The term 'hacking' is often used to describe gaining unauthorized access to the system using tools like malware and phishing to use and exploit data. Besides, it involves stealing and launching attacks for financial gain or personal profit. However, not all hacking is bad. Ethical hacking is an effective practice that can prevent malicious attackers from exploiting and disrupting network systems.
Ethical hacking is a form of hacking that involves authorized access to a target system to scan security vulnerabilities and threats that can cause harm to computer systems or networks. Additionally, it can improve the overall security of the systems and defend the networks from hackers with nefarious intent to destroy the data or valuable information. As a result, an ethical hacker can fix these weak points and loopholes that can threaten the system's security.
Since there is easy accessibility to the internet, most computer systems and networks are prone to hacking threats and cybercrimes. Therefore, there is a high demand for skilled and talented ethical hackers. So who is an ethical hacker?
An ethical hacker, also known as a white hat hacker, is a cybersecurity expert who uses their technical knowledge and skills to identify and perform risk assessments for security-related issues like vulnerabilities, data breaches and threats in a system. They improve the security posture of the organization by identifying and bypassing the system for bugs that could hamper the system. As a result, ethical hackers can secure the data and improve the security system to protect it from malicious intentioned hackers. Discover the benefits of obtaining a master's degree in cybersecurity and explore program options in our latest blog post on cybersecurity education.
How to Write Ethical Hacker Job Description?
As mentioned earlier, a certified ethical hacker job description involves securing and protecting the system from malicious hackers (also called Black hat hackers). They use tools and knowledge to conduct advanced penetration tests on a computer network to spot and identify loopholes or defects that harm security and data privacy. Most organizations hire ethical hackers to protect their data from cyber criminals who can use and exploit it for personal purposes. As a result, they are to develop skills and perform duties and responsibilities to fix cybersecurity. Explore the top IT jobs without coding knowledge for a rewarding and fulfilling job.
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of an Ethical Hacker?
- Conduct vulnerability assessments: An ethical hacker must perform a risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities in system security to protect sensitive information from being exposed to malicious hackers. Besides, an organization hire an ethical hacker as a precautionary step against malicious hackers. Therefore, it is their duty to detect issues and help companies secure their system.
- Perform Penetration testing: The primary role of ethical hackers is to employ new ways to attack the system, like malicious hackers who adopt illegal measures to access the computer. Here, the white hat hacker job description involves performing cyberattacks on the computer system to evaluate its security. As a result, they can plan and respond quickly to cyber threats.
- Identifying and mitigating security threats: A ethical hacker job description involves demonstrating possible methods utilized by cybercriminals. These methods are approaches the hackers use in a system to steal and exploit sensitive information. Therefore, ethical hackers identify and understand these attack methods to avoid security threats.
- Provide regular updates and reports: From the day an ethical hacker gets authorization from an organization who owns the system, it is their duty to report and document all the findings and security breaches to the organization. Therefore, ethical hackers must inform and notify the organization regarding the threats so that the organization can remain prepared to avoid possible intrusions.
- Ensuring Compliance: Ethical hackers must ensure compliance while penetrating a system. They must keep all their findings secure and confidential to prevent cyber crimes. Moreover, they must be familiar with all the laws and regulations under the Information Technology Act.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies: With technological advancement, there is a rise in cybercrimes. Most cybercriminals are getting advanced with modern technologies. Therefore, ethical hackers must be up-to-date with the latest security trends and technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain cybersecurity and Cloud Computing.
What Skills are Required for Ethical Hacking?
The ethical hacker job description requires strong technical and soft skills. When an organization hire an authorized hacker for their system security, they look for those with immense knowledge of computer systems, programming, networking and operating systems. Besides, they must be aware of the attack methods malicious hackers use to break the system or network. Moreover, this job requires professionals with essential soft skills to face all the challenges that come the way of ethical hacking. Discover our comprehensive career planning process for employees and start mapping out your professional future today
Technical Skills Required for Cyber Security
Add relevant technical skills to your ethical hacker profile summary to stand out from other competitive hackers.
- Proficiency in programming: An ethical hacker must have strong programming skills to understand how the system works and the role of code in finding and solving vulnerabilities in system security. Without programming skills, an ethical hacker cannot crack the bugs in the system that hamper the system's operation. Therefore, they must be highly proficient in programming languages like Java, Python and C++ to fix security vulnerabilities.
- Network Skills: One of the critical technical skills required for an ethical hacker is networking skills. Computer networking is the interconnection of different devices that send and receive data through multiple networks. An ethical hacker must have a good understanding of network aspects like IP address, DHCP, subnetting, routing protocols, etc. As a result, they can learn how networks are interconnected and find ways that cause potential threats.
- Familiar with web application security: Since there are many applications developed in the market, an ethical hacker should have the skill to find and fix vulnerabilities in web applications. This enables them to refrain malicious hackers from stealing and exploiting sensitive data. Therefore, ethical hackers must know how web applications work and the ways to handle issues.
- Knowledge of operating systems: An ethical hacker must be proficient in working with operating systems like windows, Mac and Linux. Among these, Linux skills are essential for an ethical hacker since it provides users with tools and features to identify potential vulnerabilities in a system. Moreover, Linux is more secure than the other operating system that is less vulnerable.
Soft Skills Required for Cyber Security
Along with technical skills, it is necessary to have soft skills that help ethical hackers to perform well in an organization. You can look for an ethical hacker resume sample for reference.
- Problem-solving skills: Ethical hacker job description involves identifying vulnerabilities in a system and finding solutions to fix them. As a result, problem-solving skills and analytical skills are essential for an ethical hacker to solve cyber-attacks and learn new ways to fight the advanced cyber criminal to ensure security.
- Communication skills: Ethical hacking involves brainstorming strategies with non-IT professionals to attack malicious hackers. Therefore, ethical hackers must make their ideas and messages understandable to other concerned team members.
- Ability to work under pressure: An ethical hacker has to perform a wide range of responsibilities for the organization to ensure system security. They must conduct multiple penetration tests, identify security breaches, review security networks, suggest security upgrades and make reports.
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What Education and Experience Required for an Ethical Hacker?
A certified ethical hacker job description involves:
- Qualification: Bachelor's or Master's degree in computer science or information technology or cybersecurity, or a related field.
- Certifications: Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Experience:1-2 years of proven experience in cybersecurity or related field.
As you can see, an ethical hacker job description involves responsibilities and skills to ensure system security. Ethical hacking is a challenging field as you need to have a strong foundation on everything that is involved in the study of computer systems and networks. So, if you are aspiring to be an ethical hacker, update your skills regularly and advance your career in cybersecurity.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What does an ethical hacker do?
An ethical hacker performs risk assessment and penetration testing to Secure the systems and network from hackers with malicious intentions. They are certified security experts who can legally get into a computer or network to test for vulnerabilities that cause harm to the data of an organization. Moreover, an ethical hacker job description involves using security tools and understanding computer and network security at an expert level.
2) What skills do ethical hackers need?
Since ethical hackers are cyber security experts, they must have the technical knowledge to perform well in the field. They must have strong programming and computer networking skills. To ensure success in ethical hacking, they should have advanced knowledge of system and network security, hardware, cryptography, and high-level hacking skills. Moreover, they must develop soft skills like communication skills, problem-solving, critical thinking and the ability to work under pressure.
3) Can I become an ethical hacker in one year?
Depending on your experience level and knowledge, you can become an ethical hacker within a few months to one year. If you are a beginner, then it takes one year for you to learn the basics related to the field of cyber security. You can attend online or offline courses and attempt exams to start your career in ethical hacking.