With the tremendous growth in technology and internet, the career options in these fields
also have seen a huge rise. And amongst all those, the one that is trending right now, and also in the future is the concept of hacking, or rather, ethical hacking.
What is ethical hacking?
Ethical hacking is performed by skilled computer experts, who are also known as ‘White Hats.’ The process of ethical hacking involves the usage of programming skills in order to determine the vulnerable areas in computer systems. The ethical hackers evaluate the vulnerabilities, and suggest necessary changes that need to be carried out in order to keep the system more secured from the non-ethical hackers, also known as the ‘Black Hats.’
There are a number of ways in which the White Hats usually work. They use the knowledge of computer systems in an attempt to penetrate them and crash them. In a way, the job of the ethical hackers is to break the security protocols of a system, find out a way to create mischief with the programmes running, and finally find a way to prevent the Black Hats from hacking the system.
But one thing, ethical hackers do all these things only with the permission of the companies that hire them,to increase the security of the systems as their only motive. Like hacking attempts by an ethical hacker on new operating system so that its security can be tested before it comes to market.
What type of people generally gets into ethical hacking?
Generally, there are a variety of ways in which people enter this fast-growing field of ethical hacking. Most of the people who take up the career in ethical hacking are computer and internet savvy. An educational background in Computer Science is not necessary, as not all in this field have that course as their qualification. And there are instances too, where a white hat would have gained experience and skill by being a black hat before.
The scope for Ethical Hacking Career
The usage of the internet and the concerns about its security are on a drastic increase presently. And because of this, there is a considerable need for computer experts and ethical hackers on the global platform. Even many websites owned and operated by the US government have been hacked, and concern about the theft of information is growing day by day. Identifying the present weaknesses of a computer system and designing impenetrable security systems are vital functions of the ethical hackers in order to keep the information private and secure.
The work of ethical hacking requires lot of creativity, as the ethical hackers need to think out of the box in order produce many ways to prevent the system from being encroached by the black hats. Most of the people in ethical hacking would have had acquired a lot of their skills on their own, by experimenting.
Courses, Colleges and Fee structure for a Career in Ethical Hacking
There are various colleges that offer courses for a career in ethical hacking. To name a few:
- ‘Appin College of Ethical Hacking’. The college has branches in Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, and Faridabad. The college offers 6 month courses in ethical hacking. And the fee is around 42,000 rupees for each course.
- ‘Geekslab Technology Institute’. This institute offers training in ethical hacking and cyber forensics in cities like Kanpur, Noida, Delhi, Pune, Indore, Visakhapatnam. The course duration is 45days / 60 hours.
- ‘Byte Code Cyber Securities’. This technology institute offers training courses in the field of ethical hacking. The course duration is 60 hours and the fee is 10,000 rupees for each course.
- ‘Ankit Fadia Certified Ethical Hacking Course’. All the IndiaCan AFCEH centres, which are present in most Indian cities, offer this course. The course fee is 12,000 rupees per course.
The requirements and eligibility criteria for all these courses are the same: Basic knowledge of networking (TCP/IP) concepts and programming. All the courses are certified, that is, the students would be getting the status of certified ethical hackers after going through the training.
Most of the big IT companies are prospective employers for ethical hackers. A few of them beign, IBM, Accenture, HCL, Microsoft and Symantac.
Ethical hacking Jobs in India
In the year 2011, ethical hacking was estimated to be a 3.9 billion dollar industry in the US alone. According to a survey by Nasscom, India will need around 80,000 ethical hackers every year. The job opportunities in this field are growing at a tremendous pace. The need for internet security is very much mandatory in most of the companies in India. Hence, jobs opportunities will be available in all companies with an IT backbone, and also organizations in the ITES space.
To be a certified ethical hacker, one must basically know to write programmes in various programming languages like C, C++, Python, Ruby etc. And for those people working with web applications, PHP and Microsoft.NET are important. The assembly language knowledge is also required. Knowledge of a variety of operating systems, experience with various network devices are also imperative. One more important thing is the knowledge about TCP/IP protocols such as HTTP, SMTP and ICMP.
In addition to all these, an ethical hacker should have soft skills and should be able to think out of the box.