White-hat hackers, commonly referred to as ethical hackers, guard the digital frontier against malevolent actors in the cybersecurity field. The importance of ethical hackers has increased due to the increase in cyber threats. It is essential to develop certain skills if you want to be one of them.
In this article, we will try to find out all the essential ethical hacker skills.
What is Ethical Hacking?
The same tools, tactics, and procedures used by harmful hackers are used in ethical hacking, also known as penetration testing or white-hat hacking, but with one important distinction: the goal.
Who is an Ethical Hacker?
The term “ethical hacker,” sometimes known as “white hat hacker,” refers to a cybersecurity expert who uses the same methods and tools as malicious hackers (also known as “black hat hackers”) but with authorization and with the goal of enhancing security rather than weakening it. Their objective is to identify defense-related weaknesses so they can improve system security.
Types of Ethical Hacking
Several types of ethical hacking professionals are there in the wild that do their daily chores using the fundamentals of hacking concepts. In this regard, the mainstream types of ethical hacking professionals are mentioned below:
White Hat Hackers
|Intention||They seek to find weaknesses in systems to increase security with good intentions.|
|Legality||Operate lawfully with express authorization to scan systems.|
|Example||A cybersecurity professional who has been recruited by a company to carry out penetration testing.|
Black Hat Hackers
|Intention||They act maliciously and, without consent, take advantage of weaknesses for their own financial, commercial, or strategic gain.|
|Legality||Operates without authorization and unlawfully.|
|Example||A hacker who infects a company’s network with ransomware and demands payment.|
Grey Hat Hackers
|Intention||They work in a gray area, breaking into networks without authorization but frequently doing so to point out weaknesses.|
|Legality||Although they don’t have express authority to do so, their acts are theoretically illegal even though they are not malicious in nature.|
|Example||A hacker who, without doing any harm, discloses a flaw in a public website and alerts the organization to it.|
|Intention||Mainly uneducated people who hack systems using tools and scripts created by others, frequently for amusement or to feel powerful.|
|Legality||Usually, their behaviors are forbidden.|
|Example||Unaware of the nuances of the hack, a youngster utilizes a downloadable tool to access a school’s computer network.|
Red Hat Hackers
|Intention||They resemble white caps in some ways, but they are more violent. They occasionally employ the same methods as black hat hackers in order to stop them.|
|Legality||Their techniques might violate the law.|
|Example||A professional in cybersecurity who actively seeks out harmful hackers and makes an effort to stop or neutralize them.|
Blue Hat Hackers
|Intention||They are frequently outsiders who are invited by organizations to test for vulnerabilities ahead of software releases.|
|Legality||Operates lawfully since they have authorization.|
|Example||A third-party IT expert examining a new piece of software for potential flaws.|
Green Hat Hackers
|Intention||The “novices” in the field of hacking are those people. They are in the midst of learning and want to develop into full-fledged hackers.|
|Legality||Depending on what they try, their behaviors can range from legal to illegal.|
|Example||A newcomer to the cybersecurity field who is eager to learn and perhaps arrogant about their expertise.|
|Intention||They hack in order to further a political or social agenda, hoping to get others to notice their cause by upsetting systems or distributing their point of view.|
|Legality||Since their acts include unlawful compromises, they are typically illegal.|
|Example||Businesses and governments have been targeted by groups like Anonymous because of their conflicts with political or social ideologies.|
Nation/State Sponsored Hackers
|Intention||They carry out espionage, cyber combat, or other cyber operations with the help of national governments in order to further state goals.|
|Legality||Targeted countries view their conduct as illegal, despite the fact that they carry out government orders to do so.|
|Example||Groups supported by governments steal intellectual property, attack foreign infrastructure, or spy on enemies.|
|Intention||These are paid hackers who will work for the highest bidder, which might be businesses, people, or even governments.|
|Legality||Depending on the tasks they accept, their activities may or may not be legal.|
|Example||A capable hacker that a business has hired to snoop on other businesses.|
Importance of Ethical Hacking
A thorough cybersecurity strategy must include ethical hacking, commonly referred to as penetration testing or white-hat hacking. Moreover, we even understand the vast amount of data transfers throughout our digital space in the interconnected digital world. The datasets can sincerely be lost during the transferring process from one place to another.
In that case, we need ethical hacking professionals to secure the data transfer that can even contain our highly sensitive and confidential details, which we could not afford to end up in the wrong hands of illicit hacking professionals. Then we understand the true importance of ethical hacking in the real world.
In addition, below mentioned is the basic factors that are duly responsible for the importance of ethical hacking:
- Uncover Vulnerabilities,
- Proactive Defense,
- Regulatory Compliance,
- Boost Customer Trust,
- Cost Savings,
- Stay Updated with Evolving Threats,
- Training and Awareness,
- Protecting Company Reputation,
- Data Protection,
- Improving Incident Response, etc.
Careers for Ethical Hackers
There are several prospects for ethical hackers in the cybersecurity field. Businesses are constantly in need of qualified personnel who can bolster and uphold their electronic defenses due to the exponential development in cyber threats and the grave implications of data breaches. The following are well-known ethical hacker career paths:
|Penetration Tester||These experts, also referred to as “pen testers,” are employed to mimic cyberattacks on systems, networks, or apps in order to identify vulnerabilities. Before hostile hackers can take advantage of weaknesses, they want to disclose them.|
|Security Analyst||In order to guarantee data integrity and confidentiality, security analysts assess and keep track of an organization’s IT infrastructure. Professionals identify, stop, and deal with security threats.|
|Security Consultant||These professionals offer firms advice services regarding their general security posture. They might offer security guidelines, procedures, and tools to protect digital assets.|
|Security Auditor||Security auditors carry out methodical assessments of the safety precautions in place to make sure they are in conformity with rules, policies, and standards.|
|Incident Responder||The “first responders” in the case of a cyberattack or security breach are these experts. They locate security events, handle them, and lessen their effects.|
|Vulnerability Assessor||They are experts in locating and assessing weaknesses in hardware, software, and network architecture. To guarantee secure software distribution, they frequently collaborate with development teams.|
Apart from the above-mentioned job profiles that can be chosen by interested individuals to make a fantastic career in ethical hacking and related field of information security, there are a bulk of other job profiles also present. For example:
- Forensic Expert,
- Security Software Developer,
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO),
- Information Security Manager,
- Malware Analyst,
- Security Sales Engineer, etc.
Top 10 Ethical Hacker Skills
The top 10 skills that every prospective ethical hacker needs to have are listed below.
Computer Networking Skills
It is essential to comprehend how various networking equipment (such as switches, routers, and hubs) operate, as well as to be familiar with the various networking protocols. TCP/IP, subnets, VPNs, LAN configurations, and related network protocols must all be mastered by ethical hackers.
Although it appears simple, this is fundamental. Since many servers and firewalls are based on Unix/Linux, an ethical hacker should be knowledgeable about these platforms.
Hackers can use this ability to reverse-engineer the code of a program or application. Ethical hackers can more accurately find vulnerabilities by comprehending the product’s design, coding, and organizational structure.
Data protection is ensured by the art of secure communication or cryptography. Public key infrastructure (PKI), cryptographic protocols, and different cipher types should all be understood by ethical hackers.
Being familiar with databases is essential. It’s important to comprehend SQL, Oracle, and various other database languages and systems since ethical hackers frequently discover weaknesses in databases.
The value of knowing programming languages like C, Java, Python, or PHP cannot be overstated. Programming helps to automate activities, construct tools for penetration testing, and provides a greater understanding of software vulnerabilities.
Basic Hardware Knowledge
It will be advantageous to comprehend how networks and computers perform physically. Sometimes it’s just as important to identify hardware vulnerabilities as it is to software ones.
It is crucial to have a broad understanding of OS platforms, notably Unix/Linux. Since platform-specific vulnerabilities are frequently different, ethical hackers should feel at ease working on Windows, Unix, Linux, and MacOS.
At its essence, hacking is a form of problem-solving. A curious attitude and a propensity for finding out problems and methodically fixing them are requirements for ethical hackers.
Soft Skills and Strong Ethics
Soft skills are as crucial, even though technical skills are critical. The integrity of ethical hackers must be unwavering. They should be able to clearly articulate their findings, collaborate successfully in teams, and, most importantly, always behave ethically.
Top Ethical Hacking Certification
The accomplishment of an ethical hacking certification is a sign of a person’s expertise in cybersecurity. Certification can improve one’s credentials, open up more employment prospects, and possibly increase salary. The following list includes some of the most well-known and reputable ethical hacking certifications in the sector:
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH):
- Provider: EC-Council
About: One of the most well-known certificates for ethical hacking is this one. Trojans, backdoors, viruses, worms, sniffers, phishing, and other issues are just a few of the many topics it covers.
One Year Diploma in Cyber Security Course:
- Provider: Bytecode Security
- About: A pretty fascinating 1 Year Cyber Security Diploma Course that bundles 12 highlighted courses that can transform a basic knowledge person into a mindful and complete cyber security expert.
Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP):
- Provider: (ISC)²
- About: CISSP is a worldwide recognized accreditation that guarantees knowledge in creating, implementing, and administering a cybersecurity program, albeit it is not exactly an ethical hacking certification.
Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP):
- Provider: Offensive Security
- About: The OSCP emphasizes practical skills and challenges applicants to hack into several systems in a controlled setting. It is known for its difficult 24-hour exam.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM):
- Provider: ISACA
- About: The CISM touches on overseeing and administering an organization’s information security program, albeit leaning more toward management.
Moreover, there are many other courses that can also help a person attain fully-fledged knowledge of ethical hacking fundamentals right from scratch or to enhance the knowledge of working cybersecurity professionals to attain higher posts in their current cybersecurity professions.
In the bottom line, we can nicely comment that it takes more than simply a certain set of abilities to become an ethical hacker; it also takes a certain mindset, one that values curiosity, perseverance, and integrity. Although the aforementioned abilities are a good starting point, the cybersecurity world is always changing. Aspiring ethical hackers should be committed to lifelong study and keep up with the most recent dangers and technological developments. The world of ethical hacking is waiting for you if you have the enthusiasm and dedication!
Moreover, persons who have a keen interest in becoming successful ethical hackers in their forthcoming lives should opt for Bytecode Security’s world-class Ethical Hacking Course propagated by industry tech masters and professional penetration testers. Call +91-9513805401 for more info on the upcoming batches and other lucrative details.