More and more people are moving into the digital set-up irrespective of the field and work they are into. For example: manual banking process is now being converted into digital banking; shopping, communication and other business activities are being converted into online services. In the mean-while, cyberspace is also becoming a lucrative space for hackers, which means that hackers will digitally break into the computer systems to steal information, commit fraud or jeopardise a system by destroying the files and documents.
It is a known fact that the miscreants also hack into our social media accounts (such as Facebook) and wi-fi accounts. This can lead to a severe threat to us because we will have all our personal- information, pictures and videos along with other login credentials that are saved anywhere for that matter. You will know that your Facebook account is hacked by looking at the requests sent to some unknown random person, all your information being changed etc. The bottom line is that the more interest and exposure the person gives online, the more susceptible he is to such miscreants or ethical hackers.
So now you might be wondering as to how to stop it? Is there an end to this? How do we cut-off such miscreants from sabotaging our information? Well, the answer to all such questions is - “Ethical Hacking”. This is the counter strike to many such problems. Large banking sectors and companies, jewelry stores etc., hire such hackers to keep their information secure and safe from such unethical / malicious hackers.
What is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical hacking involves an authorised access to enter into a computer system, applications, data etc., without getting the required permission. Usually this type of hacking is carried out by an ethical hacker to stop the malicious hacking by unethical hackers. This involves duplicating strategies and action plans of the malicious hackers.
This process helps in identifying the security vulnerabilities which can then be resolved before any malicious attacker has the opportunity to exploit them.
How do Ethical Hackers work?
There are certain set of dos and don’ts that an ethical hacker must follow while undertaking a job:
They must have a written permission from the entity that he is working for before exploring its network and check for security vulnerabilities.
The hacker must see to it that he has closed all the tabs and windows that were open after the completion of the work just to avoid any kind of problems and also to protect his employer’s information from the spying eyes (miscreants).
It is better for the hacker before getting started with his job, to inform software developers and hardware companies to understand if there are any security glitches he could expect in the system.
Scope of work of Ethical Hackers
Before we get into the understanding of the prospects and job opportunities for ethical hackers, let us first understand the work of ethical hackers.
Understand the security breaches and potential threats in systems: Ethical Hackers are the best in deploying their skills for the individuals, organisation, and governments and they do so to identify the existing and potential cyber-security threats. They hack the system by taking the permission from their higher authorities to find the loopholes and crack vulnerable points in the system that can be used by the unethical hackers for malicious activities.
Provide counter-measures to hacking: Not only do ethical hackers identify the problem in the system’s security but also devise the counter-measure to avoid the malicious attacks. Hence, it is said that an ethical hacker must like a black hacker to identify the loopholes and work on cutting down the malicious hacking.
Protect information at large: Unlike malicious hackers, ethical hackers also work for the greater good. They look beyond personal gains and work for the security of their employer. Generally, these ethical hackers are hired by large corporate entities especially financial institutions and even governments organisations to protect the data.
Skills of an Ethical Hackers
A skilled Ethical hacker must hold a collection of technical and non-technical skills. Some of them are mentioned below:
Hackers must have a strong knowledge in all Operating Systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac etc.
Apart from complete knowledge of networking, ethical hackers must also have strong and detailed understanding of the basic and advanced concepts of technologies, software, and hardware applications.
They should also know all kinds of attacks.
Strong communication skills
Quick learning ability
Problem solving skills
Awareness of all the laws, standards, and regulations
These are some of the technical and non-technical skills that an ethical hacker must possess for him to be called as a Professional Ethical Hacker.
If you’re looking for a job where no two days are the same, cyber security and ethical hacking might just be what you’re looking for! Looking at the technology that is advancing at a a rapid pace, there is a sudden rise in demand for ethical hacking. It is also said that India is home for 23% ethical hackers, the highest in the world!
Advantages of being an Ethical Hacker
Preventing malicious hackers from gaining access Preventing security breaches
Reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and cyber-terrorism
For protecting the data from the malicious hackers
To be a white-hat hacker, think like a black-hat hacker!
Click here to know more about the skills, roles and responsibilities of an ethical hacker.