficiency. According to various trustable streams, the starting average CEH salary can range anywhere from $ 50,000 to $ 90,000 a year, which can be considered pretty high-end for a fresher. Going by the pay, Ethical Hacking can be considered among some of the best paying career options.

Is ethical hacking a good career option?

Going by the pay scale and the opportunities in the field, ethical hacking is quite a lucrative career option for all the IT professionals or aspirants out there. However, the amount of preparation and hard work that comes along with achieving success in the field must also be considered. If you are passionate enough and are ready to give in the effort to become a certified ethical hacker, the field is all awaiting you with open arms.

Moreover, to clear the CEH certification that gives you a professional tag, it would require a whole lot of experience as well as knowledge to stand out from the crowd. However, once you are above all the exams and certification, your creative thinking, as well as a passion for cybersecurity alone, can make you touch the peak of your career with really high pay-outs and rewards. Going by the current requirement rate as well as the CEH salary offered by the organizations right now is the best time to dig into this field and earn the best rewards.

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