Hacking for Good
From the “Heartbleed” bug to the “Wannacry” ransomware attack to the sweeping Equifax hack, sensitive digital information is becoming more vulnerable by the day.
Most often the phrase “Hacker” evokes an image of a shadowy, menacing tech wizard engaged in a criminal conspiracy to disrupt corporations and governments and steal valuable information. There are certainly people out there with unethical and criminal intentions (referred to as “black-hat hackers”), but there is also a class of benevolent “white-hat hackers” or “ethical hackers” that are defending against malicious attacks.
Ethical hackers engage in systematic, proactive, and benevolent hacking to boost security and help companies, organizations and governments operate with more security.
Ethical hackers actually work to enhance the security of sensitive information by:
- Identifying cyber vulnerabilities;
- Recommending solutions to protect against unauthorized access;
- Keeping companies on the cutting edge of cyber security trends, and;
- Finding security risks before a malicious hack takes place.
These ethical hackers can go through a formal certification process to become Certified Ethical Hackers, also known as completing “CEH” training. Certified Ethical Hackers are hired by companies, organizations, and government agencies to help prevent a cyber security incident before it happens. Certified Ethical Hacking techniques are an applied strategy to protect against malicious hackers gaining access to sensitive information – for everything from financial information to health records.
Qualified ethical hackers are critical to security in an age when everyone’s life, business, and personal information is digitized. From hospitals to corporations to high-level government operations, Certified Ethical Hackers are the first line of defense.
A Brief History of Hacking.
We see hackers as shadowy figures giving the good guys a run for their money in TV shows and movies all the time. “Life Hacks” has also become a popular slang term for “hacking” or innovating alternative solutions to everyday problems. Few people, however, know the origins of the term, or how hacking has transformed into a legitimate profession in the Internet age.
The term “hacker” first entered the zeitgeist in the 1960s at MIT where it referred to extremely skilled programmers at the school’s artificial intelligence lab. The first major malicious or illegal hacking incident occurred in the 1970’s when a hacker named “Captain Crunch” found a way to make free long-distance phone calls.
As the Internet made its way to the public, the FBI made one of its earliest cyber hacking stings on a group called the “414s”. As the Internet became more widely used, so did the notoriety of online hackers, as we know them today. There are organized groups of hackers around the world, some of whom are engaged in criminal activity, and some of whom work for good.
In the 2000s companies and governments got wise to an effective countermeasure: hire hackers to break into their networks and expose their security flaws. The Ethical Hacker emerged as a powerful ally in cyber security and is now used by the most powerful companies in the world, including Google.
Certified Ethical Hackers
Certified Ethical Hackers are in high demand among corporations and governments. Ethical Hackers work to find system vulnerabilities to prevent a malicious attack. If you have an excellent command of technology and coding languages and a passionate curiosity, you may be a great candidate for CEH training.
Certification for ethical hackers provides a professional credential that:
- Establishes standards for information security specialists
- Educate the public about the activities and benefits of ethical hackers
- Authenticate ethical hacking as a profession
Certification qualifies security professionals for positions in computing, networking, and IT. Security professionals with the Certified Ethical Hacking credentials often command salaries of over $100,000 per year. Job titles for security professionals with their Certified Ethical Hacking Certification include:
- Security Analyst
- Penetration Tester
- Information Security Engineer
- Security Consultants
About CEH Training
Obtaining a Certified Ethical Hacker credential lays the groundwork for a career in elite cyber security. It’s also a prerequisite for more advanced certification and licensing in the cyber security field, such as EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) and Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT).
The immersive Certified Ethical Hacker course will teach security professionals how to systematically identify vulnerabilities and help companies build systems with greater resilience against malicious attacks.
Over the course of about one week, trainees will complete a series of training modules that cover the most common attack technologies used by malicious hackers. Trainees will learn how to protect common operating and storage systems, with topics such as:
- Cloud Computing Technology
- Mobile Platforms (Smartphones and Tablets)
- SSL and Cryptography
- Windows and Mac OS Vulnerabilities
- Webserver Vulnerabilities
- Contemporary Viruses and Attacks
- Security Laws, Standards, and Best Practices
Training culminates in the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker exam, a 4-hour examination to test the skills learned during the course. Upon passing the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker exam, trainees will have earned their Certified Ethical Hacking Certification.
The Bottom Line
Certified Ethical Hacking Certification is a great career decision for any security professional with experience in computer programming and coding. Having a CEH credential provides credibility, professionalism, and standardization to the field of ethical hacking. Security professionals can increase their salary and open up new job prospects by completing this training and certification.