In the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity, becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a testament to one’s commitment to ethical practices in securing digital infrastructure. Administered by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), the CEH certification holds significant value in the IT and cybersecurity domain. This blog will guide you through the essential steps, skills, and training required to embark on the journey to becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker.
Understanding the CEH Certification:
The CEH certification is a professional credential that attests to an individual’s proficiency in ethical hacking. The EC-Council, a member-supported certification body, oversees the certification process. To earn the CEH credential, information security professionals must pass the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker exam, which comprises 125 questions. Eligibility for the exam is extended to individuals with at least two years of experience in information security or those who have completed a CEH training course provided by the EC-Council.
While no formal educational prerequisites are mandated, successful candidates typically possess a strong background in computer programming, computer science, software engineering, mathematics, or information security. This may include holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree in relevant fields.
What is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical hacking involves using tools similar to those employed by malicious hackers to identify vulnerabilities in computer networks and systems. Ethical hackers, also known as penetration testers or security analysts, employ hacking techniques to proactively address weaknesses and enhance the overall security of an organisation’s digital infrastructure.
Skills and Training for Ethical Hackers:
Ethical hacking demands a broad range of technical skills and practical experience in IT systems administration and cybersecurity. Foundation skills include a working knowledge of Windows, Linux, TCP/IP protocols, and proficiency in programming languages like C, C++, Java, and Python. Additionally, ethical hackers must understand data storage systems, SQL programming, and network design.
Formal education in cybersecurity, information security, or related fields is beneficial. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in these disciplines provide academic training in the skills essential for ethical hacking. However, there are various pathways to develop ethical hacking proficiencies, including military training programs, tutorials from professional organisations, private companies, and self-learning.
The CEH Certification Process:
Candidates preparing for CEH certification are required to pass a 125-question, multiple-choice exam covering five key areas: network reconnaissance, network access, network enumeration, maintaining network access, and disguising evidence of a network breach. The EC-Council’s CEH training program, a five-day class costing $850 (including a $100 exam application fee), introduces students to over 340 attack technologies and 2200 tools used by hackers in the real world. This program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and aligns with the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education’s Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.
Steps to Becoming a CEH:
Educational Foundation: Earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in cybersecurity, digital forensics, computer science, or a related IT field. Develop programming skills, operate database systems, and learn about information security technologies.
Gain Work Experience: Enter the IT workforce and accumulate experience in overseeing network administration, managing security protocols, and analysing systems architecture.
CEH Training Program: Enrol in the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker training program, gaining insights into real-world hacking technologies and tools.
CEH Exam: Take the CEH exam and receive a passing score. The four-hour exam assesses knowledge in key areas of ethical hacking.
Eligibility for Certification:
This ethical hacking course is suitable for network security officers, site administrators, IS/IT specialists and analysts, auditors, IT operations managers, IT security officers, network specialists, and other personnel in associated computer support and information technology departments. Prerequisites include possessing an undergraduate degree or a high school diploma.
Reconnaissance and Footprinting
Wireless Network Security
IDS, Firewalls, and Honeypots Mobile
IoT and Web Security
Becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker requires a combination of education, practical experience, and specialised training. The CEH certification opens doors to rewarding career opportunities in the field of cybersecurity. Whether through formal education or alternative pathways, individuals can embark on a journey to fortify digital landscapes ethically and safeguard organisations from cyber threats. The CEH certification is not just a credential; it’s a commitment to ethical cybersecurity practices in an increasingly interconnected world.
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