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The Top Information Security Certifications to Consider

Cybercrimes have the ability to cripple even robust security systems in a matter of minutes. Malicious hacking has compromised the sensitive data of many individuals and enterprises. The only way to counter malicious hacking is to detect vulnerabilities in systems beforehand and take preventive measures.This is where ‘ethical hackers’ or ‘white hat hackers’ come into the scene. An ethical hacker, according to the EC-Council, is an individual who specializes in ethical hacking tools, techniques, and methodologies to secure an organization’s information systems. They work with organizations to make their security systems more fool proof. Ethical Hackers have become national treasures to governments as well as the most coveted assets to workforces in some of the finest companies across industries.If you are contemplating a career in ethical hacking, below are the top certifications you could consider getting to get a foothold in the ethical hacking industry.Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH)CEH is the oldest and most popular certification in ethical hacking. It is accredited by the prestigious EC-Council and is considered a must-have for aspiring ethical hackers. The latest version is CEH v11 and it trains you in the latest commercial-grade hacking tools, and methodologies every ethical hacker and information security professional should be aware of.On completion of the CEH course, you will have the skill set to detect vulnerabilities in target systems and undertake preventive measures to resolve them for the security of systems. The training will help you develop the mindset of an ethical hacker and validates your credibility as a skilled professional in white hacking.As far as jobs are concerned, the opportunities for CEH certified hackers are numerous. Typical job roles include:Penetration testerNetwork security specialistEthical hackerSecurity consultantSite administrator & auditor.This certification gives you the opportunity to not only work with corporates but also Government organizations. Since the threat of cybercrimes is always present, ethical hacking experts are an asset to the Govt IT sector, National Security Agency (NSA), the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) and the Department of Defense (DoD).Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)The CISSP certification trains you to design, implement and manage even the most complex cybersecurity programs. Accredited by the (ISC)², it validates your prowess as a security professional. It trains you in different areas like access control systems and methodology, business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning, physical security, operations, security, management practices, telecommunications and networking, security architecture application and systems development, law, and ethics.In order to be eligible for the CISSP credential, you should have a minimum of 5 years of relatable experience or four years of the aforementioned work experience, plus an information security degree from a National Center of Academic Excellence or a regional equivalent.With the CISSP, you become eligible for the following job titles:Security consultantSecurity analyst/ managerSecurity systems engineer/auditorDirector of securityIT manager/DirectorNetwork ArchitectSecurity ArchitectCertified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)People who hold CISA certifications are responsible for implementing the security controls in organisations. CISA is a sought after certification from ISACA, a global association that serves more than 145,000 members in more than 188 countries worldwide. CISA is the gold standard of achievement for professionals trained in auditing, monitoring, and assessing an organization’s business and IT systems. As a CISA certified auditor, you will have adequate knowledge to identify risks in target systems and fix them before malicious attacks occur.Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)The CISM certification, also from ISACA, indicates your expertise in multiple domains like information security governance, program development and management, risk management and incident management. It is highly recommended for security consultants and managers who have technical expertise in information security and controls. CISM is a natural fit after the CISSP certification, especially for a smooth transition into managing and overseeing information security at a strategic level.Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)This certification from ISACA validates your capacity to identify and manage IT risks while implementing and maintaining information systems controls. A highly-valued credential, the course explores various topics like IT Risk Identification, IT Risk Assessment, Risk Response and Mitigation Risk and Control Monitoring and Reporting.ISO 27001:2013 LI/LAISO27001 is a widely recognized certification in the information security industry. It has multiple related modules that explore various information security controls.There are two job titles you can pursue after this certification: Lead Implementer and Lead Auditor. The Lead Implementor is responsible for implementing the security measures in target systems as per ISO 27001:2013 standards. The Lead Auditor is hired by certification bodies to audit organizations that have applied for ISO certification and check if measures have been implemented properly.Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)Issued by the Information Assurance Certification Review Board (IACRB), this program trains you to become a well-versed penetration tester. Penetration testing or pen testing is the assessment of computers, application security architecture, and networks to detect loopholes that are prone to malicious hacking. The course trains you in Pen Testing, Network Testing and attacks, Windows vulnerability, Linux/Unix vulnerability, Enumeration, Web App Testing and Wireless Testing.CompTIA PenTest+This is another leading certification in cybersecurity from CompTIA.org. It offers security+ as a beginner certification, and Pentest+ as an advance level certification. CompTIA Pentest+ covers the entire process of vulnerability assessment starting from information gathering, scanning, exploitation, and reporting.This certificate will give you information about:Exploits and its useVulnerability enumerationInformation about BASH, PowerShell(windows), Python scriptReport CreationLicensed Penetration Tester (LPT)Yet another certification provided by EC-Council, is the Expert level Pen testing certification. This is an intensive certification program meant for expert cybersecurity professionals. Through this course, you will learn how to perform advanced penetration testing concepts such as fuzzing, PowerShell scripting, BASH, Python, Perl, and Ruby environments, scripting, and mobile device penetration testing, among others.Considering the above certifications, the onus to choose the right one is upon every aspiring cybersecurity professional out there. For a smooth learning journey, get started with a basic training program like CEH and gradually move on to the rest. Choose a recognized training provider with years of experience to help you chase your career goals with confidence.

The Top Information Security Certifications to Consider

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The Top Information Security Certifications to Consider

Cybercrimes have the ability to cripple even robust security systems in a matter of minutes. Malicious hacking has compromised the sensitive data of many individuals and enterprises. The only way to counter malicious hacking is to detect vulnerabilities in systems beforehand and take preventive measures.

This is where ‘ethical hackers’ or ‘white hat hackers’ come into the scene. An ethical hacker, according to the EC-Council, is an individual who specializes in ethical hacking tools, techniques, and methodologies to secure an organization’s information systems. They work with organizations to make their security systems more fool proof. Ethical Hackers have become national treasures to governments as well as the most coveted assets to workforces in some of the finest companies across industries.

If you are contemplating a career in ethical hacking, below are the top certifications you could consider getting to get a foothold in the ethical hacking industry.

Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH)

CEH is the oldest and most popular certification in ethical hacking. It is accredited by the prestigious EC-Council and is considered a must-have for aspiring ethical hackers. The latest version is CEH v11 and it trains you in the latest commercial-grade hacking tools, and methodologies every ethical hacker and information security professional should be aware of.

On completion of the CEH course, you will have the skill set to detect vulnerabilities in target systems and undertake preventive measures to resolve them for the security of systems. The training will help you develop the mindset of an ethical hacker and validates your credibility as a skilled professional in white hacking.

As far as jobs are concerned, the opportunities for CEH certified hackers are numerous. Typical job roles include:

  • Penetration tester
  • Network security specialist
  • Ethical hacker
  • Security consultant
  • Site administrator & auditor.

This certification gives you the opportunity to not only work with corporates but also Government organizations. Since the threat of cybercrimes is always present, ethical hacking experts are an asset to the Govt IT sector, National Security Agency (NSA), the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) and the Department of Defense (DoD).

Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)

The CISSP certification trains you to design, implement and manage even the most complex cybersecurity programs. Accredited by the (ISC)², it validates your prowess as a security professional. It trains you in different areas like access control systems and methodology, business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning, physical security, operations, security, management practices, telecommunications and networking, security architecture application and systems development, law, and ethics.

In order to be eligible for the CISSP credential, you should have a minimum of 5 years of relatable experience or four years of the aforementioned work experience, plus an information security degree from a National Center of Academic Excellence or a regional equivalent.

With the CISSP, you become eligible for the following job titles:

  • Security consultant
  • Security analyst/ manager
  • Security systems engineer/auditor
  • Director of security
  • IT manager/Director
  • Network Architect
  • Security Architect

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

People who hold CISA certifications are responsible for implementing the security controls in organisations. CISA is a sought after certification from ISACA, a global association that serves more than 145,000 members in more than 188 countries worldwide. CISA is the gold standard of achievement for professionals trained in auditing, monitoring, and assessing an organization’s business and IT systems. As a CISA certified auditor, you will have adequate knowledge to identify risks in target systems and fix them before malicious attacks occur.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

The CISM certification, also from ISACA, indicates your expertise in multiple domains like information security governance, program development and management, risk management and incident management. It is highly recommended for security consultants and managers who have technical expertise in information security and controls. CISM is a natural fit after the CISSP certification, especially for a smooth transition into managing and overseeing information security at a strategic level.

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

This certification from ISACA validates your capacity to identify and manage IT risks while implementing and maintaining information systems controls. A highly-valued credential, the course explores various topics like IT Risk Identification, IT Risk Assessment, Risk Response and Mitigation Risk and Control Monitoring and Reporting.

ISO 27001:2013 LI/LA

ISO27001 is a widely recognized certification in the information security industry. It has multiple related modules that explore various information security controls.

There are two job titles you can pursue after this certification: Lead Implementer and Lead Auditor. The Lead Implementor is responsible for implementing the security measures in target systems as per ISO 27001:2013 standards. The Lead Auditor is hired by certification bodies to audit organizations that have applied for ISO certification and check if measures have been implemented properly.

Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)

Issued by the Information Assurance Certification Review Board (IACRB), this program trains you to become a well-versed penetration tester. Penetration testing or pen testing is the assessment of computers, application security architecture, and networks to detect loopholes that are prone to malicious hacking. The course trains you in Pen Testing, Network Testing and attacks, Windows vulnerability, Linux/Unix vulnerability, Enumeration, Web App Testing and Wireless Testing.

CompTIA PenTest+

This is another leading certification in cybersecurity from CompTIA.org. It offers security+ as a beginner certification, and Pentest+ as an advance level certification. CompTIA Pentest+ covers the entire process of vulnerability assessment starting from information gathering, scanning, exploitation, and reporting.

This certificate will give you information about:

  • Exploits and its use
  • Vulnerability enumeration
  • Information about BASH, PowerShell(windows), Python script
  • Report Creation

Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)

Yet another certification provided by EC-Council, is the Expert level Pen testing certification. This is an intensive certification program meant for expert cybersecurity professionals. Through this course, you will learn how to perform advanced penetration testing concepts such as fuzzing, PowerShell scripting, BASH, Python, Perl, and Ruby environments, scripting, and mobile device penetration testing, among others.

Considering the above certifications, the onus to choose the right one is upon every aspiring cybersecurity professional out there. For a smooth learning journey, get started with a basic training program like CEH and gradually move on to the rest. Choose a recognized training provider with years of experience to help you chase your career goals with confidence.

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

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KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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Learning Ethical Hacking Can Be A Disaster If You Neglect These 7 Rules

Attacking one’s own self defence systems to check for vulnerabilities was considered to be a major war strategy even 1500 years ago. Attacking one’s own systems to check for resilience against attacks may have helped many of our ancestors win wars by fortifying their weak spots. The trend continues to this day in the name of ‘ethical hacking’ where in vulnerabilities in cyber systems are sniffed out and systems are fortified against attacks. A new kind of battle is being waged upon us this day, not in the battlefield but in the digital world. Cybercrime is the fastest growing area of crime and nobody is safe. The internet has brought a lot of anonymity to its users and hackers and cyber criminals take advantage of this anonymity to perpetrate crime. Ethical hacking was created out of a need to proactively counter cyber threat, and improve defences to protect the interests of vulnerable parties. Ethical Hacking is big business today. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other big companies spend millions on ‘white hat hacking’ to sniff out vulnerabilities in their systems. Bug bounty programs, where hackers will be compensated for reporting vulnerabilities, will be a norm in the future. Organizations trust individuals who have been certified as Ethical Hackers as they are aware of the code of conduct to be followed during ethical hacking courses. But even the sincerest ethical hacker may stumble and get into situations that may harm the hacker or the organization. Even certified ethical hackers need to understand some rules before practising white hat hacking. • You are a white hat hacker but you still need permission before hacking into a user’s system: White hat hacking may be ethical but hacking into a user’s system without explicit permission from them will land you in trouble. In fact hacking, even for ethical purposes without explicit permission from the owners is a criminal offence in most countries. • Understand your client’s business and organizational set up: Before you start off on ethical hacking it is important that you understand your client organisation’s business and system. This will give you a background on the sensitivities of their network and how you need to handle any sensitive information that you might encounter. • Do not exceed limits imposed by the client: Even if your client has given you full access to their network, there might still be a limit to how much you can dig. Do not dig deeper than you have been told to as you might be breaching client trust. • Make sure you do your job properly so that you do not compromise the client’s defence systems: Your job is to sniff out holes and ensure that those holes are fixed to strengthen the IT security system. Give a detailed report of your findings and ensure that you do not overstep any limits or violate any laws or regulations.Plan out before you perform ethical hacking tests as time and patience are of utmost importance for sensitive results. • Be transparent with your clients: Open communication with your client will not only help your client but also you, by increasing your trustworthiness. You must disclose all discoveries that you have made to your client so that they can take necessary precautions to safeguard their systems. Your client should be aware of what’s going on at all times. • Be confidential and ethical: You should maintain confidentiality during and even after the job is done. You are an ethical hacker and work ethics come topmost for you and this includes client confidentiality. Disclosing secrets of your clients to third parties will defeat the very purpose of ethical hacking. Uphold the values and goals of the company and respect their privacy. • Cover your tracks: You have penetrated the systems and you have suggested detailed clean-ups. But as you exit, you must ensure that you do not leave any footprints and thus protect the system from future attacks. Ethical hacking is a sensitive and sometimes dangerous job. But every ethical hacker must follow the commandments of ethical hacking as there is a very thin line between black hat and white hat hacking. Stay focused and true to yourself and you will be successful
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How To Get Knowledge About The Certified Ethical Hacker

Certified ethical hacker training is commonly denoted as the course that teaches you to break through your own or your company’s computer/s in a legitimate and official manner to find out the existent vulnerabilities and to assess the safety bearing of the target system. Certified ethical hackers use the same tools and knowledge that malicious attackers exploit and execute the indicated defensive, counteractive and protective actions to protect the system from any breach in future. The ethical hacking course is vendor-neutral certification, so you would be able to safeguard different systems irrespective of their make. The course gives you an opportunity to delve into various hacking approaches and techniques. Globally, CEH certification is provided by EC-council through their authorized training centres. Several universities and private computer colleges offer courses and programs featuring CEH training that align with the certified ethical curriculum prescribed by EC-Council. Knowledge about Certified ethical hacker training The course is a combination of academic material and practical skills enabling you to discover the working and activities of a hacker. The training commences with theoretical explanations of particular techniques incorporated in the subject followed by a hands-on illustration in the art lab. The objective of the ethical hacking course is to: Ascertain and administer basic standards for licensing professional information security experts in the ethical hacking process. Notify the agencies or employers that certified individuals fulfil or surpass the basic standards. Strengthen awareness about ethical hacking as a self-governing and distinctive profession. Train students to classify and break several kinds of passwords, and successfully neutralize password hacking. Teach encryption and cryptography techniques, and confidential/communal key infrastructure. Inform about widespread cyber-attacks, for instance, phishing, social engineering, identity breach, URL obfuscation, insider attacks, Trojans, dumpster pitching, etc. Instruct learners to abide by the code of ethics regulating professional demeanour and the correctness of hacking. What are the prerequisites for this certification? The ethical hacker training certification is aimed at fortifying the functional knowledge of security officials, auditors, site managers, and professionals who are involved in maintaining the integrity of the infrastructure network. Although there are no prerequisites for this certification but, basic knowledge of telecommunications, networking and computer systems is greatly recommended. The minimum age for appearing for the exam or applying for the training is restricted to no less than 18 years. Thus, candidates who fall in the right age category and possess relevant networking knowledge can apply for the course and complete their certification. The ethical hacking credential is one of the most sought-after certifications of EC-Council. The certified experts can seek a wide scope of job titles including network security specialist, penetration tester, ethical hacker, security specialist, site manager and auditor. In addition to the important business job opportunities, CEH certification opens gateways to rewarding security recruitments to the government run IT sector positions. The credential is an acknowledgement of your skills to work as an ethical hacker independently or with companies by having privileged access to vulnerable information.
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How much do Ethical Hackers Earn?

Technology has flourished at break neck speed in the past decade. Inventions and innovations have transformed the way we live and work. We live in an interconnected world where everything is online. While this has made our lives easier, it has also made us vulnerable to sophisticated cyber criminals, who at their malicious best attack not just an individual but even a company, and in more brazen attacks even a nation's security and financial health.According to the latest report by Verizon, 70% of cybercrimes were caused by malicious hackers and outsiders. With a lot of sensitive data now being present online, the perception threat has steadily grown over the years.One of the foremost methods to prevent cybercrime is to reinforce the security of IT systems. Moreover, adding a dedicated team of ethical hackers to the workforce can help fix loopholes and prevent malicious attacks. With the surge in cybercrime, the need for cybersecurity has increased. This in turn has led to a rise in the demand for skilled ethical hackers and information security professionals.What is the CEH certification?The CEH(Certified Ethical Hacking) credential from EC-Council demonstrates that you have hands-on knowledge of niche techniques used by security professionals and hackers to prevent cyber-attacks. CEH also provides skills to assess the security aspects, scan the infrastructure, and detect vulnerabilities in the organizations. With the CEH course, you can:Enter into the industry as a security professionalLearn the hacker mentality to get a step ahead of cybercriminalsBoost your career in IT securityImprove your skills and knowledge which is a primary requirement for career advancementThe demand for Ethical HackersAccording to Forbes, "in this current year of 2020-21, the Global security market is worth $173 billion and within the next 5 years this will grow to around $270 billion." Statistics by the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network show that organizations across the globe are expected to raise their security budget by 8% annually.Source: austcyber.comMalicious cyber activities are increasing around the world, as cybercriminals are using sophisticated strategies for infiltration of systems and networks. Therefore, the demand for cybersecurity experts or ethical hackers will continue to increase.Opportunities for an ethical hackerIn India alone, more than 20,000 websites faced defacement, DDoS, or ransomware attacks just in 2019 as per the report of CERT(Indian Computer Emergency Response Team).Therefore, from private organizations to government entities, everyone needs an ethical hacker or security professional to counter unauthorized hacking and strengthen their security needs. As per the NASSCOM report, there will be 72000 security professionals in the coming years.Types of roles and responsibilities of an Ethical HackerCybersecurity experts will get various types of work opportunities from small scale organizations to giant tech corporations, government agencies, research organizations, and many others.The work of ethical hackers will differ and is not limited to the size and requirement of the organization, but also the skills and experience of hackers. However, here are some overall responsibilities expected from ethical hackers.To protect IT infrastructures, networks, devices, and data from cybercriminalsMonitor application and network performanceTo perform security tests to validate the strength of application, devices, and networkImplement information security management system to be followed by the entire organizationTo set detection and prevention facilities and make a barrier from outer /unauthorized accessTo stay connected with top management with updated risk management and business continuity plans.To perform all the above tasks and operations there are multiple designations hired by organizations, ranging from entry-level security personnel to CISO (Chief Information Security Officer). This pyramid shows the various levels of roles for cyber security professionals.Job roles and salariesEthical hackers can take on a variety of roles.Consulting - As explained earlier, almost all organizations require security professionals to secure their network,  data, devices, etc. Some organizations prefer to outsource the security solution rather than hire on their own.  In this case, the organization expects customized security solutions and suggestions and advice on protection of their assets against cyber-attacks.Bug bounty - Many organizations and tech giants organize bounty programs for hackers to find out vulnerabilities in their applications or websites and offer attractive cash prices.Training - Ethical hackers can provide training to professionals and students for advancement in their careers. These types of training also help to spread awareness in the society against cybercrime and to keep them secure from any potential fraud.Events - Tech giants like Tesla invites hackers to hack their cars. There are similar events for hackers to perform their skills and earn prizes, or in some cases jobs with handsome packages.The salary range for ethical hackersLucrative salaries are the most attractive part of this profession. Salaries in this field vary based on location, designation, skill, and experience. As we have seen in the pyramid earlier, there are multiple roles in the security field, with packages increasing from bottom to top. All organizations value their security, and are ready to pay top dollar for qualified candidates.As per a survey, the average salary of an ethical hacker or information security officer is INR 12,00,000 per annum with 3-5 years of experience. This is just an average figure. In some cases in New Delhi & Mumbai, suitable candidates got paid as much as up to INR 18,00,000 p.a. even without work experience.The package information mentioned above was just for India. Let's have a look at the below table to understand the worldwide salary ratio based on designation and experience.Do you have the skills for it?Before you decide to pursue ethical hacking as a profession, here are some skills you have to master:FocusPatienceStrategy making abilityGood CommunicationCuriosityDisciplineZest for learningThinking out of the boxPositive attitudeTop 10 technical skills:-Excellent computer skills  LinuxNetworking & InfrastructureProgramming skillsDatabase management systemsCryptographyCloud technologiesWeb applicationWireless technologiesPenetration TestingImportance of ethicsHave you heard the term 'Royal Guards'?  It refers to an elite group of highly skilled warriors who act as a monarch’s personal security guards. The monarch and the kingdom trust them and feel safe while surrounded by royal guards.In this field as well, an ethical hacker or a team of security professionals act as royal guards of the organization. Organizations trust the security professionals expecting security and implicit loyalty. Security professionals must be highly ethical, as they can have access to the most vital information systems, data, or any other assets. An ethical hacker must follow ethical /genuine practices during the entire employment term (and even after leaving a company) and uphold the trust of the management.EC-Council has written 19 steps of  'Code - of - Ethics' which must be followed by all ethical hackers to maintain the dignity of the profession.Below is a sample:As an ethical hacker, you must keep private and confidential information gained in your professional work (in particular as it pertains to client lists and client personal information). You should not collect, give, sell, or transfer any personal information (such as name, e-mail address, Social Security number, or another unique identifier) to a third party without the client's prior consent.ConclusionHighly skilled hackers will always be in demand because in the digital age, all organizations need to stay protected from hackers at any cost. This is a career that is surely future-proof!
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