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How to become an Ethical Hacker in 2023?

  • Ashesh Anand
  • Mar 15, 2023
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Companies and organizations that need to safeguard their data and systems from the harmful activity are in high demand for ethical hackers. Companies require someone with the abilities and knowledge to outwit cybercriminals as the crime keeps developing and becoming more sophisticated.


The need for ethical hackers will increase in 2023 and the years to come, so it is time to start preparing for a future in this interesting industry. So, how does one do that? How to become an ethical hacker cannot be answered in a generalized manner. There are, however, a few crucial actions that anyone with an interest in this field should take.


A professional, Ethical Hacking course is a good place to get started. If this job option begins to pique your interest more, keep reading to learn how to become an ethical hacker and everything else associated with it.


Also Read | Top IoT Ethical Hacking Tools


Ethical hacking: What is it?


Ethical hacking, commonly referred to as "white hat" hacking, is the act of employing the same tools and strategies as criminal hackers in order to identify and patch security flaws in computer networks and systems. 


Organizations employ ethical hackers, commonly referred to as penetration testers or security consultants, to find and address potential security threats before bad actors can make use of them. Instead of doing harm or stealing data, ethical hacking aims to increase a system's overall security.


The word "hacking" has a bad reputation, however, that only applies when the function of an ethical hacker isn't completely understood. The "white hat"-wearing ethical hackers are the good guys in the hacking community. So what exactly does an ethical hacker do? Ethical hackers find gaps in data security for businesses and organizations around the world instead of using their advanced computer skills for illicit activities, protecting them against hackers with less honorable intentions.


Also Read | What is Penetration Testing?


Making the Transition to Ethical Hacking


  1. Start with LINUX/UNIX


Better computer system security is ensured by the open-source LINUX/UNIX operating system. Since Linux is one of the most often used operating systems for hacking, you should be familiar with it if you want to be an ethical hacker. It gives hackers a lot of tools. Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu, Kali Linux, BackTrack, and other popular Linux distributions are only a few examples. The most well-known Linux operating system created specifically for hacking is Kali Linux.


  1. Choose the Mother of All Programming Languages:


C is considered to be one of the earliest computer languages and is also known as the mother of all programming languages. Since this operating system was entirely created in C, knowing C serves as the foundation for learning UNIX/LINUX. Therefore, in order to fully leverage the open-source operating system Linux, hackers must learn C programming.


  1.  Learn the Basics of Networking:


For ethical hackers, understanding networking principles and how they are made is essential. Exploiting vulnerabilities requires knowledge of numerous networks and protocols. The difficulties in the industry can be overcome by an ethical hacker who has an in-depth understanding of networking technologies like Nmap, Wireshark, and others.


  1. Master the Art of Anonymity: 


Learning how to remain anonymous online and mask your identity is the most crucial stage in ethical hacking because it leaves no evidence behind and makes you impossible to track down. If a Black hat hacker discovers that there is another user in the network, they may attempt to attack that user's system because ethical hackers frequently are unaware of who else is using the same network. Anonymity is therefore essential for ethical hackers as well. The three most promising methods for protecting your identity are Anonsurf, Proxychains, and MacChanger.


  1.  Navigate the Secret Web:


The dark web refers to the portion of the internet that is hidden or invisible to search engines. Access requires specialized authorization or software. The dark web can be accessed with the anonymous Tor browser. Although the dark web is a haven for criminal activity, not all of it is unlawful. The dark web has a respectable side as well, and ethical hackers need to understand how it operates.


  1. Develop your skill set in secret writing: 


For an ethical hacker, cryptography or secret writing is a valuable skill. Hacking requires mastery of encryption and decryption arts. Information security uses encryption for a number of purposes, including authentication, data integrity, secrecy, and more. On a network, important data is always encrypted, including passwords. Hackers must have the skills necessary to recognize and decrypt encryption.


  1. Research hacking more thoroughly:


Once you've covered everything there is to know about hacking, go in-depth and learn about things like SQL injections, penetration testing, vulnerability analysis, and more. Keep up with the most recent system security updates, as well as the newest hacking and system security tools and techniques.


  1. Practice and Experiment to Master Hacking:


The secret to being successful in the world of hacking is practice and experimentation. Ethical hackers must put their newly learned notions into practice in a variety of settings and circumstances. Check out different attacks, tools, and more.


 Also Read | What are Injection Attacks? Types and How to Prevent Them


What Qualifications Are Necessary for Ethical Hacking?


To succeed as an ethical hacker, you need a number of talents in addition to formal education and training.


  1. Technical expertise: 


You must have a thorough understanding of computer networks and how they operate, as well as a working knowledge of widely used protocols like TCP/IP and Ethernet. Additionally, you ought to be knowledgeable about various forms of networking hardware, like firewalls, switches, and routers. 


You don't have to be an expert programmer, but you should be able to write code in at least one popular language, such as Python or Java. The ability to create code is a necessity for ethical hacking, hence it is not optional.


  1. Problem-solving abilities: 


A key component of ethical hacking is coming up with original answers to challenging issues. If hacking were simple, systems would always be exposed. You have to locate entry points into the system that the administrators and programmers didn't think of.


  1. Communication abilities: 


You must be able to clearly describe a vulnerability to the people who can repair it. This entails producing concise reports and speeches. Often, the individuals you are speaking to won't be as skilled as you are, but you still need to be able to communicate the significance of your discoveries.


As you can see, ethical hacking combines both hard and soft abilities. The career is challenging because of this, but it also appeals to many people.


Also Read | Everything about Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks


Does a Degree Prevent You from Becoming an Ethical Hacker?


The criteria for ethical hacking differ, but generally speaking, yes. An ethical hacker must be exceptionally proficient to be recruited without a degree, but many are prepared to employ self-taught programmers without one. A lot of ethical hacking techniques call for proper training on networking and security systems and procedures.


But that does not imply that it is necessary. How can I become an ethical hacker without a degree, you may be wondering. It is feasible to find employment without a degree if you already have a lot of experience in the IT sector and can demonstrate your abilities. You ought to at least work toward certification in the technology you use most regularly. For instance, Cisco security certifications are a great method to demonstrate expertise.


Also Read | Advantages of AI in Cyber Security


Why You Should Become an Ethical Hacker?


The following are six advantages of turning into an ethical hacker:


  • Job security: Organizations will require ethical hackers to assist them to find and repair security holes as they rely more and more on computer systems.


  • High pay: Due to their high demand, ethical hackers are paid well. In the US, an ethical hacker may expect to earn over $100,000 per year on average.


  • Job satisfaction: A career in ethical hacking may be both tough and fulfilling. It mixes technical expertise with creativity and gives you a sense of fulfillment knowing that you are assisting in preventing cyberattacks on people and businesses.


  • Flexible work hours: Since many ethical hackers are freelancers, they can choose their own working hours.


  • Work from home: Working from home offers a lot of freedom and convenience for ethical hackers.


  • Career development: There are many prospects for career development in the ethical hacking area, which is continually expanding. Developing into an ethical hacker is a terrific approach to staying on the cutting edge.


What Can an Ethical Hacker Expect?


As soon as you start working as an ethical hacker, you'll use all of your technical knowledge and security skills to try to compromise the network security of the company or organization that hired you. The company will need a thorough breakdown of your findings and recommendations for enhancing network security. These efforts shield them from the hacking activities of people with nefarious and unlawful goals. The typical income for an ethical hacker is $71,000, and bonuses are frequently in the range of $15,000 to $20,000.


Also Read | What is Cryptojacking and How to Prevent it?


How Does an Ethical Hacker Gain Experience?


If you're interested in developing your career and eventually landing a senior-level ethical hacker role, work experience is a crucial need. You can begin acquiring experience in the industry even if you don't yet have an entry-level position by giving your skills and knowledge to help non-profit organizations safeguard their online networks. 


You can also show off your knowledge and abilities by taking part in various hacking competitions. Although many entry-level jobs do not require prior work experience, it never hurts to demonstrate your skill and readiness for the position.


Also Read | Cyber Security Awareness: Ways to Protect Cyber Attack Vulnerability




You now understand how to hack ethically. It's not an easy professional path, but for those that find it rewarding (and lucrative), it may be a rewarding one. The field of ethical hacking will provide you with excellent career chances, good pay, and a fulfilling work environment if you have an interest in technology. With the appropriate mindset, perseverance, and training, you can have a successful career as a hacker now that you are aware of how to do it and the abilities you will need. So start hacking (legally) now!

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