It’s time to ditch the fluff and the jazz. Let’s keep it real. What you need to become an ethical hacker has always been within your reach: hard work and consistency. Ethical hacking is a technical domain and if you are someone who hasn’t studied computer science in high school and college, then you might be finding it a tad bit difficult to maneuver your way around your ethical hacking course. However, whether you have credentials boasting about a computer science graduation or a mass media degree, it doesn’t make much of a difference when you start to learn how computers work. Anyone can indeed learn the language of computers with the right amount of curiosity and the correct measure of hard work. Surely, you would have a long way to go as compared to your IT-background batchmates, but it is not impossible to wrap your head around 1s and 0s if you have a decent brain.
Think of it this way, if school children can learn to code, you have nothing to worry about. You don’t need advanced mathematics or electrical engineering knowledge to understand how to sneak into a mobile application or a company’s digital network. All you need to know is how networks and applications work and then use your brain (and thousands of automated tools) to find out the loopholes that can get you in. That’s how hackers do it anyway. But let’s not forget that their source of motivation for relentless hard work resides in the sweet indulgence of malicious gains. And there is only one motivation that can beat that: the urge to do the right thing. As an ethical hacker, you will take pleasure in doing an honest day’s work by helping someone safeguard something valuable of theirs from harm and that is what this discipline is all about. After you achieve the level of knowledge necessary to learn ethical hacking, you will still have a considerable journey left in front of you to become a prestigious ethical hacker in the world.
Here are the two major things that will help you master this subject:
- Learn proactively: Learn as much as you can on your own. Your CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker course is the best ethical hacking program in the world) will take you through methodologies, techniques, regulations, tools, practices and much more that is there to this art of ethical hacking but you cannot just rely on your course for everything. You need to find out things on your own, join forums, read books, watch videos and tutorials whenever you can.
- Get your hands dirty: Practice makes perfect. And in ethical hacking, you will need all the practice on your side that you can. Let theory serve the purpose it is meant to while you focus 80% of your time on hands-on learning. Ethical hacking is a dynamic field that is subject to constant innovation and change and the more you work out things with your own two hands, the more experience and lessons you will get before you step out in the real hacking world.
Apart from this, make sure that you are always one step ahead of real-life hackers by reading up on news, trends, innovations and other changes taking place in this volatile cyber world. Make to-do lists and stick to your schedule to cover all the aspects of white hat hacking. If you really want to master this subject, then accept the fact that you come from a point of a disadvantage as compared to others. But when has a tortoise given up because the hare has something it doesn’t, right?
Photo by Radowan Nakif Rehan