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Hacking is a phenomenon that is perceived to be malicious, with an intent to breach someone’s privacy or exploit vulnerabilities in the systems connected to the internet. People who exploit systems have existed since the birth of systems as well. But with the advent of IT, the globalization that enables seamless communication throughout the whole world, the risk and potential of hacking has drastically increased. Therefore, many organizations, private as well as government-run, have come up with proactive measures to prevent themselves from being targeted from hackers. Ethical hacking is a technique that uses the skills of a hacker, but the intentions behind it are completely opposite to that of a hacker. Ethical hackers make use of hacking to find out the loopholes or vulnerable aspects of a system, they then provide these organizations with insightful feedback which, in turn, allows these organizations to strengthen the security protocols they have in place.
As more and more organizations digitize themselves and connect their databases with the internet, the potential for hackers to exploit data has increased exponentially. In recent years, there have been various incidents of data breaches and data exposures in various organizations such as banks, credit card scams, power grids, hotels etc. A large-scale breach has the potential to attack millions of accounts. The need for people who can discover security breaches in an enterprise without exploiting them has rapidly increased. The demand for ethical hacking has created an unconventional career path for many professionals. People work as contractors, as well as employees in organizations to continually discover flaws in firewalls. This career path is proving to be more and more lucrative. The technicality and difficulty of high-level ethical hacking have caused the availability of ethical hackers to be unable to keep up with the demand, therefore this field is proving to be very lucrative. Successfully experts in the field can earn north of $100,000 in a year. But the skill of ethical hacking comes with a huge responsibility.
But ethical hacking comes with many protocols and code of ethics to be followed in order for this field to have meaningful benefits. Some of the key points are that the organization or department being penetrated should have the knowledge of the attempt. The hacker should have explicit permission from the related organization. Due to the increasingly globalized enterprises, there is a lot of scope in this field. Various organizations provide information security training and ethical hacking certification. Information security training, especially ethical hacking certification, not only teaches individuals the skill itself but the proper channels to follow so that their skills are beneficial in a meaningful manner.
Ethical hackers are often called white hat hackers, and the only thing that differentiates them from black hat hackers is their intentions. Due to this reason, experts in the field, as well as law enforcement workers stress on the importance of responsibility. Moreover, amateurs entering the field pose a risk. They might get their hands on information and data critical for the concerned department. The data might get accidentally deleted, or perhaps contaminate the trail that could lead the law enforcement agencies to the real culprit. These reasons are just one aspect of what makes ethical hacking controversial. The only thing preventing an ethical hacker from falling victim to the more tempting aspects of black hat hacking is their own sense of morality. Therefore, it is imperative that individuals interested in the field get information security training and ethical hacking certification, so that they can get insights about the ethics, their importance, the relation of an ethical hacker with law enforcement and its investigations, and the large-scale repercussions of black hat hacking.
To be more specific, information security training ethical hacking certification provides individuals with the knowledge required to become professionals who can contribute to cybersecurity. EC-Council (International Council of E-Commerce) is the body that issues Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) qualification. Ethical hacking certification teaches individuals the concepts of ethical hacking, the process of extracting private information through hacking (enumeration), types of attacks and their categories, spyware and other potential threats to a system. Ethical hacking certification focuses on the latest malware attacks and instruments that have the potential to be used maliciously. New and emerging attack vectors that could appear in the cyberspace are also a key focus of CEH. Moreover, they are allowed to practice in a sandbox environment, these are referred to as penetration testing or hacking challenges and are tested at the end of every module of CEH, their ability to prevent attempts at hacking a system.
Apart from hacking, information security training plays a key role in enabling professionals to build and maintain impenetrable network security systems. Information security training courses focus on areas such as designing a fool-proof Network Security system, Compliance with operational security standards, knowledge of threats and how they are exploited and various other technicalities. Furthermore, it also teaches professionals how to manage the databases containing confidential information belonging to the hosts. It teaches individuals Access control, identity management and lastly, cryptography.
Ethical hacking certification as well as information security training, both are related fields and have overlapping implications. People with these qualifications are in high demand. Ethical hacking is a field that does not have a requirement for prerequisites. Therefore, essentially anyone, regardless of their age or educational background, can become a Certified Ethical Hacker and create a lucrative career in this field, while ensuring security and anonymity of millions of people and their private information contained in databases connected to the world wide web. Kevin Roose, in an article in The New York Times, “A solution to hackers? More Hackers” describes the necessity of ethical hackers accurately as “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a hack is a good guy with a hack.”
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