Is there such a thing as ethical hacking? As unbelievable as it may sound, yes, there is. Hacking is considered a crime in the United States and most other countries. When hacking is done with permission, however, then it becomes ethical. The Certified Ethical Hacker is authorized to penetrate an organization’s networks to test for vulnerabilities and exposure to help tighten the company’s IT security. While the unethical hacker maliciously attacks a company’s computer systems, the ethical hacker is the one responsible for preventing these attacks.
There is a great demand for ethical hackers these days as more and more organizations are becoming victims of rampant hacking. As a matter of fact, the top 50 percent of these security specialists, forensic investigators, or network defense architects—professional titles for ethical hackers– earned anywhere from $97,970 to $123,900 in 2007. Now, that’s one great reason to get into this line of work.
However, you need more than just a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology or Computer Science to become a Certified Ethical Hacker. As the title suggests, you need to be certified. That’s exactly the purpose of EC-Council. EC-Council has certified many IT professionals from big corporations (Cisco Corporation, Novell, Canon, Hewlett Packard, US Air Force Reserve, etc.) as Certified Ethical Hackers. Aside from Ethical Hacking, EC-Council also offers the following online courses: Security Fundamentals, Penetration Testing, Computer Forensics, Disaster Recovery, and Secure Programming.