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20+ Best Ethical Hacking Certifications and Courses in 2024

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05th Jan, 2024
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    20+ Best Ethical Hacking Certifications and Courses in 2024

    As an enthusiast of all things in cybersecurity and ethical hacking, I have taken on an exhilarating journey through the absolute best educational resources available to sharpen our skills as ethical hackers. In this evolving digital landscape, the need for cyber defenders has never been more critical.

    In this article, I am thrilled to share with you a meticulously curated list of 10+ best ethical hacking courses for you. Whether you are a professional looking to sharpen your expertise or a curious beginner eager to dip your toes into this captivating realm, there is something for everyone.

    What is Ethical Hacking?

    Ethical hacking, often referred to as "white hat hacking," is a deliberate and responsible practice. Ethical hackers, like myself, engage in identifying and resolving vulnerabilities in computer systems with proper authorization. Through methods like penetration testing, we systematically evaluate an organization's security measures using various tools and techniques. It's not just a job; it's a dedication to safeguarding digital integrity and security. Ethical hacking ensures that systems are resilient against malicious attacks, ultimately enhancing overall cybersecurity.

    What are Ethical Hacking Certifications?

    Ethical hacking certifications confirm the holder's expertise and dedication to cybersecurity. The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification provides exposure to hacking techniques and enhances confidence. The Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification emphasizes perseverance and critical thinking skills. Lastly, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification reinforces ethical principles in the field of cybersecurity.

    Benefits of Obtaining Ethical Hacking Certifications

    Obtaining ethical hacking certifications offers a myriad of advantages in today's digital world. These credentials not only enhance skills but also open doors to lucrative career opportunities in the cybersecurity domain.

    1. Enhanced Skills: These best courses for ethical hacking provide us comprehensive training, improving our cybersecurity and hacking skills.
    2. Credibility: Professionals are trusted and recognized for their expertise in ethical hacking.
    3. Career Opportunities: Certifications help us to apply for new job prospects and career advancement in cybersecurity.
    4. Industry Demand: Certified professionals are required due to the increasing need for cybersecurity experts.
    5. Higher Earning Potential: Working professionals get better chances of getting a raise and promotions.
    6. Networking: Certifications offer access to exclusive communities for networking and collaboration.
    7. Personal Growth: Obtaining a certification leads to personal development and increased confidence.
    8. Easy to get: Some of the reputed companies provide training as well as ethical hacking courses online which makes it easy for us to get certified.

    Ethical hacking certifications are the key to a thriving career in cybersecurity, providing enhanced skills, credibility, and personal growth. With increasing industry demand, they pave the way for a brighter professional future, easily accessible through reputable online courses and training programs.

    Essential Skills for Ethical Hacking Certification

    Some crucial skills that have been invaluable in my pursuit of these certifications are:

    1. Networking Concepts: A deep understanding of networking concepts is fundamental in ethical hacking. Knowledge of TCP/IP protocols, and network architectures, and knowing how data flows across networks are essential to identify potential vulnerabilities.
    2. Operating Systems: Proficiency in various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS, is vital for ethical hackers. Understanding their functionalities, file systems, and command-line interfaces is crucial for performing effective penetration testing.
    3. Vulnerability Assessment: To identify and analyze vulnerabilities in software, applications, and systems is a cornerstone of ethical hacking. This skill helps me understand potential entry points for attackers.
    4. Penetration Testing Methodologies: Familiarity with various penetration testing methodologies, such as the reconnaissance, scanning, exploitation, and post-exploitation phases, is essential for structuring ethical hacking assessments effectively.
    5. Web Application Security: Understanding web application architectures and common web vulnerabilities (e.g., SQL injection, XSS, CSRF) is crucial for securing web applications and conducting web application penetration tests.
    6. Cryptography: Knowledge of cryptographic principles and algorithms helps in understanding secure communication and encryption schemes. This skill is vital for assessing the security of cryptographic implementations.
    7. Wireless Security: Proficiency in wireless security concepts, such as Wi-Fi encryption, authentication, and cracking techniques, is crucial for assessing the security of wireless networks.
    8. Reverse Engineering: Basic knowledge of reverse engineering helps in understanding malware and analyzing suspicious binaries to uncover potential threats.

    15 Best Ethical Hacking Certifications in 2024

    Here is the much-anticipated ethical hacking certification list:

    1. Certified Ethical Hacker

    The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is offered by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants commonly known as EC-Council and is one of the most widely recognized certifications in the field of ethical hacking. This certification is designed for beginners as well as professionals who want to establish a career in ethical hacking and penetration testing.

    • Exam Details: This exam has 125 questions in a multiple-choice question format and is a 4-hour long exam. So, it is very safe to say that you would not feel rushed to complete the exam. And yes, to be able to pass this exam we have to secure 70% or above.
    • Cost: This certification cost of the CEH exam offered by the EC council can cost around USD 950 to USD 1,119.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for CEH Certification: To obtain the CEH certification, individuals need to have a strong understanding of various hacking techniques, tools, and methodologies. They should also possess knowledge of network infrastructure and protocols, common operating systems such as Windows and Linux, cryptography and encryption techniques, and the ability to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and applications.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is specifically designed for freshers in this field and can be used in roles like ethical hacker, security analyst, consultant, SOC analyst, incident responder, and more, across various industries to safeguard digital assets and enhance security.
    • Benefits of CEH Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: This certification offers numerous benefits to cyber security professionals such as it validates their skills and knowledge in ethical hacking and penetration testing, enhancing their credibility and value in the job market. CEH-certified professionals gain access to advance their training.
    • Career Opportunities & Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CEH certified entry level fresher can earn upto USD 84,763 per year.

    2. Certified Information System Auditor (CISA)

    The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification is offered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). It is specifically designed for professionals working in the field of information systems auditing, control, and security.

    • Exam Details: This is a 4-hour long exam that consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. To pass the exam the candidates must secure 70 % or above, to prepare for the CISA exam we must take 50 self-assessment questions given on a question sheet, mock questions are also found on the ISACA webpage.
    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD 500-USD 600
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for CISA Certification: To excel in this exam, candidates need a strong understanding of information systems auditing principles, information security concepts, IT governance and management, risk management, control design and implementation, systems, etc.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for professionals in the field of IT auditing, management, audit consultancy, and security. Attaining CISA is beneficial and is required for IT audit and security information management positions.
    • Benefits of CISA Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: CISA certification is globally recognized and enhances one's professional reputation which leads to increased career opportunities and accelerated growth. Certified individuals are well-equipped to address cybersecurity threats, identify and mitigate risks, and ensure effective IT governance and management.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CISA certified entry level fresher can earn upto USD 102K per year.

    3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

    The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) is offered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). This test is designed for professionals in the field of information security management.

    • Exam Details: This exam has 150 questions in a multiple-choice question format and is a 4-hour long exam. The maximum score we can achieve in this exam is 800 and to pass the test we require a minimum of 450 points.
    • Cost: This certification can be up to USD 575 for non-members and for ISACA members it is around USD 415.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for CISM Certification: To excel in the CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) test, we need a strong set of skills related to information security management. Key skills that we require include a thorough understanding of information security governance, risk management, compliance, etc.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is beneficial for those who work as infosec managers or aspire to be a manager or an IT consultant who supports infosec program management.
    • Benefits of CISM Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: Achieving the CISM certification provides global recognition and validates one's expertise in managing information security programs. CISM-certified professionals can achieve more opportunities and higher earning potential, as employers highly value their skills and knowledge.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CISM certified entry level fresher can earn upto USD 135K per year.

    4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

    The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is offered by International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² which is also a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and validating cyber security expertise. This certification is designed for IT professionals who aspire to design, implement and manage best-in-class cybersecurity programs.

    • Exam Details: The CISSP exam is a computer-based examination that is comprised of 150 questions in multiple-choice format, duration of this exam is 3 hours or 180 minutes. To pass this exam we need to secure 70% or above.
    • Cost: This certification can be up to USD 749.
    • Where would you use it? Earning this certification means that we can now effectively design, implement and manage a cybersecurity course. With CISSP we validate our expertise in designing courses and become an (ISC)² member which further helps us in getting exclusive resources, educational tools, and more networking opportunities.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for CISSP Certification: To obtain the CISSP certification, we need to know about various domains of information security like security and risk management, security engineering, security assessment and testing, and more.
    • Benefits of CISSP Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: The CISSP validates skills and knowledge. This certification demonstrates their commitment to the field of information security and helps organizations establish and maintain effective information security programs.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CISSP certified person can earn upto USD 125K per year.

    5. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) 

    The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) is offered by (ISC)². This certification is designed for professionals working in cloud computing and cloud security roles.

    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD 599
    • Where would you use it? CCSP certification is globally recognized. This certification demonstrates a professional's expertise in cloud security, making them highly sought after in the job market. The certification also validates a candidate's commitment to upholding industry best practices and standards in cloud security, instilling confidence in employers and clients alike.
    • Career opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CISSP certified person can earn upto USD 124K per year.

    6. Global Information Assurance Certification Penetration Tester 

    The GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN) is offered by the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), a leading provider of cyber security certifications.

    • Exam Details: This exam is a computer-based proctored exam with 82 questions that need to be completed in a 3-hour duration where the minimum passing score must be 75%.
    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD 949
    • Benefits of GPEN Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: The GPEN validates their skills and knowledge in the field of penetration testing, enhancing their credibility and value in the job market. GPEN-certified professionals gain access to a global network of penetration testing professionals and opportunities for career advancement and higher salary packages. This certification projects commitment to the field of penetration testing and helps organizations to establish effective security testing programs.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CISSP certified person can earn upto USD 109K per year.

    7. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

    The Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) is offered by Offensive Security which is a leading provider of security training and penetration testing services.

    This certification is designed for individuals who want to establish a career in penetration testing and ethical hacking.

    • Exam Details: This exam simulates a live network environment using a private VPN which contains vulnerabilities. To complete the exam, we need to find all the flagged vulnerabilities and submit the findings report within 23 hours and 45 minutes.
    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD 595.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for professionals in the field of security solutions, cyber training, and more. Attaining OSCP also helps in networking with red teaming professionals which further opens many learning opportunities.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for OSCP Certification: To obtain the OSCP certification, we need to have a solid understanding of various hacking techniques, tools, and methodologies. We should possess knowledge of network infrastructure and protocols, be familiar with common operating systems such as Windows and Linux and can identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and applications and more.
    • Benefits of OSCP Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: It validates their practical skills and knowledge in penetration testing and ethical hacking, enhancing their credibility and value in the job market. It also opens opportunities for career advancement and higher salary packages.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of an OSCP certified person can earn upto USD 98K per year.

    8. Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) 

    The CHFI (Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator) certification is offered by EC-Council, CHFI equips individuals with the skills to investigate cybercrimes, data breaches, and digital incidents.

    • Exam Details: This exam is 120 minutes long duration with 65 questions that are comprised of both subjective and objective formats of questioning.
    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD 300.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for professionals in the field of Digital forensic professionals and is required for lab-focused program-based positions and more.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for CHFI Certification: The skills that we require for this certification include knowledge of computer and network forensics, data recovery techniques, and evidence preservation. Proficiency in investigating various cybercrimes such as hacking, malware attacks, data breaches, and insider threats is also important.
    • Benefits of CHFI Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: CHFI certification validates a candidate's expertise in conducting cybercrime investigations, making them highly sought after by law enforcement agencies, corporations, and government organizations. Certification enhances one's professional reputation which leads to increased career opportunities and higher earning potential.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CHFI certified person can earn upto USD 103K per year.

    9. CompTIA Pen Test+ 

    CompTIA Pen Test+ is offered by Pearson VUE (Pearson Virtual University Enterprises). It is designed for cyber security professionals who want to gain practical, hands-on experience in identifying, exploiting, and reporting vulnerabilities.

    • Exam Details: CompTIA Pen Test+ exam has up to 85 questions comprised of both multiple choice and subjective case study-based questions where the duration of the exam will be 4 hours.
    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD 349.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for professionals in the field of IT professionals' benefit and is required for vulnerability and penetration testing positions that require ethical hacking and more.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for CompTIA Pen Test+ Certification: To become CompTIA Pen Test+ certified, we should have knowledge and skills in planning and scoping penetration testing engagements, information gathering and vulnerability identification, attacks and exploits, penetration testing tools and techniques, and reporting and communication.
    • Benefits of CompTIA PenTest+ Certification for Cyber Security Professionals: The certification can lead to better job opportunities and career advancement in the cybersecurity field. CompTIA is a well-known and respected certification provider in the IT industry, and CompTIA Pen Test+ is recognized by employers worldwide.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CompTIA PenTest+ certified person can earn upto USD 114K per year.

    10. Certified Penetration Testing Consultant

    The Certified Penetration Testing Consultant (CPTC) test is a prestigious certification exam that evaluates professionals' expertise in penetration testing and ethical hacking. Offered by Mile2, the CPTC certification measures candidates' ability to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems, networks, and applications.

    • Exam Details: This exam is presented both online as well as in paper-pencil mode, the test is of a 4-hour duration and is comprised of two sessions of 2 hours each. The test is in MCQ-based format with negative markings.
    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD 497.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for professionals in the field of IT professionals and is beneficiary for them in getting a raise in the positions of testing consultant, system administrator, security analyst, and more. Attaining CPTC is beneficial and is required for security consultancy positions.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for Certified Penetration Testing Consultant: To succeed as a Certified Penetration Testing Consultant (CPTC), we need a comprehensive set of skills related to penetration testing and cybersecurity. The Receiving Party shall in performing both external and internal penetration tests, as well as conducting social engineering engagements, is essential. We should possess in-depth knowledge of various operating systems, networking protocols, and web technologies.
    • Benefits of Certified Penetration Testing Consultant for Cyber Security Professionals: CPTC is a highly respected credential that validates expertise in conducting comprehensive penetration tests to identify and address security vulnerabilities effectively. CPTC-certified individuals are equipped to deliver high-quality penetration testing services, making them valuable assets to organizations seeking to bolster their security defenses. 
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Glassdoor.com, the average base salary of a CISSP certified person can earn upto USD 106K per year.

    11. Certified Penetration Testing Engineer 

    The Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE) test is a renowned certification exam that assesses professionals' skills and knowledge in penetration testing and ethical hacking. Offered by Mile2, the CPTE certification measures candidates' proficiency in identifying and exploiting security vulnerabilities in systems, networks, and applications.

    • Exam Details: As is the case with most cybersecurity certifications this exam is also an MCQ type exam with a time duration of 4 hours.
    • Cost: The cost of this exam is USD 275 which includes the exam as well as the prep course.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for professionals in the field of IT professionals and is beneficiary for them in getting a raise in the positions of testing consultant, system administrator, security analyst, and more. Attaining CPTE is beneficial and is required for Vulnerability and Penetration testing positions.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for Certified Penetration Testing Engineer: To excel as a Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE), we must possess a diverse skill set related to penetration testing and cybersecurity. The skills that we require for this certification include a strong understanding of penetration testing methodologies, tools, and techniques used to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems, networks, and applications.
    • Benefits Certified Penetration Testing Engineer for Cyber Security Professionals: CPTE is a respected credential that validates expertise in conducting comprehensive penetration tests and identifying security vulnerabilities effectively. CPTE-certified individuals are equipped with the skills to perform ethical hacking and improve the security posture of organizations. 
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CPTE certified person can earn upto USD 94K per year.

    12. SSCP- Systems Security Certified Practitioner 

    The Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) is a widely recognized certification offered by (ISC)² for professionals in the field of cybersecurity. SSCP validates a candidate's knowledge and skills in implementing, monitoring and administering IT security infrastructure and systems. The certification covers various domains, including access controls, cryptography, network and communication security, risk management, and security operations. SSCP-certified individuals are equipped to protect organizations from security threats and vulnerabilities. 

    • Exam Details: This certification exam has 125 questions in multiple choice format which needs to be completed in the time limit of 180 minutes. To pass this exam we need to secure 70% or above. This test is a prerequisite value of at least 1-year cumulative work experience.
    • Cost: This certification can cost up to USD249 
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for professionals in the field of IT professionals and is beneficiary for them in getting a raise in the positions of network analyst, system administrator, security analyst, and more. Attaining SSCP is beneficial and is required for DevOps engineer and security engineer positions.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for SSCP: The skills required for this certification include a comprehensive understanding of access controls, cryptography, network and communication security, risk management, and security operations. Proficiency in implementing, monitoring, and administering IT security infrastructure and systems is crucial. We should be familiar with security policies and procedures.
    • Benefits SSCP for Cyber Security Professionals: SSCP is a globally recognized credential that validates a candidate's knowledge and expertise in IT security practices and principles. SSCP-certified individuals gain credibility in the job market, as the certification is highly regarded by employers worldwide. It opens doors to a wide range of job opportunities and career advancement in the cybersecurity field.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CISSP certified person can earn up to USD 81K per year.

    13. CREST (Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers)

    CREST certifications are recognized internationally and are highly regarded by employers and organizations looking for skilled ethical hackers and penetration testers.

    • Certification Cost: The cost of CREST certifications can vary depending on the level of certification you're pursuing and your location. Typically, the cost includes both the training and the examination fees. CREST offers various certifications at different levels, including Certified Tester, Registered Tester, and Certified Infrastructure Tester.
    • Exam Details: CREST certifications involve a combination of training and an exam. The exams often include both written and practical components to assess the candidate's knowledge and hands-on skills. The practical exam simulates real-world scenarios, where candidates are required to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in a controlled environment.
    • Knowledge Required: The knowledge required for CREST certifications can vary based on the specific certification level. Generally, candidates should have a solid understanding of networking, operating systems, cybersecurity principles, and penetration testing techniques. It's recommended to have hands-on experience in performing security assessments and testing.
    • Benefits:
      • Industry Recognition: CREST certifications are highly respected in the cybersecurity industry and are recognized by employers worldwide.
      • Practical Skills: CREST exams focus on practical skills, which means certified professionals have demonstrated their ability to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in real-world scenarios.
      • Career Advancement: Holding a CREST certification can enhance your career prospects and open doors to job opportunities in reputable organizations.
      • Network: Joining the CREST community provides networking opportunities with other professionals in the cybersecurity field.
      • Continuous Learning: CREST-certified professionals are encouraged to stay updated with the latest industry trends, ensuring that their skills remain relevant.
    • Salary: According to Payscale.com, the average base salary of a CREST certified person can earn up to USD 60K-USD 120K per year from entry to senior level.

    14. Certified in Risk and Information System Control (CRISC) 

    CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control) is a prestigious certification offered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) for professionals working in the field of risk management and information systems control. CRISC validates a candidate's expertise in identifying, assessing, and managing information systems and technology-related risks. 

    • Exam Details: This exam consists of 150 questions designed to test our skills in controlling management, risk assessment, and more. To pass this exam we need to answer 150 questions in 4 hours, so we have to manage our time accordingly in each question which serves our interest in the best possible way.
    • Cost: The price for ISACS members is USD 575 and USD 760 for non-members.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is specifically designed for individuals who aspire to work in risk management industries within the cybersecurity domain. So, this certificate serves the best benefit to project managers, Business analysts, compliance professionals, and more.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for CRISC: To excel in the CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control) certification, we should possess a diverse skill set related to risk management and information systems control. Candidates must be familiar with risk and control frameworks, governance, and compliance practices. 
    • Benefits CRISC for Cyber Security Professionals: CRISC is a recognized credential that validates our expertise in identifying and managing information systems and technology-related risks. CRISC-certified individuals gain credibility and marketability, as the certification is highly respected by employers and clients worldwide. The certification opens doors to exciting career opportunities and higher earning potential in the field of risk management and governance.
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to infosecinstitute.com, the average base salary of a CISSP certified person can earn upto USD 151K per year.

    15. Offensive Security Wireless Professional (OSWP)

    The OSWP (Offensive Security Wireless Professional) certification is offered by Offensive Security, OSWP validates our practical skills in identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in wireless networks. This certification involves hands-on training and assessment, providing candidates with real-world experience in using wireless hacking tools and techniques. 

    • Exam Details: This is a 3-hour and 45 minutes long exam based on a virtual case scenario that simulates a “live wireless network” environment similar to AP’s client in a real network. To pass this examination, we need to solve the given target and set of goals and submit a finding report.
    • Cost: This certification costs around USD 450.
    • Where would you use it? This certification is designed for individuals with an interest in the offensive side of security and who have the skills to hack and test vulnerabilities in wireless system environments and networks.
    • Skills and Knowledge Required for OSWP: To excel in the OSWP (Offensive Security Wireless Professional) certification, we need a strong set of skills that are related to wireless security and penetration testing. Key skills required include a deep understanding of wireless networking concepts, protocols, and technologies. 
    • Benefits of OSWP for Cyber Security Professionals: Earning the OSWP (Offensive Security Wireless Professional) certification offers several benefits for professionals in the field of wireless security and penetration testing. OSWP is a highly respected credential that validates a candidate's expertise in identifying and exploiting wireless security vulnerabilities. 
    • Career Opportunities and Salary: According to itjobswatch.uk, the average base salary of an OSWP certified person can earn upto USD 102K per year.

    How to Choose the Right Ethical Hacking Certification?

    Choosing the right ethical hacking certification requires careful consideration of your career goals, current skill level, and the reputation of the certification program. Here are some key points to help you make an informed decision:

    • Identify Your Goals: Determine why you want to pursue an ethical hacking certification. What you are looking for is to specialize in a certain area of hacking, enhance your cybersecurity skills.
    • Reputation and Recognition: Look for certifications that are widely recognized and respected within the industry.
    • Certification Provider: Some well-known providers in the ethical hacking field include EC-Council (CEH), CompTIA (Security+), Offensive Security (OSCP), and (ISC)² (CISSP).
    • Content and Coverage: Review the certification's curriculum and topics covered. Ensure that the certification aligns with your learning objectives and covers the skills you want to acquire.
    • Skill Level: Consider your current skill level. Some certifications are more suitable for beginners, while others are designed for more experienced professionals. Choose a certification that matches your proficiency.
    • Hands-On Experience: Ethical hacking is a practical field. Look for certifications that offer hands-on labs, practical exercises, and real-world scenarios to help you apply your knowledge.
    • Exam Format: Understand the exam format. Some certifications have multiple-choice exams, while others require you to complete hands-on practical challenges. Choose an exam format that plays to your strengths.
    • Prerequisites: Check if there are any prerequisites for the certification. Some certifications may require you to have certain experience or prior certifications.
    • Costs: Consider the total cost of the certification, including exam fees, study materials, and any training courses you might take.
    • Industry Demand: Research the job market to see which certifications are in demand by employers in your region or the field you're interested in.
    • Community and Support: Consider the availability of a supportive community, forums, and resources related to the certification. Networking and community engagement can be valuable for your growth.
    • Feedback and Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from individuals who have obtained the certification. Their experiences can provide insights into the certification's value and challenges.
    • Your Network: Consult with mentors, peers, or professionals in the field who have relevant certifications. Their advice can help you make an informed decision.

    Maintaining Ethical Hacking Certifications

    Maintaining ethical hacking certifications typically requires ongoing education, professional development, and adherence to certain ethical and professional standards.

    Here are the key points to consider for maintaining your ethical hacking certifications:

    • Continuing Education: Many ethical hacking certifications require you to earn a certain number of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits each year to maintain your certification.
    • Stay Updated: The field of cybersecurity and ethical hacking is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest trends, tools, and techniques by reading industry publications, following blogs, and participating in online communities.
    • Participate in Training: Attend relevant training courses and workshops to enhance your skills and stay current with the latest technologies and threats.
    • Attend Conferences: Participate in cybersecurity conferences and events. These gatherings provide opportunities to learn from experts, network with peers, and discover new tools and technologies.
    • Practice Hands-On: Regularly practice your skills through hands-on exercises, capture the flag (CTF) challenges, and practical scenarios. This helps you maintain and improve your technical proficiency.
    • Renewal Fees: Some certifications require you to pay renewal fees to keep your certification active. Make sure you understand the renewal process and schedule to avoid any lapses.
    • Documentation: Keep records of your CPE activities, training courses, and any other relevant professional development efforts. This documentation will be useful when it's time to renew your certification.
    • Engage with Professional Organizations: Join relevant professional organizations and forums related to ethical hacking and cybersecurity. These platforms provide opportunities for learning, networking, and staying updated on industry trends.
    • Review Certification Requirements: Periodically review the certification requirements on the official certification provider's website. Requirements may change over time, and it's important to stay informed about any updates.

    Maintaining ethical hacking certifications demands a commitment to continuous learning, skill enhancement, and adherence to industry standards. Staying current, engaged with the community, and well-documented ensures that your certifications remain valuable and relevant in the dynamic field of cybersecurity.

    Best Certifications for Ethical Hacking Online in 2024

    During my research to find some of the best online ethical hacking courses, I came across KnowledgeHut, an online learning platform that offers ethical hacking classes and preparation for various professional training and certification programs. Let’s look at some of their certifications that I believe could be helpful to individuals looking to advance in this field:

    1. Cyber Security Courses

    At KnowledgeHut, they provide you with a sea of courses for various certifications which are in demand such as CISSP, CEH, CCSP, etc. Their Cyber Security courses are power-packed with the latest curriculum, exercises, assessments, assignments, and a lot of activities to help you ‘learn while doing’. Furthermore, you get the ultimate opportunity to interact with our stellar pool of instructors, who have decades of experience in this field spanning across diverse industries.

    2. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

    The Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH certification offered by the EC-Council, is one of the most recognized certifications in the field of ethical hacking. This course is designed for fresher-level entry into the industry.

    • Duration: 40 hours of live Instructor-led Sessions
    • Cost: At KnowledgeHut the live sessions are priced at USD495.

    3. Certified Information System Auditor (CISA)

    The Certified Information Systems Auditor or CISA certification is offered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). This certification course can be used by IT professionals as well as people working in the financial control industry.

    • Duration: 32 hours of live Instructor-led Sessions
    • Cost: At KnowledgeHut the live sessions are priced at USD1,635.

    4. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

    The Certified Information Systems Manager or CISM certification is offered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). This course is provided by KnowledgeHut is best for both IT professionals and financial auditors.

    • Duration: 32 hours of live Instructor-led Sessions
    • Cost: At KnowledgeHut the live sessions are priced at USD1,635

    5. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

    The CISSP certification is offered by (ISC)² and is best for Information System Security Professionals. The learning course of this certification is offered by KnowledgeHut. 

    (ISC)² also by itself provides ethical hacking certification courses which are sought after in the market today.

    • Duration: 40 Hours of live Instructor-led Sessions

    6. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

    The CCSP certification validates an individual's expertise in designing, managing, and securing cloud environments. 

    • Duration: 40 Hours of live Instructor-led Sessions
    • Cost: At KnowledgeHut the live sessions are priced 1,35,945

    7. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP): Offered by Offensive Security 

    OSCP-certified professionals gain access to advanced training and resources to stay updated with the latest security trends and techniques.

    8. eLearn Security Certified Professional Penetration Tester (eCPPT) Course 

    It is a certification provided by eLearn Security, an online cybersecurity training company. The eCPPT certification is designed to validate the skills and knowledge of individuals in the field of penetration testing.

    9. Advanced Incident Response, Threat Hunting, and Digital Forensics Course by SANS Institute 

    The SANS Institute offers an "Advanced Incident Response, Threat Hunting, and Digital Forensics" course as part of its cybersecurity training programs. SANS Institute is a reputable organization known for providing top-notch cybersecurity education and certifications.

    10. CompTIA Security+ Course by CompTIA 

    CompTIA Security+ is a popular cybersecurity certification offered by CompTIA, a leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications. The Security+ certification is widely recognized in the industry and serves as a foundation for individuals pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

    11. Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) Course by EC-Council 

    The Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) is a cybersecurity certification offered by EC-Council, the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants. The ECSA certification builds upon the knowledge gained in the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification and focuses on advanced ethical hacking and penetration testing skills.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Ethical Hacking Course

    When choosing an online ethical hacking course, there are some essential factors to consider ensuring that we get the best possible learning experience. Some of those factors are listed below:

    1. Course Content and Curriculum: we must review the course syllabus and content to ensure that it covers all the necessary details that we require to learn including the basics of cybersecurity, penetration testing, and virtual labs. 

    2. Interactive Learning Environment: An engaging and interactive learning environment, such as live sessions, discussion forums, and Q&A sessions, all together make a course best course on ethical hacking.

    3. Certification and Recognition: we must ensure that the course offers a recognized certification upon completion. A reputable certification carries weight in the job market and demonstrates our expertise.

    4. Course Duration and Time Commitment: we need to evaluate the course duration and the time commitment required each week. Ensure it aligns with our availability and learning goals.

    5. Course Cost: we must compare the course fees with the value it offers, the quality of content, and the recognition of the certification. It's essential to find a course that strikes a balance between affordability and quality.

    When selecting an online ethical hacking course, it's crucial to consider factors like course content, interactivity, certification, duration, and cost. These considerations ensure that you receive the best possible learning experience and set a strong foundation for a successful career in ethical hacking.

    Conclusion

    Ethical hacking certifications and courses play a vital role in the development of skilled professionals who can protect systems and networks from cyber threats. The certifications and best ethical hacking courses online discussed in this guide, including the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN), and CompTIA Pen Test+, offer valuable knowledge and skills in ethical hacking and penetration testing.

    When choosing the right certification or courses to become ethical hacker out of top ethical hacking certifications for your career goals, consider the skills and knowledge required, the reputation of the certification body, the industry recognition, and the potential career advancement and salary opportunities.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Can I pursue these certifications or courses alongside a full-time job or other commitments?

    Yes, you can pursue cybersecurity certifications or courses alongside a full-time job or other commitments. Many of the top ethical hacking courses and programs are designed to accommodate individuals with busy schedules and offer flexible learning options. 

    2What is the highest certification in Ethical hacking?

    The OSCE is an advanced-level certification that validates the skills and knowledge of professionals in the field of penetration testing and ethical hacking. 

    3How long does it typically take to complete an ethical hacking certification or course?

    This depends on prior knowledge and the time you decide to put into the course as well as the depth of material covered. 

    4What are the potential career paths and job opportunities available for certified ethical hackers?

    Potential Career paths include Penetration Tester, Security Consultant, Vulnerability Analyst, Malware Analyst, Incident Responder, are potential career paths to name a very few. 

    5What is the highest certification in Ethical hacking?

    The OSCE certification is considered one of the highest levels of achievement for ethical hackers and penetration testers.

    6Can I transfer my Ethical hacking certification from one organization or certification body to another?

    Transferring an ethical hacking certification from one organization or certification body to another is not a straightforward process and generally isn't directly possible.

    Profile

    Shubham Gautam

    Blog Author

    Shubham has an experience of 6+ years in the field of cyber security and has trained more than 15,000+ students as cyber-security professionals during the last six years. He has designed course structures for cyber security for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Purdue University US & the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B) and is the lead mentor for the same. Shubham is also a steering committee member of the National Information Security Council (NISC), India, and a Jury Member and scientific member at the International Association of Scientists and Researchers (IASR). He has been featured on various media platforms like ZEE News, ABP News, NewsNation, and Mirror Now - Times Now.

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