What skills are required to become an Ethical Hacker?

Ethical hacking is a lucrative career choice that most people would like to pursue. As an ethical hacker, you can either be employed to work in organizations or you can provide your services as a freelancer. Internet and systems security are two things that are giving most organizations a headache. This directly means that your skills as an ethical hacker will always be in high demand.

But, what does it take to be an ethical hacker? What special skills do I need to be one? Well, if you are harboring aspirations of being an ethical hacker, the following are some of the skills that you need:

1. Programming skills

All the websites and all types of software have been developed by different programming languages. Hacking is all about gaining access to the foundation of the software. In order to access this foundation, you need to have a proper understanding of the programming language that was used to develop the software.

As an ethical hacker, you should have a proper grasp of different programming languages. This skill will help you to automate different tasks that may be time-consuming if you use other manual methods. With the programming skills, you will be able to explore the errors that the developers made which can be security threats.

So, which programming languages are essential for ethical hackers? You should learn different programming languages for different platforms. For web applications, learn PHP, HTML, and JavaScript. Other essential programming languages for ethical hackers include SQL, Python, Perl, C, and C++.

2. Linux

Most web servers are run on the Linux operating system. As an ethical hacker, one of your most frequent roles will be to gain access to the server. This automatically makes Linux a must-have skill for ethical hacking. You should have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of this operating system.

Take your time to gains knowledge and skills on the distributions that are under Linux. They include Redhat, Ubuntu, and Fedora. Learn both the GUI and commands of this operating system.

3. Cryptography


As an ethical hacker, one of your key areas of concerns will be the transmission of messages between different people. If hired, you should ensure that different people in an organization are able to communicate with each other without the message leaking out to the wrong people. This is what cryptography is all about. It entails transforming a normal text into a non-readable form and vice versa.

In terms of security, cryptography promotes integrity, confidentiality, and authenticity. As a hacker, you may also be required to decrypt some suspicious messages.

4. Database Management System (DBMS)


DBMS is a software and protocol that are used for creating and managing databases. One of the things that most hackers target is the database. This is because all the information that is needed is likely store in the database. As an ethical hacker, you need to exploit the vulnerabilities and security threats of different databases.

With your DBMS skills, you will be able to perform all the basic operations on a database. These are: create, read, update and delete. You will have a deeper understanding of different database engines and database schema. The knowledge and skills on DBMS will help you to inspect systems for data integrity and concurrency. You will also perform logging and auditing of the database.

5. Networking Skills

Most security threats originate from networks. This makes computer networking an essential skill that should be learned by any aspiring ethical hacker. You should have a deep understanding of how computers in a network are interconnected. You should also be good at exploring all the security threats that may be existing in a network and how to handle them.

6. Social Engineering

As an ethical, you won’t spend the whole of your life bent on the computers. You also need some social skills. This is where social engineering comes in. Social engineering entails manipulating or convincing people to give some confidential information. Such information can be passwords, financial details and any other thing that is deemed personal and very private.

As a hacker, you can then use the information that you have obtained to gain access into a system or install a malicious software. With social engineering skill, you will be able to interact with your target without revealing your intentions.

Do you have these skills? If not start working on having them. They will help you to become a smart and professional ethical hacker.