The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a professional designation for a person who has obtained a qualification that allows them to perform specific services for various companies. As their name would suggest, ethical hackers are certified personnel qualified to penetrate a company’s computer systems (by their permission) in an attempt at determining whether there are any vulnerabilities. Additionally, an ethical hacker will also undertake all preventive and corrective measures needed to protect the system against any real attacks that may happen in the future.
It’s important to remember that cybercrime is at an all-time high. By 2021, the total amount of damages as a result of cybercrime is expected to reach a whopping $6 trillion per year. What’s more, over 43% of businesses have reported a cyber-security breach over the past year. To make matters even worse, only 27% of businesses have a formal cybersecurity policy put in place. One of the few silver linings to be had here is that almost three quarters (74%) consider cybersecurity as a top priority.
It is where ethical hackers come into play, and it should go without saying that this skill will only become more needed as time goes on. As a skilled professional, a Certified Ethical Hacker follows the same mindset as a cybercriminal (hacker), using the same knowledge and tools, but in a legitimate manner and with the permission of the company in question.
Explaining the CEH Certified Ethical Hacker
The CEH qualification certifies individuals in the specific network security discipline and from a vendor-neutral perspective. Only those that will pass the CEH examination can receive the appropriate designation of a certified ethical hacker. It can be achieved either by finishing the proper training courses provided by an accredited training center or through self-study.
Those who choose the latter, however, need to provide proof of their qualifications with at least two years of practical working experience in information security (IS). In the absence of this working experience, candidates need to provide a detailed educational background, which will be up for review.
The current version of the CEH examination is V10. It uses the EC-Council exam code 312-50 and comprised of 125 multiple-choice questions within a 4-hour limit. These questions revolve around various ethical hacking tools and techniques. Those holding the CEH/CNDA designation, as well as other EC-Council certifications, need to retake the examination every three years and attain a minimum of 120 credits.
Certified Ethical Hacker (Practical), on the other hand, is the next step, once a candidate has acquired the CEH certification. CEH Practical is a six-hour-long examination that puts all of your theoretical knowledge into practice. Launched in March 2018, the review takes place in a lab environment where the candidate will demonstrate various ethical hacking skills such as network scanning, vulnerability analysis, threat vector identification, OS detection, web app hacking, and others, to solve a security audit challenge.
Merely reacting to cybersecurity threats is no longer enough to safeguard a company’s critical network assets. With a CEH designation, IT professionals can now proactively defend against new threat vectors and anticipate hackers’ next lines of attack. To beat a hacker, you must first, think like one.
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