The past decade has witnessed a substantial increase in data breaches across the world over various industries. According to the annual Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, 39% of these breaches were masterminded by organized criminal groups that utilize data hacking and manipulation to attack your systems. It has become evident that attackers are constantly evolving to find ways to circumvent defensive measures of organisations to secure data.
However, for any breach to manifest, the identification of vulnerabilities to exploit in an organisation’s security protocols is a necessity. Ethical hacking is the process of hacking with the organisation’s consent with the intent to identify these vulnerabilities from a hacker’s point of view, so systems can be protected against data thefts, cyber warfare and other cybercrimes.
Currently, the industry applies ethical hacking as an important aspect of risk assessment and security audit to determine loopholes within security systems of an organisation. The application of ethical hacking can, however, also be leveraged to shine a light on appropriate remedial action during a cyber-attack and also as an investigative tool to identify the hacking process implemented during the attack. Thus, companies are actively looking out for ethical hackers who not only shield the organization from cyber-attackers but also aid them in cybersecurity preparedness thereby, making it a lucrative career option.
Ethical hacking is an extremely specialized profession and thereby requires recognized certification to demonstrate the skills required for this profession. The certification guarantees an education about the latest cyber-security threats and develops the practical hacking skills needed to work as an ethical hacker. It is a daunting task which requires them to have good attention to the details in order to identify any indication of a problem with a computer or data storage system that may result in unauthorized access. They also need to have good problem-solving skills in order to determine the most effective way to correct problems with the network’s security. Their work can involve reviewing data from their hacking attempts for which they also need to have good analytical skills along with great communication skills.
Ethical Hacking is slowly becoming a vital aspect of IT security of organisations in India and internationally. However, it is important to note that there is a lack of qualified personnel, especially in India. This gap between demand and supply indicates the scope for growth in ethical hacking for a budding IT professional. With cyber-attacks becoming more frequent and aggressive, this gap needs to be filled soon.
Experts estimate the cybersecurity marketplace to grow up to 35 billion USD by 2025. As per a NASSCOM report, India would require nearly 1 million cybersecurity professionals by 2020. With the demand expected to increase every day, ethical hacking is posing itself as an extremely interesting career option.
Currently, IT companies are the main recruiters in this career. Leading IT companies like Wipro, Tech Mahindra, TCS, IBM, etc. have dedicated teams to focus on ethical hacking and are constantly on the lookout for such professionals. Beyond IT companies, ethical hackers have also witnessed potential in the aviation and retail industries as well.
The increasing number of crimes in cyberspace is alarming and calls for a high demand for ethical hackers who can think ahead of the cybercriminals. If properly utilized, ethical hacking can be the key to assure security for organisations to protect their invaluable data, especially in large organisations. With the potential for growth, growing education opportunities and wide applicability of ethical hacking, this career path is proving itself to be one of the most sought-after career options in the IT domain.