The moment we speak of hacking, the first thing that comes to our mind is that of a geek sitting in front of a computer screen and doing something that is unethical. We tend to associate hacking with everything that is negative and we try our level best to keep away from the same. However, it is important to note that hacking is nothing bad if done ethically.
As technology geeks, it is important for us to realise that whether we do the hacking or not, there will be some miscreants at the other end doing the same. From a practical point of view it is fair to say that it will not be possible to tackle these threats and teach them a lesson, if we do not take hacking in our own hands.
The hacking that is done in order to tackle such illegal activities is what is known as ethical hacking. This article talks about the importance of ethical hacking and how you can make it a career and consequently earn good money out of the same.
• Scope Of Growth And Career Advancement
E-commerce is something that has completely revolutionised the world. Technologies like cloud computing are gaining popularity and as a consequence there is also a continuous threat of imminent security breaches. Because of the rising threat of cyberattacks, there is an acute shortage of talent in this sector.
As of now, there are a mere 20,000 certified ethical hackers in this field. There is a requirement for about 80,000 such people. Thus, if you are ready to put in the required effort and update your skill set with the changing times, chances of you growing and doing very well for yourself in this field are pretty likely.
• Qualification And Skill Set Required
This is one profession that requires one to be able to think on their feet. A sound knowledge of computer science is an absolute must. A formal college degree may or may not be required depending on whether you are applying for a job in the government sector or the private.
However, in either of the cases, it is important for you to be sound in your programming skills and it is always advisable that you pick up more than one programming language. A focused mind and the flexibility to work for long hours at a stretch is something that is sought after in an ethical hacker.
• Thinking Ahead
When an IT firm comes up with a software or application, it will not want the same to be attacked by cyber hackers. Hence, it will want to hire hackers whose job will be to hack into their codes and find loopholes. The developers can then work on those and get them fixed.
That way no external hacker will be able to cause them any harm. This also prevents the company's reputation from being tarnished. Since these hackers play such a crucial role in the product development, they are very well paid.
• Data Security
Many a times the applications or software that are available, take some form of data from the clients in order to provide them with the optimal results. The data may be highly confidential in nature (things like client's location, age and other things like that).
If external hackers are able to get into the network, they will be able to get all that data. That will be a serious breach of contract on the part of the service provider. In order to prevent such a thing from happening, companies hire ethical hackers to boost network security.
• Vulnerability Assessment
Even with the latest developments, the vulnerability assessment software is not seen to give very good results. This is because this is an area where a lot of decisions need to be taken in context of all the other external parameters. This sort of complex decision-making is something that only a human hacker will be able to do. Since there is an acute need for such vulnerability assessments, the need for ethical hackers remains unhindered.
• Scope Of Employment
In most careers that we know, experienced candidates are given preference over that of freshers. However, this is one field where freshers are more in demand. If you are an ethical hacker, you can seek employment both in the government as well as the private sector.
In the private sector, there are a number of IT firms that develop software and need ethical hackers in order to test the same before launching it in the market. In the government sector organisations like the CBI, CID and other investigative departments need the assistance of ethical hackers in order to track down miscreants.
• War Dialling Ethical Hacking
One of the most popular areas of ethical hacking specialisation is that of remote or war dialling that is used to test open-ended modem systems. Since they are remotely connected to the network, working on them is a challenge in itself. This area of expertise also includes the relics of local network testing wherein one tests services, protocols, virtual private network and system testing.
Uncovering flaws in each of these individually and then using that knowledge to arrive at a cumulative solution to all those problems is the main task of war dialling ethical hackers. However, if you can master this field of ethical hacking, you can easily make your way to the list of most highly paid ethical hackers.
• Salary Structure
This is one of the most high-paying jobs for people who have recently graduated out of college. The lowest starting salary stands at somewhere close to Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 with the highest crossing lakhs.
Government sector jobs for hackers also pay a very good amount of money in addition to providing social security. However, there is a lot of competition in this field and one has to truly prove their worth in order to make it big.