Hitherto, we have always regarded hacking as a criminal activity. We even install all kinds of tools and programs in place to prevent hackers from intruding into our digital world. Therefore, it is surprising that the IT world favors it! However, there’s a catch here; this is a different kind of hacking that the IT industry favors.
Companies engage in ethical hacking to ensure the safety and security of their stored data. Therefore, ethical hackers must undergo specialized training. They must also appear for a final certification exam at the end of the course. It will permit the applicant to become a certified ethical hacker.
In reality, it is not easy to become a qualified ethical hacker. However, it does provide for a highly satisfying and lucrative career. Therefore, if you wish to enter the field, look for a good, ethical hacking certification training provider.
Now, what are the major topics that any program on ethical hacking will cover?
Defining Criminal Hackers and Ethical Hackers
You must understand how your mindset is different from that of a criminal. Earlier, people used the term, hacker, in the right way, different from what it is meant today. It was referred to an individual who desired to learn everything about the internal workings of a computer, the operating system, and a network. The meaning of a hacker changed over time. It became a label for a person who intruded into other computers without permission. The intention was obviously to cause harm to personal or organizational data.
In contrast, you, as an ethical hacker, will assess possible risks, perform security tests, strive to set up tools for keeping databases safe, etc. In short, all your activities are legitimate and legally permissible. However, you will be able to function better if you can recognize the type of hacker threatening your particular organization.
For instance, phreakers love to target PBX and telecommunication systems. Then, there are young script kiddies, who attack computer servers and networks, just for fun. Sometimes, angry employees, whom the company has laid off, engage in blind attacks.
Some hackers are experts in reverse engineering software programs, while others experienced in destroying operating systems. However, the most dangerous hacker is cybercriminal or cyber-terrorist. This individual wishes to destroy an entire nation via persistent attacks.
Equipping with Requisite Skills
Your knowledge base requires healthy stocking if you are to perform efficaciously and intelligently. Therefore, your trainer will educate you about various tools and techniques that you can use at the right times.
To begin with, you must have proper awareness of networking protocols and their functioning. The commonest one in use is Transmission Control Protocol or Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Since you must be able to figure out how hackers can manipulate these protocols, it would be good to go in for certifications related to cybersecurity, operating systems, etc. The institute will help you attain them.
Then again, you must be skilled in configuring, operating, and managing Microsoft-based systems. Similarly, it would help to know all about UNIX OS/Linux, programming, programming languages, etc.
Knowledge about routers is equally essential, for they aid in activating the Internet. You must understand how to access and control diverse routing protocols too. Once again, additional certificates come into play here.
It is not all. As a person in charge of security, you must be able to install appropriate firewalls too. You must create a dependable team, with each member having different skills. Together, you can keep hackers at bay.
Mode of Functioning
You need to know how exactly you will operate within your concerned establishment. Towards this end, your first task will be to figure out what kind of information has leaked out. Will this kind of leakage mildly, moderately, or severely affect your business establishment?
Since your objective is to prevent such leakages or intrusions in the future, you must be skilled in testing procedures. One of them is penetration testing. External testing would involve simulating perceived attacks from anywhere in the virtual world. Internal testing would indicate simulating the types of recognized activities and attacks launched by an authorized person having a connection to your organizational network.
Similarly, you may keep a check on network gear (routers, firewalls, switches, and IDS) and wireless networking systems, regularly. Application testing tackles the method of processing data and input controls. Other tests related to monitoring, the disk operating systems, organizational databases, communication systems, authentication systems, stolen equipment attacks, and social engineering. Finally, there is physical security testing, wherein you must monitor the operating of doors, locks, CCTV cameras, gates, and so on.
Adhering to Lawful Behavior
Every nation has its own rules and regulations. Go through them carefully before you act. As a lawful citizen and an ethical hacker, you are compelled to follow them. You may have the right to “break into “other organizational or personal computers. Regardless, you must stay within your limits. Do not make it easy for your target to take up the role of ‘helpless victim’! Otherwise, you may have to go to face lawsuits and go to prison. Similarly, you must agree to keep everything confidential. Thus, the ethical hacker certification program will cover all aspects of behavior too.
The management must know what you are doing. Therefore, you must be able to present regular, detailed reports about vulnerabilities that require urgent tackling. You will gain knowledge about them through your risk assessment tests. Do outline testing procedures that came into play, your findings, and recommendations in the presentation. Note that you cannot go in for heavily technical language. The reports must be concise, understandable, and convey vital messages. Above all, they must be stored in safe places, where the public cannot access them.
These are a few samples of what you will learn when you apply for training in ethical hacking. You are bound to learn much more. Suffice to say that at the end of it all, you will be a one-person security guard, whom the worst of hackers will find difficult to handle!