In today’s technology-governed age, a computer has become as important to us, perhaps, as respiration. Computer literacy is fast gaining paramount importance in the field of education and careers. Alongside is the question of Hacking – both as a hazard and a help. Resultantly, ‘Hackers’ are also being classified as ‘Malicious Hackers’ and their opposites, ‘Ethical Hackers’.
The matter of ‘Ethical Hacking’ is widely discussed for various reasons. Today’s world thus needs to know about the subject and its scope, in order to stay well-informed and well-ahead.
To understand all about Ethical Hacking, we need to know what Hacking means, in the first place.
What is Hacking?
Putting it very simply and broadly, Computer Hacking is commonly known as seeking and gaining access to some data in a computer – at times without the knowledge or consent of the rightful owner/s or user/s of the computer in question.
The term ‘Hacker’ is broadly used for people who know a lot about computers, to use their knowledge as they choose or are directed to choose – either for ‘ethical’ reasons or ‘malicious’.
What is ‘Ethical Hacking’?
‘Ethical Hacking’ takes place when a computer expert tries to penetrate a computer system, strictly as per the wishes/requirements/consent of its owner/s, to look for and find vulnerabilities in security that a ‘Malicious Hacker’ might attempt to exploit and misuse.
‘Ethical Hacking’ is intended to prevent ‘Malicious Hacking’.
‘Ethical Hackers’ make notes of the vulnerabilities they find in a system so that they can be rectified and the overall security of data strengthened.
It is reported that one of the first attempts at Ethical Hacking had taken place way back in the 1970s. The United States Government had asked experts to hack the computer systems they owned. These teams of experts were called the ‘Red Teams’.
Perhaps this is the reason why Ethical Hacking is known as ‘Red Teaming’. It is also referred to as ‘Intrusion Testing’ and ‘Penetration Testing’.
Some people refer to Ethical Hackers as ‘White Hats’ and Malicious Hackers as ‘Black Hats’.
What is ‘Malicious Hacking’?
‘Malicious Hacking’ takes place when a computer expert tries to penetrate a computer system, completely without and against the wishes/requirements/consent of its owner/s, to look for and find vulnerabilities in security that might be exploited and misused for his/her personal or financial gains, or any other malicious and/or illegal purpose/s.
‘Malicious Hackers’ can cause a lot of damage – such as stealing and misusing important personal or financial information, altering the functions of networks or websites, or even causing them to shut down.
Rules to be followed for ‘Ethical Hacking’
To explain the matter broadly, ‘Ethical Hacking’ is expected to be legal and to have no negative effect/s on the system/s or person/s concerned.
- The ‘Ethical Hacker’ MUST have the express and documented permission of the owner/s of the system/s being ‘hacked’ by him/her, for the ‘hacking’ to be carried out.
- The exercise of ‘Ethical Hacking’ has to take place only to identify system vulnerabilities so that they can be rectified or protected. No question of misusing the matter or information can come under ‘Ethical Hacking’.
- ‘Ethical Hacking’ is to protect the Cyber Space from Cyber Crimes.
- An ‘Ethical Hacker’ has to respect and protect the privacy of the individual or company, the system of whom or which s/he is ‘hacking’.
- The ‘Ethical Hacker’ must reveal all the security vulnerabilities s/he finds in a system to its owner/s.
- After the entire work is done, the ‘Ethical Hacker’ has to ‘close’ all the work that s/he has done, so that no one, including s/he, can misuse any ‘open’ work in the future.
Qualities Ethical Hackers should possess
Other than having a very sound and advanced knowledge of technology, here are some qualities that are expected in an Ethical Hacker:
- Honesty and integrity.
- Sharp eye for details.
- Logical thought process.
- Quick thinking and decision making.
- Sharp memory.
- Precision in work execution.
- Creative expertise.
How to become a certified Ethical Hacker in India
It is clear that one has to have a very deep and advanced knowledge of technology if one intends to become an Ethical Hacker.
A B.Tech or B.Sc degree is required for one to follow it with a specialized course on Internet Security.
Specialized Courses for Ethical Hacking:
- Sc in Cyber Forensics & Information Security.
- Tech in Cyber Security & Information Security.
- PG Diploma in Information Security & System Administration.
- Certificate Course in Ethical Hacking.
In order to seek admission in Masters Courses like M. Sc and M. Tech on Information Security, GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is a common Entrance Test that one is expected to clear. There are some institutes which conduct their own Entrance Exams, too.
Institutes to Join for Ethical Hacking
- Ethical Hacking Training Institute, New Delhi.
- Indian School of Ethical Hacking, Kolkata.
- Institute of Information Security, Mumbai.
- Institute of Information Security, Chandigarh.
- University of Madras, Madras.
- SRM University, Tamil Nadu.
- National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology, Calicut.
- IMT, Ghaziabad.
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.
- School of Vocational Education & Training, Indira Gandhi National Open University.
There are some Training Centers available, too, that can impart knowledge related to the subject.
Ethical Hacking as a Career
An Ethical Hacker can join:
- The Central Bureau of Information.
- The Military
- Diplomatic Communications
- Forensic Laboratories
- Law Enforcement
and other prestigious Government Organizations.
As for Private Jobs, an Ethical Hacker can choose:
- IT Firms
- Financial Companies
and other good options.
Scope of Ethical Hacking
There is a great demand for Ethical Hackers and it seems this demand is going to rise with the rise in industries that simply need computers and technology to work and progress with. These industries need the expertise of Ethical Hackers to keep their data secure. Cyber Security is becoming a must for all companies going online and as such, the demand for Ethical Hackers is rising.
It would be a good idea, therefore, to start training children and youngsters as early as possible to turn into computer experts.
As such, they can have in-depth knowledge of computers and grow up to be skilled in Coding and other advanced technical knowledge. Thus, training in the right direction would enable them to choose the profession of an Ethical Hacker – or, in any case, make them more adept at protecting their data and valuable information from any harm.
Please share your views and experiences related to this subject with us. We would welcome hearing from you.