I would like to know about ethical hacking. I have been already involved in developing small time apps in my relative owned website building company while pursuing my degree in Computer Science. I would like to know more about job opportunities for ethical hackers. How can I pursue it as a career?
You have asked one of the most interesting queries for this column. Indeed, one can make it big in a career in ethical hacking. Indications are clear that it is one of the rapidly growing career options.
Ethical Hacking refers to systematically penetrating to check the vulnerabilities in a computer system or network that exploits them with malicious intentions. The techniques, methods and function of the ethical hackers are no different from the typical hackers. But the ethical hackers are employed by companies to protect information and uphold the security system from potential destruction. It works on a dictum ‘to beat a hacker; you need to think like one!’
The ethical hacker uses software applications such as Metasploit, BackBox Linux and others to conduct penetration tests to unearth security weaknesses and fix them. They are responsible for mitigating vulnerabilities, supporting to develop security requirements, framing security policies and capacity building of employees of a company in security awareness.
Why is it ethical? It is a self-defence measure taken by the owner to prevent others from attacking his/her property. Having moved to the Internet age, it becomes an existential importance for Information Technology industry.
The Ethical Hacking diploma courses are offered across cities in India. Your Computer Science degree is a right education for this career. It is imperative that ethical hackers should have certification. There are multiple certifications, but mainly Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) are the prevalent three. The study equips with knowledge of surveying and analyzing various domains in computer security.
According to NASSCOM, India requires a vast volume of ethical hackers every year, but it is producing less than one-third. The information security industry is growing at a tremendous pace and offers attractive job prospects. The security compliance has become compulsory for all IT supported firms. The Government departments are also major employers to protect confidential information.
One needs to develop skills in writing programmes in all the existing programming languages, knowledge of different operating systems, nuances of all connecting networks, code reviewing and understanding of protocols.
It is highly remunerative depending on work experience. Even with a year of experience, one can expect around five lakh per annum. It moves up to thirty lakh for the highly talented person in a multinational corporation. The Ethical Hackers earn around 20 to 30% higher than other IT professionals of the same rank.
We live in an era of a massive security breach of our personal data. Intelligent defence is the norm of the day. As someone rightly paraphrased that Information Security is in a situation to keep pace with the Internet security apocalypse that is arriving in different forms.
The Ethical Hackers are on day-today knowledge adventure. Cyber Security Experts are highly valued for their technical wizardry. Above all, their resourcefulness and integrity are not added values, but they are the primary values. Now, go on to wear the White Hat!