Tuesday, 10 June 2014

How to hack and get paid doing it


By 

It’s a dark future. A central network of computers connects everyone and everything, monitoring the lives of its citizens and controlling all technology and information with an iron grip. That’s the scope of Watch_Dogs, the latest and biggest game from publisher Ubisoft. You play a hacker, manipulating the electronic world around you from the palm of your hand - or to be more precise, from your omnipotent smartphone.

It’s fun, and why wouldn’t it be? You’re empowered to fight the ‘bad guys’ with powerful hacking abilities. What’s more, even though you’re just playing a game, it makes you feel intelligent. Most might think this is all within the realms of fantasy but thousands of people around the world already make their livelihood from Ethical Hacking.

Referred to as White Hat, or Ethical Hacking - this revolutionary sector is thriving. Gartner expects to see an increase of nearly 40% in spending on worldwide security services during the period from 2011-2015, eventually surpassing £29 billion. It’s effect on our culture is huge; a cursory ‘Google News’ search reveals 48,400 results (in comparison, infosec yields 2,380 and 3D printing 33,300). US retailer Target ousted its CEO Gregg Steinhafel in May after foreign hackers stole up to 70 million items of customer data including some PIN numbers. Target isn’t alone; a report from cyber security think tank the Ponemon Institute revealed a company’s likelihood of suffering a large data breach over a two-year period to be 22%.

The need for professionals who can think, understand and behave like hackers is all too obvious. But to beat a hacker, you need to think like one. The ethical hacker is an individual employed within an organization who can be trusted to attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods and techniques as a malicious hacker. With weaknesses identified in a safe but unflinching way, the organisation can more accurately defend themselves from increasingly expensive data breaches.

"The need for skilled hackers is real" 
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But wait…

Before you embark on a journey into the deep web for a quick hacking tutorial, bear in mind, hacking real organisations is illegal and therefore unlikely to land you a job in the sector. Several sites offer great introductions to hacking and act as a kind of community sandbox for beginners and experts alike. Still, it’s unlikely to get you noticed by those prepared to pay for your skills.  

Get recognised

EC-Council offer a globally recognised course in Ethical Hacking. You’ll learn how to hack by immersing yourself in an interactive environment where you can scan, test, hack and secure your own systems. In addition, you’ll be taught intrusion detection, policy creation, social engineering and how to employ and defend against DDoS attacks. Finally your skills will be put to the test in an official exam. 


"CEH v8 and its new features"

With a CEH certification you could find yourself working for both private and public organisations and according to itjobswatch.co.uk,doing so could earn you a median salary of £51,500. 

Take advantage of this booming sector. With our award winning training you’ll get certified in just 5 days

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.