July 18, 2024
How to Become a White Hat Hacker-featured

An organization’s information technology (IT) security is tested by a white hat hacker, also known as an ethical hacker, who employs penetration testing methods to find weaknesses. The findings of these penetration tests are subsequently used by IT security personnel to close security gaps, reinforce defences, and reduce risk factors for the company.

A penetration test is never something you should take lightly. It requires extensive preparation, which includes obtaining express management approval to execute experiments before conducting them as securely as feasible. These tests often employ the same methods that hackers use to get into a network. To outsource this aspect of IT, many firms decide to engage with managed service providers.

Also Read: How to track someone by cell phone number without them knowing?

What is a white hat hacker?

An ethical information security developer or engineer that tests security setups on behalf of corporations is known as a “white hat hacker.”

When businesses and government organizations started checking for security flaws in newly developed computers and telecommunications technologies in the late 1960s, ethical hacking had its start. However, unethical hackers’ unfavourable byproduct, black hat hackers, who unlawfully seek for information for personal benefit, is bad.

In order to ensure they can keep black hats out, white hats are simply given permission by a business to search for exploits and vulnerabilities inside an IT system.

What’s the difference between a white hat hacker and a black hat hacker?

A black hat hacker is basically a cybercriminal, whereas a white hat hacker strengthens security and adheres to the regulations. Black hats work with the intention of breaking the law, stealing data and cash, extorting individuals, or bringing down businesses. The consequences of phishing tactics, spyware, viruses, and other assaults that aim to infiltrate your system may be catastrophic. Successful assaults may achieve a variety of goals, including as slowing down your computer or even stopping business activities, as happened in 2021 when hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline.

Background and education requirements

White hat hacking requires a lot of communication and problem-solving abilities. Along with knowledge and common sense, a white hat hacker has to have excellent judgement, great technical and organizational abilities, and the capacity to keep it together under pressure.

A white hat hacker must also have the same mindset as a black hat hacker, with all of their sinister objectives and cunning tactics. Some of the best white hat hackers are former black hat hackers who, after being caught, made the decision to give up crime and use their expertise in a constructive (and legal) setting.

Every firm is free to set its own standards, although a bachelor’s or master’s degree in information security, computer science, or mathematics offers a solid foundation. There are no universal educational qualifications for white hat hackers.

A military experience, particularly one in intelligence, will assist job hiring manager’s notice your CV if you are not college-bound. For firms that want to recruit workers who already have a security clearance, military service is also a benefit.

Pertinent certifications

Even without a tonne of practical experience, a candidate may still get access to several IT security and white hat hacking certifications.

One suggested place to start is to get the EC-Certified Council’s Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. The CEH is a vendor-neutral certification, and individuals with this certification are in great demand. According to PayScale, the high end of the ethical hacker compensation range may be well over $100,000. The typical salary is just over $80,000. According to the EC-Council, CEH specialists may anticipate to earn between $15,000 and $45,000 per contract or brief assignment in the consulting sector.

System hacking, enumeration, social engineering, SQL injection, Trojans, worms, viruses, and other attack vectors, such as denial of service, are the main topics covered by the intermediate-level CEH certificate. Additionally, candidates must show that they have a solid understanding of firewalls, honeypots, penetration testing, and cryptography.

Candidates without previous job experience are advised to take a five-day CEH training course, according to the EC-Council. Students who want to succeed in the course should be acquainted with TCP/IP, Windows and Linux systems management, and practical understanding of virtualization platforms. However, students may also use self-study tools to assist them pass the one necessary test. Candidates must submit a $100 application fee and have at least two years of expertise in information security, according to the EC-Council.

Being a certified white hat hacker also requires abstaining from illegal or unethical hacking practices and consistently preserving the intellectual property of others. Candidates must agree to abide by the EC-code Councils of ethics and never collaborate with malevolent or unethical hackers as part of the certification process.

In addition to the CEH, it’s worthwhile to look at the SANS GIAC programme. Candidates may find themselves in a better position to go through an active, well-respected, and in-depth security curriculum if they begin with GIAC’s Cyber Defense certs, starting with the GSEC. Both the GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN) and the GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN) are prestigious certifications for aspiring white hat hackers.

Mile2 offers another another set of accreditations for ethical hacking. The fundamental certified Vulnerability Assessor (CVA), followed by the Certified Professional Ethical Hacker (CPEH), the Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE), and the advanced Certified Penetration Testing Consultant, are all part of the Mile2 Cybersecurity Certification Roadmap series (CPTC). U.S. veterans who meet the requirements may utilize their GI Bill funds to enroll in cybersecurity training and certification programmes via Mile2.

Related certifications in forensics

Anyone who works in information security would be wise to dabble with computer forensics. Follow the EC-Council certification path if you’re interested in the investigative aspect of security, and then take the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) exam.

The CHFI focuses on the forensics investigation procedure and making use of the proper equipment and methods to gather computer forensic data and evidence. Candidates for the CHFI certification also learn how to retrieve deleted files, break passwords, examine network traffic, and utilize a number of forensic tools to obtain data as part of the training process.

The GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst (GCFA) and the High Tech Crime Network’s Certified Computer Forensic Technician and Certified Computer Crime Investigator qualifications are a few other worthwhile forensics-related certifications.

The physical side of penetration testing

Penetration testing does not necessarily include digital components, nor does it always depend on digital tools or techniques of investigation. Physical security is the term used by security professionals to describe the safety elements of a site or facility as well as the physical access restrictions needed to enter or use equipment in person. Thus, comprehensive penetration testing also includes efforts to undermine or go around physical security.

To get past physical security measures and obstacles, skilled penetration testers may try to tailgate through an entrance gate, convince someone to keep the door open for them while attempting to get past a badge reader or keypad entry control system, or use other social engineering techniques. Physical security, together with associated security controls, policies, and procedures, are just as crucial as comparable measures on the digital side of the security fence since getting up close and personal with equipment is a vital first step in assaulting its security.

The common bodies of knowledge that applicants for the majority of information security certifications, such as the CISSP, CISM, and Security+, are required to acquire and comprehend in order to pass the exams, include some coverage of physical security.

The Physical Security Professional (PSP) accreditation from ASIS International is undoubtedly the pinnacle of physical security credentials for people who are primarily interested in physical security. Especially in the area of physical security, it’s well worth looking at for individuals who wish to comprehend the whole spectrum of penetration testing methodologies, approaches, and tactics. [Associated Content: 18 Tips to Protect Your Devices from Hackers]

Ethical hacking work on the rise

Candidates with an interest in information security, the necessary education, and at least one or two certifications should have no trouble getting ethical hacking employment straight immediately. You may direct your career in the direction you want it to go over time by taking further certifications and continuing your education.

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