Ethical hacking is, without a doubt, the shining armor of cybersecurity. If you are someone who wishes to become an ethical hacker, or someone who is looking to hire one, you need to keep a few things in mind. This article deals with some important aspects that hold a valuable place in this field. Read this till the end to know what it is that must never be compromised with when it comes to ethical hacking.
1. The Ability To Think On One’s Feet
It goes without saying that quick thinking and efficient decision making are two of the most important characteristics of an ethical hacker. Problem solving should be a major skill possessed by someone who is trying to break into systems and networks that are laced with security mechanisms. Nothing will be served on a silver platter for an ethical hacker. In fact, the tougher their job, the better they will shine through. Hence, thinking on one’s feet or conjuring quick solutions or improvising on your way is a must required skill for an ethical hacking career.
2. A Valuable Educational Background
There is no substitute for good education. When it comes to cybersecurity, which is a highly technical field, education plays an important role in one’s career. Although it is not mandatory to be a computer science graduate, it is highly important that one has achieved some sort of certification that is accepted industry wide as it serves as a testament to one’s skills. Certified Ethical Hacking or CEH is a globally revered program that certifies individuals for their ethical hacking skills. Such a certificate program or its equivalent is a must to prove one’s mettle in the industry.
Note: It is not necessary to undertake the program training to acquire such certifications. One can always choose to attempt the exam directly if they are self trained.
3. Ethical Compass
Intent is what differentiates an ethical hacker from a malicious hacker. Both white hat and black hat hackers use the same methodologies, techniques and tools to break into a system and exploit it, but only the former do it with the intent to find vulnerabilities and fix them. A dubious ethical hacker with even the slightest malicious intent can prove detrimental to an organization. It is highly important that ethical hackers carry out their operations with utmost integrity and report all the identified vulnerabilities to the owner, suggesting they fix the critical ones immediately.
4. The Willingness To Update One’s Knowledge
Ethical hacking is a domain subject to constant upgradation and emerging innovations. There is no way anyone can survive in any technical field, especially cybersecurity, without having the zeal and willingness to upgrade their knowledge base. Apart from catching up with new trends, tools, and technologies, an ethical hacker also needs to brush up on old ones. There is no downplaying the fact that this characteristic is the holy grail that keeps one from turning obsolete in the ever-changing Information Technology world.
5. Networking Skills
Networking skills or soft skills are one of the leading skill sets that are in high demand across various sectors. To network well, one needs to be a good communicator and have strong people skills. Being an ethical hacker is not an easy job, and even harder is the part where you have to explain several technicalities to people in your team who have zero technical background. Communicating with people in a way that is efficient and constructive is not taught in any ethical hacking course, but it is something that employers look for when they hire an ethical hacker.
To sum up, quick thinking, problem-solving, integrity, responsibility, certification, networking and flexibility are some of the most important characteristics that comprise a good ethical hacker.
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