If “hacker” seems like a bad word to you, it's because smart people of low character have given it a bad name. "Ethical hacker" doesn't have to be an oxymoron. There really is such a thing as a Certified Ethical Hacker credential, and it provides a great way for tech gurus to take back the hack.
A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) requires great proficiency in network security, and it helps users foul up malicious hackers by using pre-emptive tactics. Malicious hacking is a felony in most countries, including the U.S., but first, you have to catch these slippery criminals.
What is the CEH?
If you already work in tech, becoming an ethical hacker provides a great way to advance your career. The CEH credential is an IT certification that's vendor-neutral. You learn how to identify and stop bad actors via the same tools criminals use.
The credential was developed by private and government organizations that hired former hackers to secure their networks. At the time, it probably seemed logical to fight cyber-fire with cyber-fire. However, it amounted to hiring convicted criminals to run your business. The CEH remedies this conundrum.
You get this credential via the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). Their website states that the EC-Council exists to establish and maintain standards as well as credentials for ethical hacking. This legitimization of a specialized tech skill provides a platform to educate IT professionals and protect the public. Certification levels begin with entry-level and progress to a consultant/independent contractor level.
How it Works
If you have at least two years' experience in security, you can apply to take the EC-Council exam. If you are switching careers or looking for your first job, you can receive training at an accredited center or academic institution or an approved online program. The programs get you ready for the exam and teach you strategies to stop malicious hackers.
Courseware for the five-day certification costs about $850. The application fee drops to $100 if you waive the training.
When you take the CEH Training Program, you learn how to pass the CEH 312-50 exam. There are 18 modules with 270 attack scenarios that mimic reality. The course runs for five days, training eight hours per day.
Upon completing the course, you're ready for the exam, which certifies your ability to handle penetration testing and ethical hacking scenarios.
Known as the 312-50, the exam takes four hours and has 125 multiple-choice questions in the following areas covered in the training:
- Cloud computing
- Denial of service
- Evading IDS, firewalls, and honeypots
- Footprinting and reconnaissance
- Hacking mobile platforms
- Hacking web applications
- Hacking web servers
- Hacking wireless networks
- Introduction to ethical hacking
- Malware threats
- Scanning networks
- Session hijacking
- Social engineering
- SQL injection
- System hacking
IT security tech is growing fast, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports 28 percent job growth through 2026. The national rate for the same period is seven percent. As of 2017, security jobs pay around $95,000. Plus, Indeed shows tons of security jobs requiring the CEH credential.
Sweet Success Stories
High-profile stories on the topic of ethical hackers include the biggest tech companies, such as Google and Apple. In 2016, Nimbus Hosting listed additional takers, such as iPhone and iPad. If you obtain a CEH certification, chances are you will go to work for one of these or similar companies.
If you pursue the CEH-certification, you can help companies find hackers or shore up network security. How many jobs come along that are this much fun? When you're ready to find a job that leaves you fulfilled, click below. We have plenty of open roles that you can apply to today. Start making an impact now.