Today we will cover Everything you need to know about Ethical Hacking as a Career in this article.
When you hear the term “online hacker,” you might think of someone who likes a good puzzle and tries to break into computer systems, learning how to get in and out to get the information they want or need. According to Ben Miller of Parameter Security, there are many people who are hackers and are paid by companies to determine exactly how a criminal can break into a corporate computer system. They’re called “ethical hackers,” and they can determine exactly how a true criminal hacker might break into your company’s computer system. It’s a growing field for those interested in computers, and while you don’t necessarily need a degree or diploma, any kind of post-secondary education would definitely be beneficial for a person looking to get into ethical hacking.
What is ethical hacking?
Computer Hope defines ethical hacking as hacking carried out by a company or individual to identify where potential security threats might be located on a company’s computer network. The information an ethical hacker discovers can then be used to address perceived security threats and tighten the computer network as needed.
However, before hacking is considered “ethical”, several elements must be in place:
- You must have express or written permission to examine the network and identify any security risks;
- You respect the privacy of an individual or company;
- Close any work you were doing to avoid exposing yourself to potential security risks; and
- Notify the software developer or hardware manufacturer of any security risks you discover, if your company was not already aware of the risks.
If all of these elements are in place, then you are in good shape to ethically penetrate a company’s network and identify security risks. If any of these elements are missing, you are simply a hacker and not ethical.
What is the difference between ethical hacking and penetration testing?
Penetration testing and ethical hacking are terms that are often used interchangeably, yet there are subtle differences between the two. According to Tutorials Point, penetration testing is when a company tries to accurately detect vulnerabilities, risks, and target environments to secure and take over a system. In other words, penetration testing focuses on an organization’s defense systems and this includes all computer infrastructure and systems.
Ethical hacking runs the gamut of all hacking techniques and all potential attacks that could occur on a computer system and its infrastructure. However, unlike penetration testing, ethical hacking focuses on how to secure a system for future use. Penetration testing only looks at how a system could be attacked.
Is ethical hacking a good career?
Sure, admitting that you hack for a living can get you some strange looks, as people imagine you’re engaging in exploits that you may not have honestly anticipated. You may be sifting through a school board database, trying to determine the exact security measures that need to be taken to ensure the optimal security of the information in the database, or perhaps you are trying to protect valuable information in a particular branch. of the army. In general, hacking is viewed with a bit of a raised eyebrow; people are used to seeing hacking as part of the underbelly of certain companies rather than seeing it as a valid career choice.
However, it’s a career like no other, but that means there’s a lot of prep work before you can even consider a career as an ethical hacker. You need a significant knowledge of computer security, and while a certificate, diploma or degree in computer science won’t hurt, it’s not always necessary. First and foremost, you need to understand how computers work and communicate with each other. Yes, the work looks charming on the big screen, like Sneakers; however, what is not shown there is the sheer amount of knowledge and experience you need before entering the career.
With that said, and provided you get the experience you need on your own equipment rather than trying to hack someone else’s organization’s security, ethical hacking can be one of the most challenging career paths you could take. Of course, freelancing is a good way to get some experience once you get a lot of practice trying to hack your own gear. The problem with freelancing is, as you might expect, it’s not a stable position, so there are times when it’s hard to afford your favorite brand of coffee from your favorite store. However, it’s a great way to gain both experience and income, so if you’re looking to build your reps and resume by freelancing, it’s not a bad first place to start.
However, once you have that all-important experience, a great next step is to ask tech companies to see if they want to hire ethical hackers. You may very well be inclined to apply to all the big firms, but you may be shooting yourself in the foot a bit because smaller tech firms may have the pay scale you’ve been looking for. Keep your options open and you may find that entering the field as an ethical hacker can actually be a great career choice.
Is ethical hacking an oxymoron?
Strictly speaking, an oxymoron is when two seemingly contradictory terms appear side by side. However, when it comes to ethical hacking, nothing could be further from the truth. According to Cybrara, ethical or “white hackers” use the same techniques as those who hack for their own nefarious purposes, but with more noble goals.
Ethical hacking means that while you may hack into a business or organization’s computer systems and infrastructure, you document evidence of those security issues rather than exploiting them for your own gain. Cybrary says the field of ethical hacking is growing rapidly, even though it has been around since at least the 1970s; being able to hack a website and report to an organization what, exactly those problems in terms of security would offer those looking for a professional challenge to look for.
However, it is important to recognize exactly what an ethical hacker does during their day-to-day duties. According to Ben Miller, ethical hackers spend a lot of time just doing paperwork; that would seem to be the biggest commonality between ethical hacking and any other business – the paperwork that has to happen to ensure that everything gets done when it needs to be done – to the extent that Miller himself said that you spend much more time to fill out paperwork than you would otherwise expect.
Ethical black box hacking
An ethical black box hacker is basically someone who knows nothing about the organization they are attacking. Attackers can use any means at their disposal to attack, rather than refining any kind of specific attack. Thus, an ethical black box attack is one where the attack does not appear to be particularly focused because the attacker knows nothing about the organization.
White Box Ethical Hacking
There are two considerations when it comes to ethical white box hacking: time and money. When we get into this situation, a white box ethical attack is one where everything is known about the organization. In fact, this would be the kind of attack one might suspect a learned insider or someone who knows all about computer systems to carry out an effective hacking attack.
Senior management, human resources and legal, and technical support leadership are generally teams that work closely with hacking teams to facilitate an ethical white box hacking test.
Gray Box Ethical Hacking
The gray box ethical hacking test combines the best of both worlds: a white box attack and a black box attack. Essentially, something is known about the organization being attacked, but this can vary from attack to attack. The disadvantage an ethical hacker might face is similar to the disadvantage they might experience using a white box attack. By being aware of a vulnerability, other vulnerabilities may be overlooked.
While some might look at the ethical hacker with a raised eyebrow, due in large part to the image hackers have gained from movies and TV shows; ethical hacking is actually an ethical career that could prove quite beneficial for businesses and other organizations. Ethical hacking could potentially offer computer students the challenges of hacking, but with the benefits of working for a higher purpose – improving security. What could be better?