How to Build a Business on Ethical Hacking
How to Build a Business on Ethical Hacking
In this article, some basics behind ethical hacking that anyone looking to become a white hat needs to know.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Big data continues to become essential to businesses while threats to that data are increasing at an alarming rate. It’s predicted that serious leaks can cost businesses an average of over a million dollars; this doesn't include any revenue loss or damage to their reputation.
Ethical hackers, also known as white hat hackers, help protect businesses from human error and unscrupulous activities while working to uncover any weaknesses within those servers that can be taken advantage of.
If you have a passion for IT and coding, ethical hacking might be a career for you. The need for ethical hacking in this day and age has grown significantly, and it’s entirely legal.
Why Are Ethical Hackers Hired?
Ethical hackers work to secure and protect businesses' servers from cybercrime and DNS attacks. Other services ethical hacker provide include:
- Testing servers and websites for security weaknesses and potential human error.
- Securing the transition of data from on-site to cloud-based servers.
- Working to lower the cost in the event of a serious security breach, by setting swift responses in place.
If you’re hard-working, patient, and have the technical skills, you won’t be short on work as an ethical hacker.
Skills You Need as an Ethical Hacker
In order to start your own white hat hacking firm, you’ll need extensive knowledge of IT, cybersecurity, and programming languages.
Basic programming languages that are important to have under your belt are:
You may also like: Top 10 Free Hacking Tools for Penetration Testers
Being familiar with the ins and outs of operating systems, such as Mac, Windows and Linux is key, and a computer science degree from a school with a good reputation for technology-based programs can be a huge asset.
There are also online certification programs that can help you reassure prospective clients and prove that your quality of work will meet industry standards. If you’ve developed apps before, using them in a portfolio is a great way to showcase your technical skills.
While formal training is important, your success as a freelance ethical hacker doesn’t rely on your formal training alone; your ability to network is also essential. Building open-source programs and a reputation on hacker forums are great ways to polish your skills and expand your network.
How to Get Certified
Unfortunately, there’s not a set educational path to becoming an ethical hacker. However, IT certifications in cybersecurity and a strong knowledge of programming are essential starting points.
A lot of these certifications and programs are available online and can be found on learning sites, such as udemy.com or lynda.com. You can also get certifications as a part of a college or university degree.
However, your best option for official certification might be the Certified Ethical Hacker certificate from the EC Council. This offers vendor-neutral certification that has a level of standardization that employers can respect.
Want to rise to the top? To ensure your success, get certified in network security and keep your certifications up to date. An ethical hacker who’s fully-certified can earn upwards of $80-$100k a year.
Stay on Top of the Latest Security Threats
Once you’ve established yourself on hacker forums, it’ll be easier to stay up-to-date with the latest security threats. 2019 saw big changes in cybersecurity and 2020 promises to bring more sophisticated challenges.
With black-hat hackers becoming more creative, it’s important for ethical hackers to stay on top of their industry by following relevant and reliable cyber news sources like the National Vulnerability Database and CERT newsletter.
Build Your Reputation
Building your online reputation as an ethical hacker is a must for growing your business. You can get your name out there by building an open-source program that solves a problem or by offering troubleshooting tips on hacker websites and forums.
However, the best way to secure jobs and build a reputation as an ethical hacker is by finding long-term clients. In order to do that, it’s important that you’re honest about your abilities and experience. What programming languages are you proficient in? What tools will you use to tackle the job? What can you guarantee? What methodologies are at your disposal? If your expertise falls short, ensure prospective clients that you have a network of trusted hackers who can complete the work to their specifications.
Providing the client with sample reports will help put their mind at ease and will give them a rough idea about the level of detail you are able to provide.
To Wrap Up
For anyone who knows their way around IT and has an interest in the ins and outs of IT systems and cybersecurity, ethical hacking is a great career path. It has the potential to be a rewarding business that offers a lot of opportunities. In the modern age, being able to anticipate cybersecurity weaknesses and protect private data from cybercriminals can be invaluable.
As an ethical hacker, you walk a very fine line. While hackers attack systems and leak information that can risk a company’s reputation and security, white hat hackers give companies a fighting chance against the risk of black hats and the growing frequency of cybercrime.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.