Are you a hacker?
Cyber Security. National Security. Cyber Strategy. Data Protection. Heard of these terms? Yes? With the empowerment of technology and its dominance in daily operations across all sizes of organizations, such threats to these aspects were little, but predicted.
The silver lining however is the extensive opportunities it has opened up in the professional fields. One of the most upcoming technical skills of the 21st century, ethical hacking is our focus for this blog where we explain the various nitty gritties of this job profile. So, let’s start.
What is ethical hacking?
Hacking is all about finding glitches in systems or networks and taking undue advantage of it to exploit the systems for illicit purposes.
Do all hackers indulge in unethical and illegal activities? Of course not. There’s a very upcoming set of ethical hackers in various industries. They are called - White hat hackers.The others, engaged in illegal activities done with malicious intent like stealing of data,selling data etc are called Black hat hackers.
These White hat hackers are usually experts often hired by companies for the purpose of hacking into their systems to expose their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. This is done as a precautionary measure against future attempts to exploit the systems. Ethical hackers thus provide a security strategy, cautioning the organisation in advance against such problems and help them keep their data and services safe and secure.
Where and Why is Ethical Hacking required?
Any company which has anything to do with the internet which is potentially every company in today’s day and age needs ethical hackers. The private and the public sector has shown demand for ethical hackers. Ethical hackers thus find employment in
Colleges and institutions like MIT
Data warehousing companies like Oracle
Military Intelligence agencies, and
Any company that deals with data that can be used for financial benefits e.g Banking industry, IT companies like TCS, Wipro, Airline Industry and even Retail Chains.
Symantec Corp reported India, to be one of the top five cybercrime affected countries in the world. Keeping this in mind, the role of hackers gains paramount importance in the country with the third largest number of internet users (Source: NITI Aayog).
Payscale & Job openings for an Ethical Hacker.
After obtaining a certification in ethical hacking, the following job profiles lie at your disposal:
Information Security Analysts - get an average salary of Rs 5.5 lakhs annually
Security Analysts - get an average salary of Rs. 4.5 lakhs annually
Certified Ethical Hackers (CEH) - get an average package of Rs. 6 lakhs annually
Security Consultants (Computing/ Networking/ IT) - get an average salary of Rs. 7 lakhs annually
Information Security Managers - get an average salary of Rs. 15.6 lakhs annually
Sources: Glassdoor, Payscale.
Freshers in ethical hacking earn a minimum package starting from 3.5 lakhs p.a. They usually start as trainees/ assistants and climb up the ladder to being a professional ethical hacker. Those with a work experience spanning five years or more earn a package of Rs. 10-12 lakhs p.a.
Job roles and responsibilities?
An ethical hacker working professionally dons several hats and is responsible for the following:
Scanning open, closed ports and vulnerabilities in the system using industry software's and tools like NMAP and Metasploit.
Engaging in social engineering practices to manipulate employees into giving away confidential details like passwords. It thus helps expose how vulnerable the organisation and its employees are.
Examining patches by performing rigorous vulnerability analyses on them.
An ethical hacker will try to cheat established systems to deter intrusions and firewalls. These processes help evaluate the security of the system.
Conducting penetration tests and risk assessments of the networks and systems.
Design cyber and data security policies for the organisation.
Certifications needed to Upskill.
If hacking is what you have in mind, it's a good idea to be certified and trained by mentors who have been there and done that. In this case Professional hackers. You have the option of taking short term programs or Global certifications for a career edge. A certification from a reputed institution not only gives u a theoretical understanding of basics but also will give you a practical understanding by giving you the required internships and projects.
Future Trends in the profession.
Ethical hacking’s growth rate as a profession has outpaced all other areas of technology. Cybersecurity has emerged as a hotbed for job openings and employer demand ever since 2017 and will evidently remain so for the rest of the decade. According to a finding by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the demand for certified and professional ethical hackers in the job market has increased by a whopping 75%. This has led to an ever widening gap between the supply and demand of ethical hackers waiting to be covered up. In fact, a Nasscom report in 2015 stated how the market demand for ethical hackers stood at 77,000 every year as compared to a supply of just 15,000.
Is Ethical hacking for you?
Knowledge of subjects like Mathematics and Computer Science is primal for those wishing to pursue ethical hacking. After completing higher secondary in the Science Stream, one can opt for either a degree in Computer Science Engineering or IT or a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. One of the requirements for an aspiring ethical hacker is a good knowledge of C, C++, Python and Ruby.
Ethical Hacking is an upcoming career given the great gap between the demand and supply of certified ethical hackers. We at Skillenable understand the need to plug in the ever-widening gap between demand and supply of skilled professionals in various job sectors. In the process we seek to educate, prepare and upskill the youth for the promising jobs of the 21st century.