Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
WHAT IS ETHICAL HACKING?
Sometimes called Penetration Testing, this act is the intentional intrusion of a system or network by a hacker certified by a certain governing body. This is done to test the threats and vulnerabilities of a system as a preventive measure to deter malicious outside hackers. White Hats, such is the name of ethical hackers, perform these acts is to improve the security of the network or systems by fixing any vulnerabilities found during the hacking.
Ethical hackers use the same hacking methods of notorious malicious hackers but with the necessary permissions of the authorized person of the system being hacked.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO BE AN ETHICAL HACKER?
Hackers will only be considered as White Hats if they are fully certified by the EC-Council CEH. This certification is called C|EH or Certified Ethical Hacker. This is obtained through trainings and an examination and the certification can be renewed every three years and the recent version is CEH v 9.
To be a Certified Ethical Hacker, one must attend extensive training in Ethical Hacking at an Accredited Training Center. Although some IT professionals often opt to teach themselves through EC Council’s learning portal, iClass. A candidate that has opted to self-study will need to fill out an application form and submit a 2 year relevant work experience sheet.
Re-certifications every three years must also be accomplished by Ethical Hackers who have been previously certified by the EC Council. Each certified ethical hacker must also achieve 120 credits within 3 years for them to renew their CEH certifications.
To be certified as an Ethical Hacker, a candidate must take the exam offered by the EC Council. This exam is to determine whether the applicant meets or exceeds the minimum standards of ethical hacking. Depending on the exam form, cut-off scores usually range from 60% to 85% out of 125 questions for a 4-hour duration. The exam form is in multiple-choice and is delivered by the ECC and VUE.
A $500 fee is also collected as exam cost for the certification and a $100 additional fee for self-study candidates. A record of two years of information security related work experience endorsed by the employer must also be submitted by a self-taught candidate as required eligibility to take the certification exam.
You can take the CEH Practice Exam test to make competent over your subjects.
ETHICAL HACKING AS A CAREER
Certified Ethical Hackers or White Hats are professionals of their own right. They are able to perform legitimate intrusions and penetrations for various organizations and companies. A skilled Ethical Hacker is an individual who uses the same methods as that of a malicious hacker. This is done so that the hacker can test the security of a system and make reports on all the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of a certain network.
Professional Ethical Hacking is a great career for IT professionals who are well versed in system and network security. This high paying job can be fulfilling for all IT professionals who wish to venture in this path.
“To beat a hacker, you need to think like a hacker”
These may well be the motto of Certified Ethical Hackers. So what do ethical hackers do that highlights their skills when it comes to performing their work?
This is done in two ways, Internal and External Penetration or Pen-testing. External Pen Testing in the most common approach by a malicious hacker to invade a network remotely through an external connection. Internal Pen testing on the other hand is almost the same as external pen testing, the only difference is that the attack begins from inside the network. Meaning, the attacker has already had some access to the network being targeted.
The goal of the pen test is to determine how strong the security of a network is externally and internally. By targeting externally exposed servers, clients and even people, the hacker will try to use tools to trick people into giving them their access accounts to the VPN.
2.Scanning all ports in the system
Checking all open and closed ports in the system using reconnaissance tools is one of the main functions of an ethical hacker.
3.Testing System Vulnerability
A Certified Network hacker will act like a Black Hat hacker to test how strong the security of a certain network. From trying to evade the Intrusion Detection system to breaking through all the rules set by firewalls. This is mainly done to note whether an improvement in the security need to be done or to see if the network has an ironclad defense.
Ethical hackers will try their best to act like a malicious attacker by using all known strategies to crack through a network defense. They will try to sniff, bypass, and hijack all the web servers and applications. This is all done in good will in order to improve an organization’s or company’s network security protocols.
How much does a Certified Ethical Hacker earn?
This job is very challenging and very interesting. Extreme skill and talent is needed in ethical hacking due to the nature of the job itself. This is compensated by a great paycheck that every CEH receives. In 2018, the average annual pay for a certified ethical hacker ranges from $75,000.00 to as much as $110,000. However, great companies usually give bonuses to employees which can further increase the total annual salary.
The question now is, will being a Certified Ethical Hacker be great as a profession. The simple answer to that is a big fat YES. If you are an IT Professional and network security is the lifeblood of your career, then it is high time that you get certified and earn those big pay checks.