What Competencies in Ethical Hacking Do Professionals Need?

Hackers are people who hold the potential to assess your computer and data remotely, irrespective of permission.

Using advanced technical skills, hackers can steal personal or organisational data, which eventually results in the company’s reputation’s downfall and hence the loss of numerous clients. In addition, the company becomes prone to legal action. The act also costs a massive blow in the form of ransom. 

Primarily ethical hackers work to protect and save from all the mess that hackers can create. They predict the weak points and spot problems to provide security, which needs betterment and can be accessed by hackers. Ethically hackers work to strengthen the network to make it inaccessible from any potential threats and loss of information. 

Ethical hackers try to act like hackers and prevent access during hacking. Penetration testers often try to replicate the hackers. However, unlike ethical hackers, they pose few risks. Ethical hackers have the exact idea of their intent and action that aims to protect computers. 

But penetration testers reconstruct the course of steps that hackers take. In this scenario, penetration testers might cause more harm than benefit. Frequent updation and launching of new techniques require everyone to remain updated to ace the field. So read on how to increase your skill set to stand out among your competitors.

Certification to become an ethical hacker

Hackers can be experienced irrespective of the certificate. However, learning is constant in this field regardless of hacking style, ethical or unethical. Additionally, you must hold knowledge of networks and programming, should have an innovative approach and have the ability to solve problems. Getting an ethical hacking course can provide the proper skill set.

The certification course required for ethical hacking is CEH (v11) certification. Here, CEH is representative of Certified Ethical Hacking and educates the candidates about firewalls, wireless hacking, IDS and honeypots. Concerning virus attacks, backdoors, trojans and other important concepts are covered in the course.

Apart from the certification course, hacking training through internship plays a crucial role in exposing your talents and skills. The CEH certification is an essential requirement to land data security jobs.

Job prospects as an ethical hacker 

The hacking training course makes ethical hackers competent to test the systems and check for vulnerabilities for protection against evil hackers. They can work independently as freelancing consultants or at private or government organisations. The candidates can also opt for specialisation in network security or web security. 

Techniques to learn to perform ethical hacking

Ethical hackers use techniques like Social engineering, SQL injection, and password cracking to hack the system. 

Password crackingSoftware to guess words and their permutations
Social engineeringDeceit people to reveal bank account information such as password, debit card CVV, credit card numbers etc.
Denial of service attacksSending excessive requests on systems inhibiting access by genuine users
SQL injectionsEmbed malware via codes to retrieve personal details.

Which ethical hacker can you become?

Based on the type of work, ethical hackers are

  1. Black hat hackers – Associated with a bad reputation, they perform illegal acts, cause damage and steal data.
  2. White hat hackers – Working against black hat hackers, they are hired for protection against black hat hackers. They perform penetration testing and security research. 
  3. Grey hat hackers – Grey hat hackers work illegally to find a problem in the security system and inform the company for rectification.

A few other categories of ethical hackers are –

  • Script kiddies are non technical experts. They copy the code and are responsible for the denial of service (DoS) attacks.
  • Cybercriminals illegally steal people’s personal information, like bank account details. They also try to seize ransom by threatening.
  • Hacktivists aim to expose the companies or organisations. They do so by leaking sensitive information on the offending works.

Are there limitations in ethical hacking?

Of course, there are limitations in ethical hacking concerning the sensitivity of actions and data involved. Ethical hacking is full of risks, requires a lot of time to understand hackers’ planning, and needs expensive tools and simulation software. 

The cost of hiring ethical hackers is also high, again concerning the need by organisations and the sensitivity of the information. The process of ethical hacking also requires the permission of the organisation. Usually, the procedure is lengthy and tedious when involving national and government organisations.


Ethical hacking is a trending field with a broad scope of applications and demand. The core competency required to become an ethical hacker includes a certification course followed by ethical hacking training and experience. Remaining up to date with new technologies is highly important in this domain. Choose your path wisely!