What is a Certified Ethical Hacker?

Certified Ethical Hacker Certification David Howard

Certified Ethical Hacker Certification David HowardWhen I meet someone in the IT field for the first time and we discuss background or certifications, as soon as I mention I’m a C|EH I get a wide variety of responses. If the person is a manager of something or another, he/she will immediately pause and wonder if they should allow me on their network. Others who are new to the field are all excited to meet someone who knows how to perform hacks and other dubious deeds. I get a few who have been in the field a long time and let some of their older certifications go long and expire, so they feel a little threatened about what I might be able to expose in their network and server builds. It really becomes a funny conversation with those who feel like they have to explain why they built things the way they did “We didn’t have alot of time or money in the budget to do it as tight as we should” is a common type of response I get. Funny how the mere mention of a C|EH gets people on the defensive. Honestly, meeting a C|EH and trying to exploit them for some of their knowledge should be high on your list if you are in the information technology field, or manage a computer network of any size.

Becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker is not easy. You must spend the time understanding things like attack vectors, rationale, motivations for attacking a network, effective social engineering, and of course, how to exploit the hardware and software that runs our world. Once you’ve earned the certification you have to earn CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) to maintain the validity of the certification. Once you’ve done some self study, learning methods and tools of the trade, then you should check out some of the classroom opportunities available to enhance your knowledge and get ready for the test. One of the best things about going to one of the classes in person is that you have access to a veteran instructor/hacker, as well as other classmates who have a variable degree of experiences to share as well.

Once you’ve earned your Certified Ethical Hacker certification, you’re able to do quite a bit in the IT field. Network penetration tests are designed for you to break into a network just like a bad (black hat) hacker would and then document the steps and exploits used to gain access to the client/target network. Using this information, your client can take steps to harden their networks against attacks and put themselves in a better position to more quickly recover from attacks and to put their data in an encrypted, safe mode to make it almost impossible for anyone to decrypt the data. Another area of IT for the C|EH is more along the lines of how my career has progressed. By earning an MCSE 2012, CCNA, A+ and other industry certifications, I’m able to build and advise on methods to building servers, firewalls, routing and switching and other pieces of the technology field and building them to be more secure than the average IT person would build them.

So if you’re looking for a certification or path in the IT field that offers you some unusual, rare and highly marketable skills, the Certified Ethical Hacker is something for you to consider. At the very least, seeing the look on people’s faces is sometimes pretty funny.

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