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Careers in Ethical Hacking: Dos, Don’ts and Prospects

“It (ethical hacking)’s an art and science of identification of vulnerabilities”.
Ethical hacking is an offensive activity or hacking done with due permission from the client. The objective in it is to actively hack to identify security issues. Ethical hacking is a trust building activity. An ethical hacker should not disclose any confidential information to outsiders.

Ethical hacking helps primarily in understanding the other side of security [Validating the work done by security experts] through active attacks. For instance, how do you identify the strength of a bullet-proof jacket? How do you test it?

You perform real time firing on the jacket by hanging it to a collar and that is testing. But what is real time testing? Wearing the jacket and shooting a person to test if the vest can take the fire is real time testing. Ethical hacking is similar to getting your bullet-proof jacket tested.

Who can be an Ethical Hacker?
In US, 14 year old kid has done a biggest possible DDOS attack by just using his computer. Any person who has interest in computers with basic knowledge about using the internet can be an ethical hacker. World’s best ethical hackers are not well educated.

Take Kevin Mitnick worked as a receptionist. He hacked DEC and used to call any one across the globe for free. FBI feared to provide him a telephone when he was in jail. Hacking needs a thinking that cracks the things. If you are a great builder [Some one who has constructive and methodological thinking], you are not a right hacker. Hacking is an art of breaking things.

In India, any one with an Undergraduate Degree and ability to use an operating system can become a hacker.

What do Ethical Hackers Do?
An ethical hacker attempts to hack their way past the system security, finding any weak points in the security that could be exploited by other hackers. The organization uses what the ethical hacker finds to improve the system security, in an effort to minimize, if not eliminate any potential hacker attacks.

Programmes/ Certifications on Ethical hacking are available today -
The best well recognized ethical hacking certifications in the world are of Offensive security.
  • OSCP (Offensive security certified professional)
  • OSWE (Offensive security web expert).
These very difficult to pass programmes take at least three months of dedication if you are a good hacker. Success ratio for OSCP is only 2 per cent. To reach to OSCP stage, you need to first become certified in other entry-level certifications to get both experience and ability.

As a career choice, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is most accepted certification across the globe. EC-Council provides this CEH certification. Entersoft is an authorized EC-Council partner to provide CEH certification in Hyderabad.
Hathical Haker
Skill Set
Knowledge of basic networking and hardware is an added advantage for ethical hacking. Most important skill that is required is the interest towards computers. If you like games a lot, you might love Ethical hacking. Hacking is always a challenge and you need to break it. The ability to write programmes in many programming languages like C, C++, Perl, Python, and Ruby, working with web applications, Microsoft .NET and PHP, are vital. Knowledge of assembly language is also essential for those who want to analyse disassembled binaries. Knowledge of a variety of operating systems (Microsoft Windows, various versions of Linux, etc) is critical. Experience with various network devices, including switches, routers and firewalls is also important. An ethical hacker also should have a basic understanding of TCP/IP protocols such as SMTP, ICMP and HTTP. In addition to technical skills, an ethical hacker needs good soft skills. Perhaps the most important skill, however, is adaptability. When testing software and systems, ethical hackers never know what will come up, so the ability to be resourceful is vital.

The CEH certification takes an unconventional look at the dark side of computer network security. It gives everyday IT professionals an opportunity to understand the mindset, methodologies, and tools of a hacker. IT pros who do not have an active interest in penetration testing should not automatically discount this certification; CEH certification provides many levels of value for IT professionals.

Make sure you are certified if you are looking for job.

Job Prospects for Ethical Hackers
Jobs vary based on the experience of Ethical hacker. The following roles are very lucrative and attracting the young crowd. MNCs need the following roles -
  • Web Application Penetration tester
  • Network Penetration tester
  • Malware Analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • Network administrator
  • Cyber intelligence analyst
  • Vulnerability management analyst
Currently many testing companies are launching ethical hacking as a part of their portfolio. There is a lot of growth opportunity in testing space. Many product development companies and web based startups are hiring ethical hackers. Police, Intelligence and law enforcement agencies are also hiring ethical hackers. Web hosting companies and mobile application companies need ethical hackers prominently.

Career and growth of being an Ethical Hacker
Ethical hackers are generally paid more than Quality analysts or Programmers or Administrators. Ethical hacking is an art and companies know that. Basic Entry level CEH can get a CTC of 2, 40,000 INR to 45, 00,000 INR based on skill set. Career growth in ethical hacking is any day better than programmers or QA teams. Ethical hackers are handy to the organization and the career graph is mentioned below.

Technology career
Hathical Haker

Managerial career

Hathical Haker

Some prominent recruiters:
  • ADP India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Juniper networks
  • Entersoft Information Systems Pvt. Ltd.
  • Honey well technologies India Pvt. Ltd.
  • IBM
  • PWC
  • KPMG
  • Capgemini
  • Elixir web solutions
  • Akamai
Pay Bands:
Minimum CTC shall be 2, 40,000 INR [any service company like CTS, TCS, Infosys, Capgeminietc] and maximum shall be 45, 00,000 INR [Facebook]

Practical knowledge and learning is very important in Ethical hacking. Ethical hacking and security is always about catching up. You should always compete with the best hackers in the society. Do not go for illegal or short cut money. You will meet lot of people who will show you short cuts, but they will leave you in the sinking boat with lot of gold.

I would advise you to choose your career wisely. You are the biggest asset to the country.

P. Mohan Gandhi,
Chief Executive Officer,,
(040)-30423415, +91-9291522006.
Published date : 02 Oct 2013 03:56PM

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