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Certified ethical hacker The ultimate career move for anyone who has ever been accused of spending too much time ‘playing’ on their computer, certified ethical hackers work with companies and government organisations to locate weaknesses in their security systems. Also known as ‘White Hat Hackers’, certified ethical hackers earn a tidy living from putting their hacking talents to good use. If backdoors, Trojan horses, session hijacking, viruses and worms turn you on, then ethical hacking is a good way to indulge your dark and dirty hacking fantasies while staying on the right side of the law. Using the same skills hackers use to commit crimes against corporations, governments and citizens, ethical hackers work to identify problems or chinks in the armour of an organisation’s digital presence … hopefully before the bad guys find (and exploit) that very weakness. Despite the clichéd idea of hackers being anti-social cave dwellers devoid of social skills, this job isn’t all about sitting in a dark basement in front of a flickering computer screen. Apart from having the technical ability to identify vulnerabilities in digital security systems, ethical hackers also need soft skills. Being able to communicate with others is essential, as is having the ability to work in a team and adhere to guidelines. Going rogue is not an option in this career. Once you’re certified as an ethical hacker, you’re expected to understand and follow the guidelines of this profession and that includes never hacking a network without permission. Sorry to ruin the fun but the term ‘ethical’ is in this career name for a reason. And now to the good bit. Ethical hackers who have progressed through the ranks and proven themselves can earn six-figure salaries and gain access to good benefits, particularly if working

for a government agency or large, multinational corporation. In many ways, ethical hackers get to enjoy the best of both worlds in that they get to use their extensive skills to find weaknesses in security systems, but instead of exploiting that weakness, they help to fix it (and earn a steady income at the same time). As a thoroughly modern career, ethical hacking may not have mainstream recognition among the masses, but it is a growing sector. And with more and more new viruses and hacking tactics emerging every single day, no two days are the same in this crucial role. Putting your supreme knowledge of information technology (IT) security to good use is a worthy payoff, but getting to tell your friends that you’re a professional hacker is even better (and will have them changing their email passwords, pronto).

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: An IT degree or equivalent qualification is commonly required for this role. On top of this, internet security certifications are also required. Experience required: Experience working in IT security and testing is essential. Programming experience is also useful. Training: On-the-job training for these types of roles is common, however, hacking knowledge and techniques are often garnered outside of formalised work environments (i.e. your friend’s command centre located in their basement). Restrictions: Some government roles may require criminal record checks and security clearances.

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I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

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