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How to Become an Ethical Hacker | Cyber Security Jobs

It is no secret that the demand for Ethical Hackers is in high demand. For this reason, many people are looking into how they can enter the industry. The problem is that there are a lot of misconceptions about what it takes to become an Ethical Hacker and what kind of career opportunities exist within the field.

This blog post will discuss some of these misconceptions as well as provide you with information on how you can take your first step into becoming an Ethical Hacker!


What is Ethical Hacking and How Does it Work?:

Ethical hackers are sometimes called "white hats", and they help organizations identify flaws in their systems so that the organization can fix them before bad actors exploit the vulnerabilities. Ethical hacking is a method for finding security problems by trying to bypass company defences without being detected, either manually or automatically.

Ethical hacking is a common term in the security industry and refers to a wide range of activities.

- Ethical hackers find ways into secure systems by exploiting software vulnerabilities, social engineering, and physical access to equipment. The ethical hacker's goal might be simply to document how he got in, or it could be something more complex such as creating an exploit that will allow other attackers unauthorized access later on.

- To do this work properly requires detailed knowledge about different types of network vulnerabilities (e.g., buffer overflows), operating system bugs (such as Windows' "Win32k fullscreen elevation of privilege vulnerability"), application logic flaws ('iTunes XML external entity parsing heap overflow'), hardware components with exploitable firmware interfaces ("Broadcom WiMAX external information disclosure vulnerability"), and a variety of other hacking techniques.

- Ethical hackers work for government agencies, security consulting firms, or as independent consultants. The pay can vary significantly from company to company.


The Benefits of Becoming an Ethical Hacker, Salary Potential for Ethical Hackers:

Ethical hackers can earn an excellent salary in the following fields:

The military, government agencies and intelligence communities often make use of ethical hackers to ward off cyber threats.

A company might hire a cybersecurity expert as part of its IT department if it wants to protect against outside hacking attempts.

Computer companies are also hiring many ethical hackers because they need protection from malicious software that is pre-installed on their computers or tablets before shipping them out. (This link will go into more detail about computer security.)

Salary potential ranges widely depending on your experience level, employer size and even where you live, but this article estimates that entry-level jobs start at $80k to $90k per year.

For those with more experience, salaries can be much higher.

As ethical hacking is a part of cyber security, getting certified as a CISSP holder would be very helpful to your career. There are good statistics of CISSP holders making good names for themselves.

A fully trained ethical hacker might expect to earn as much as $200 an hour for certain types of work, depending on the type and size of company they are working for or even the country where they are located.


##Who Needs an Ethical Hacker in Their Organization:

The military, government agencies and intelligence communities often make use of ethical hackers to ward off cyber threats.

A company might hire a cybersecurity expert as part of its IT department if it wants to protect against outside hacking attempts.

Computer companies are also hiring many ethical hackers because they need protection from malicious software that is pre-installed on their computers or tablets and can't be removed.

Some people use the term "ethical hacking" as a synonym for penetration testing, an effective software testing automation. Penetration testers try to find vulnerabilities in software and systems so that companies can fix them before they're exploited by hackers.

Ethical hacker salaries depend on what education or certification level this person has attained, how long he's been doing it, where he is employed and his current job title. The average ethical hacker salary is $75,000 per year, according to PayScale survey data from June 2015.

The numbers of jobs available are projected to grow much faster than other IT occupations over the next few years because organizations have finally started recognizing cybersecurity as an essential part of their business infrastructure and want protection against malicious attacks that could cause financial loss or disrupt operations.


Why Become an Ethical Hacker:

Ethical hacking is a dynamic and rewarding career that allows you the opportunity to work in innovative fields for some of the most influential organizations. Ethical hackers, or white-hat hackers as they are sometimes called, examine computer systems with an eye toward improving their security by looking for vulnerabilities that should be patched before someone exploits them.

Ethical hackers are also called "penetration testers" or "pentesters."

- Ethical Hackers earn good money.

- They work in dynamic and rewarding fields, with opportunities to explore cutting edge technologies and solve some of the most captivating problems facing society today.

- The United States government has put a lot of resources into efforts to recruit new ethical hackers for national security purposes, including military cyber defence systems such as EINSTEIN III (the latest version).


What are the Requirements to Be a Successful Ethical Hacker?

In order to be successful as an ethical hacker, there are a variety of skills that need to be developed.

These include: finding exploitable vulnerabilities in software and networks; understanding how different systems or applications work together on a network so they can find ways through which attackers might try to gain access; having the ability to use programming languages like Python and Ruby for hacking purposes; being able to write some scripts using C++ or Bash (useful for writing exploits); knowing common protocols such as SMTP, FTP, SSH etc.

It's also useful if you know about IoT devices because many hackers have started targeting them lately. Hacking knowledge is needed when it comes to identifying malware (viruses) and what tools do best at removing them.

Security background or experience (a lot of ethical hackers come from computer security backgrounds such as Military Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Cybercrime Investigations etc.) - Programming knowledge using languages like Python or Ruby, which are used by developers to create websites with multimedia content, among other things. It's always best to have a good understanding of the web since that's where most attacks happen.

Knowledge in hacking different devices and networks, such as wireless access points (WAPs) which are used for connecting wireless-enabled laptops or tablets with other computers/devices on an office network.

Knowledge of installing, configuring and troubleshooting operating systems like Linux or Windows. For instance, if you need to install a router so it can be connected to another device via a Wi-Fi connection, then this knowledge would come in handy.

You should also know how networking works because hackers often use this knowledge when they're trying to get into multiple computer systems at the same time across the internet through a technique called "malvertising." Learn more about it here.


Education and Training Options for Becoming an Ethical Hacker:

There are many options for education and training. Depending on the path you choose, you may not need a college degree to become an ethical hacker.

One can also choose private institutes for ethical hacking training such as DICC.

Some of these paths include:

- Self-study with books or online tutorials (if you have experience in programming).

- College courses that teach Ethical Hacking skills without requiring a major such as Computer Science or Cyber Security Systems Engineering.

- A Bootcamp program where they will train students how to hack ethically using various tools while providing them information about security vulnerabilities so they can be patched before hackers take advantage of them.

- Engage a private computing instructor to guide you and share their experience.


Final Words

If you're interested in exploring a new career path or just want to get some tips on how to protect your own cybersecurity, this article should be helpful. We hope that it has given you an idea of the many different options available for those looking to enter into the field of ethical hacking and cybersecurity!

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Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.