Let’s face it; hackers pose a grave threat to businesses worldwide. It is only but recently that businesses are finally seriously taking this threat into account and are taking concrete steps to curb this threat.
Why is this rampage so hard to control? The severe talent crunch in the skilled and trained professionals is what is causing the trouble. Typically, an organization must have a team of ‘white hat’ hackers who will continuously test the organization’s defenses and make suitable recommendations to strengthen it.
“A recent survey conducted by KPMG across various industries had stated that 94% of companies perceive cybercrime as the major threat to business; as many as 72% of the companies faced some sort of cyber-attack over just the past year.”
What is more alarming is that 78% of these companies do not even have a cyber-incident response plan. Well, that is just terrible! This is exactly why the world needs more white hat professionals!
So What Exactly is a White Hat Professional Expected to Do?
“Ethical hackers work with government and private firms to test their networks for vulnerabilities, loopholes and bugs to prevent an actual criminal from encroaching. – HuffingtonPost.in”
A word of caution though… Businesses require “dedicated” white hat professionals because in the past many have gone rogue due to the large amounts of money involved. Organizations now have no option but to legitimize this role and create a mainstream line of profession.
So, How Does One Become an Ethical Hacker?
Interested applicants must be well-versed in various programming languages such as, C++, Ruby, Perl and Python. Applicants must also be knowledgeable in web-based applications such as, .NET and PHP. They must also be familiar with the different operating systems and have basic understanding of TCP/IP protocols such as HTTP, ICMP and SMTP.
Ethical hackers need to be well-versed with hardware as well. Knowledge of network devices such as switches, firewalls, and routers is also important. Apart from the hardware and software skillset an ethical hacker will be expected to have, soft skills are a must, too.
Next, we look at the certification courses an ethical hacker aspirant will be expected to take. Some of the certifications are:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- EC-Council Certified Secure Programmer (ECSP)
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)
Of course these courses are only the most popular ones. There are many other options as well. It is important to determine the value the certification will offer, the time you will need to spend acquiring it, and the money you will spend on pursuing the certification. This will be based on the individual’s aspirations as an ethical hacker.
The demand is growing in popularity exponentially. The world needs experts in this field and there is no better time to get into this field, especially if you are genuinely interested. A good talent is of the essence and for good talent there is good money waiting.