March 24, 2018

Security has become a noteworthy concern in the internet space. Lately, there has been an alarming increment in cyber-attacks, email records hacking, accessing or blocking of delicate information, passwords attacks, and so forth. This has increased the need for cyber security professionals, particularly ethical hackers. Earlier, breaking into computers and networks used to be considered as a pastime for nerds, but now it has become a potential vocation alternative. The allure and mystery connected to hacking are what makes a career in ethical hacking more interesting. Today, with the bloom in the world of digital transformations, ethical hacking or White Hat Hackers/Programmers are becoming the need of the hour in organizations, as security issues are to be taken seriously.

Generally, computer hacking refers to breaching computer systems and exploiting the security flaws in a network to accomplish an ulterior motive. However, it is not always done for the wrong reasons. Sometimes, organizations need to find the loop-holes within their computer system/networks that would possibly allow hackers to penetrate easily to alter or modify computer software/hardware for illegal purposes. This is where ethical hackers come to the rescue. They bypass the system security looking for flaws and weak points that would pose the risk of being exploited by malicious hackers. Using various hacking methods, they learn the system vulnerabilities and provide valuable information for the organizations to eliminate any form of system attacks in future. Indeed, ethical hacking is becoming a critical need for organizations dealing with sensitive private information.

Ethical hackers commonly work for all public and private organizations that have an internet presence. Their role is proactive in preventing cyber-crimes and protecting the cyberspace from any form of intrusion. They help companies and individuals strengthen their system security by identifying and rectifying the potential or possible threats to a network/computer, ensuring data security and making the servers safe from penetration.

The Widening Scope of Ethical Hacking in India:

Presently, the scope of cybersecurity is tremendous. Particularly in corporate organizations, government sectors, and banks, there is a steep increase in cyber-attacks and so the demand for cybersecurity and concerned professionals is also growing rapidly. The Indian cyber security market is expected to grow to $2.15 billion by the year 2019 at a CAGR of 12.80%. (www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/india-cybersecurity-1523769589.html). According to Nasscom, the Indian IT/business sector will require 77,000 ethical hackers every year, although the current produce is only 15,000 per year. The cyber security market is driven by the technological developments, and so in the forthcoming years, the field of ethical hacking will see tremendous growth, offering a plethora of lucrative job opportunities for qualified ethical hacking professionals.

In general, a fresher in ethical hacking can get a minimum pay of INR 2.5 lakh per annum right at the start of his/her carrier, after working as an intern for a couple of months. With just one year of experience, these professionals can start earning up to INR 4.5 lakh per annum. Those who are well-experienced and have five or more years of work experience can earn around INR 10-12 lakh per annum in this field.

Job Profile of Ethical Hackers:

  • Certified hackers access the target system’s security posture and perform protective, preventive, and corrective measures to safeguard the computer system before it gets breached.
  • They use their expertise in computing and knowledge of programming, operating systems, web applications, computing language, and internet security systems, etc. to detect vulnerabilities and susceptible areas of attack in the client’s network. They carry out different methods such as penetration testing, intrusion testing, and red teaming to identity and check vulnerabilities.
  • They are concerned with encryptions, firewalls, and security protocols, and work on all these areas of internet security to ensure cyber safety.

Generally, ethical hacking certifications are vendor-neutral, and so all certified ethical hackers are knowledgeable enough to handle and protect a wide range of systems, regardless of its make. Today, ethical hacking certifications are becoming a sought-after credential in the job market. Some of the common ethical certifications are CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), CHFI (Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator), CCNA Security (Cisco Certified Network Associate Security), etc.

However, to become an ethical hacker, one needs to possess a strong background knowledge of web/computer systems, networking, and telecommunications. They need to understand the security protocols in different operating environments like Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, and must be able to comprehend the terminology phases and methodologies of ethical hacking from the perspective of computer systems and networks. Also, a common understanding of cyber-attacks such as phishing, URL obfuscation, Trojans, insider attacks, identity theft, and social engineering is essential to understand appropriate evasion techniques and countermeasures. They are required to possess the basic knowledge of programming languages like C, C++, Ruby, Python, etc.  They also need to be able to understand the public/private key infrastructure, cryptography, and encryption/decryption techniques to handle system intrusions.

An advanced qualification in computer and network programming is a must to grasp the nitty-gritty of the field of ethical hacking. Generally, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in either computer science, IT, or computer engineering is needed to study any ethical hacking certification. If you have a degree in any of the aforementioned domains and possess the ardor to take on ethical hacking as your career, then have no second thoughts in choosing it.

For those who want to make a career in this field, a valid bachelor’s degree in computer science from K.R. Mangalam University can help pave way forward. B.Tech program in Computer Science and Engineering offered at KRMU provides a sound knowledge of Computing Principles and Applications in Scientific and Engineering domains. The 4-year program aims to provide exposure to the principles and practices of Design and Development of Computing Systems. Students pursuing the program gain knowledge and understanding about various computing and programming fundamentals such as Database Systems, Data Communication, Cryptography & Networking, Internet Web Programming, Distributed Computing, and more.

In the current trend, computer security is a global issue and so many corporations/ individuals are looking out for ethical hackers to make their cyber-space safe and secure. In that sense, KRMU’s B.Tech in computer science program widens the students’ opportunities after graduation, allowing them to take on a wide range of career options related to computing and IT, particularly ethical hacking, to embark on prospective careers in both Government and private organizations. Today, ethical hacking is becoming a potential and prospective career domain and you can make it big in this field with thorough knowledge and adequate practical exposure, which is all provided amply at the K.R. Mangalam University.

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