Are you thinking of becoming an ethical hacker in 2019?
What are the ethical hacking advantages?
Ethical hacking is the process of performing penetration testing on a network or application in order to find security vulnerabilities and remedy them.
It is done by preempting the actions of a malicious hacker in order to reproduce these security flaws.
Once discovered, the ethical hacker would provide a report with recommendations to the security team on how to seal these security loopholes.
Ethical hacking, often referred to as penetration testing, is completely legal and is a very fast growing profession today.
In fact, if you are excited about ethical hacking then you’ll like my complete guide on how to become a penetration tester in 7 simple steps.
While ethical hacking may sound great, there are some ethical hacking advantages you must be aware of before you consider getting into this field.
In this article, we are going to look at ethical hacking advantages you need to know.
Along this article I’ll also mention some terms that are often used in the hacking community.
If you want to dive deeper into these terminologies, then check out my other article where I list the 45 most used ethical hacking terminologies.
Before we get into the ethical hacking advantages let’s quickly go through the 7 steps an ethical hacker would take when pentesting a network or application.
- Pre-engagement. The first step in ethical hacking where you collect all the tools, operating systems and software you’ll need for the job.
- Information gathering, where you use tools and interviews to collect as much information about the network like IP addresses, hosts etc.
- Threat modelling, where you use the information collected above to plan and launch a vulnerability assessment test on your target of evaluation.
- Vulnerability analysis is where you analyze the results of threat modelling to decide which vulnerabilities are worth testing for exploitability.
- Exploitation is where you go ahead and launch attacks on the vulnerabilities identified previously using automated & manual ethical hacking tools.
- Post exploitation, done after exploitation, is where you analyze the results of the exploits to determine the business value of the compromised machine etc.
- Reporting is where you put together an understandable report for the management explaining your security findings and recommendations.
This is rather a watered down version of a penetration testing methodology and standards.
However, you check out my complete penetration testing methodology where I explain how to execute each of these steps in details.
Let’s now look at the advantages of ethical hacking.
1. You’ll be able to understand a hacker’s mindset
Your main duty as an ethical hacker is to thoroughly secure an organization’s network and defend it from a malicious hacker.
In order to achieve this, you must be able to get into a hacker’s mindset and understand how they operate.
Often than not, you’ll find an attacker is a disgruntled employee who’s seeking revenge for being fired.
So one of the main advantages of learning ethical hacking is being able to understand how a hacker thinks and what motivates them.
2. You’ll get to understand the various hacking techniques
By learning ethical hacking you’ll be able to demonstrate the techniques and methods used by a malicious hacker.
After you understand these techniques, you’ll be able to demonstrate to management, security team or staff how an attacker could penetrate the system and compromise the organization’s normal operations.
It is the most important ethical hacking advantage because it enables an organization to prevent an attacker from exploiting these methods and bringing down the entire network.
3. It’ll enable you assess an organization’s security measures
Once you learn ethical hacking, you’ll be able to test an organization’s security measures in a safe and controlled environment.
The advantage of this is that you’ll then be able to determine which of a company’s security measures are effective and which ones are not as effective in serving as a deterrent to an attacker.
So these tests will enable an organization make informed decisions on how to beef up their information security measures.
4. You’ll understand development & quality assurance standards
If a software is not thoroughly tested before it’s deployed, it ends up vulnerable to a lot of security threats and attacks.
As an ethical hacker, you’ll be able to properly training your software development team to conduct proper and successful security testing during development.
This way they are able to produce quality software that is at par with software quality assurance standards and is safe to use.
5. It’ll enable you implement data security regulatory compliance
Because of recent activities of malicious hackers that have led to massive data loss, regulatory bodies have taken a much tougher stance regarding corporate responsibilities for data breaches.
In fact, with the regulations specified in the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), these penalties are clear.
So by learning ethical hacking and using these ethical hacking tools, you’ll know how to identify and seal common system vulnerabilities that an attacker could use to cause a data breach.
This is a major ethical hacking advantage as it will help you keep your organization in compliance with these data protection regulations.
6. It’ll enable you find security vulnerabilities in an organization
As an ethical hacker, you’ll be able to pentest an organization’s network or software and identify security flaws that could be exploited by an attacker.
Your pentest report could include use of defective technology, practices like use of weak password encryption or even social engineering vulnerabilities where you found it easy to trick an employee to hand over their username and passwords.
It is one of the major ethical hacking advantages as it enables the organization to then implement more secure security procedures to prevent attacks.
7. It offers professional development opportunities
There has been a very steep rise in the demand for ethical hackers in the last fews years yet the supply has not be able to match the demand.
What this means is that there many ethical hacking jobs that are vacant and go unfilled year after year.
So one of the most exciting ethical hacking advantages is that once you learn it, you’ll easily break into the cyber security field and take advantage of this skill shortage.
8. It’ll make finding a job easier for you
Most entry level jobs are characterized with very stiff competition as they usually don’t require any or much practical job experience.
So in order to get the job, you must have something that makes you stand out from your competition and that an employer would value.
By becoming an ethical hacking and taking a certification in say CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), you’ll be able to demonstrate your competence for the job.
This certification showcases your interest in cyber security and proves that your abilities and skills are a great fit for the job.
9. It’ll enables you advance and specialize in your area of interest
After learning ethical hacking and getting a few certifications, you’ll be able to join the workforce and land your first entry level job.
However, in order to be truly effective and advance in the company, you’ll need additional training and specializations.
One of the ethical hacking advantages is that it is a great entry point to learning specialized skills and proving your worth to an organization.
By mastering the ethical hacking tools, techniques and gaining a few certifications, you’ll set yourself up for more advance cyber security responsibilities in an organization.
More businesses and organizations are taking their operations online, and this trend is only on the rise.
But the internet, even though it comes with a lot of convenience and efficiency, poses a huge security risk to sensitive user data.
This is why the demand for experienced professional ethical hackers is on the rise.
In fact, this is one of the main ethical hacking advantages for someone who wants to get into this profession.
If you can prove your experience and value, there will always be a job for you.
I hope this article of the ethical hacking advantages has helped you decide if ethical hacking is the right profession for you.
If you find these ethical hacking advantages amazing and want in, here are the best ethical hacking courses to get you started.
By taking these ethical hacking courses, you’ll acquire all the skills you need to set up your own lab and start hacking.
Before you know it, you’ll have acquired enough hands-on skills – ready to go get a real job.
Which of these ethical hacking advantages stand out most for you?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.