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Ethical hacking after 12th: How to Become an Ethical Hacker after 12th

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8th Sep, 2023
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Ethical hacking after 12th: How to Become an Ethical Hacker after 12th

In today’s digital era, with large cyber threats, the role of ethical hackers has become indispensable. As a result, many students fresh out of school ask, “How can I become an ethical hacker after 12th?” This blog will delve into the details of this fascinating field and understand how these cyber guardians play a pivotal role in defending our digital world.

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or someone passionate about cybersecurity, this blog aims to be your roadmap to becoming an ethical hacker post your schooling years.

Ethical Hacking: A Deep Dive Into White-Hat Techniques

Ethical hacking, also known as penetration testing or white-hat hacking, is the benevolent twin of traditional hacking. Delving deep into this domain, here’s a rundown of the different aspects of ethical hacking:

i) Permission-based Hacking

The cornerstone of ethical hacking is permission. Unlike black-hat hackers, ethical hackers have the express consent to probe, test, and analyse systems.

ii) Tool Used

Ethical hackers wield a wide array of tools. Their toolkit is expansive, from vulnerability scanners like Nessus and Wireshark for packet analysis to Metasploit for devising exploit codes.

iii) Objective

Their primary mission is two-fold:

  • Discover Vulnerabilities: To identify weak points and vulnerabilities that malicious attackers might exploit.
  • Enhance Protection: To reinforce and amplify system defences, ensuring data remains inaccessible to rogue elements.

iv) Simulating Cyber-attacks

Ethical hackers mimic real-world cyberattacks, testing the robustness of an organisation’s security posture. This hands-on approach is often the best way to identify overlooked weak spots.

Role of Ethical Hackers

At the heart of cybersecurity lies the indispensable role of ethical hackers. Cyber guardians’ primary objective is protecting an organisation’s data assets from threats. Beyond just identifying vulnerabilities, ethical hackers adopt a proactive approach, simulating cyber-attacks for better digital fortifications. Here’s a breakdown of their core responsibilities:

1. Penetration Testing

  • Objective: To simulate real-world cyberattacks, determining how deep an attacker can infiltrate.
  • Outcome: Revealing the existing defence mechanisms’ effectiveness and identifying potential gaps.

2. Vulnerability Assessment

  • Scope: Goes beyond just penetration tests. It’s about a comprehensive review of security weaknesses.
  • Outcome: Highlighting the vulnerabilities without necessarily exploiting them, leading to a prioritised list for remediation.

3. Security Assessment

  • Aim: To provide a holistic view of an organisation’s security state.
  • Outcome: Offering actionable insights, specific feedback on an organisation’s security posture, and bespoke recommendations for fortification.

4. Risk Assessment

  • Purpose: To assess potential threats and the consequent result or loss if vulnerabilities were exploited.
  • Outcome: Facilitating informed decision-making by quantifying the potential impacts and possible risks.

5. Security Policy Review & Formulation

  • Goal: To ensure that an organisation’s security policies align with best practices and industry standards.
  • Outcome: Development or refinement of policies that guide behaviour and actions related to information security.

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Ethical Hacker Types

Ethical hacking isn’t just about a single category of professionals. The spectrum of ethical hackers varies based on their intent, methods, and legal boundaries. To understand cybersecurity’s frontline warriors and learn how to become hacker after 12th, it’s crucial to acknowledge their diverse shades. Here’s a snapshot of the main categories:

1. White Hat Hackers

  • Orientation: Ethical, law-abiding.
  • Engagement: Mostly employed by organisations conducting authorised penetration tests.
  • Objective: Strengthen organisational security, highlight vulnerabilities, and propose fortifications.

2. Black Hat Hackers

  • Orientation: Malicious, unlawful.
  • Engagement: Act independently or in organised groups without authorisation.
  • Objective: Exploit vulnerabilities for personal or financial gains, causing harm or stealing sensitive data.

3. Grey Hat Hackers

  • Orientation: Ambiguous; fluctuates between ethical and malicious.
  • Engagement: Not officially associated with organisations but might inform them of a vulnerability, sometimes seeking a reward.
  • Objective: A mix of personal interest, potential financial gain, or simply the thrill of the challenge.

4. Script Kiddies

  • Orientation: Inexperienced, often using ready-made software.
  • Engagement: Lack of profound understanding, reliant on existing hacking tools.
  • Objective: Mostly thrill-seekers with limited knowledge, aiming for quick, often flashy results.

5. Hacktivists

  • Orientation: Ideologically driven.
  • Engagement: Aim to promote a political agenda or social change.
  • Objective: Target systems to relay a message or raise awareness for a cause.

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Ethical Hacking Course After 12th

For young enthusiasts eager to dive into ethical hacking right after school, there are many diploma in ethical hacking after 12th courses that help shape their passion into a profession. Here’s a closer look at some of the leading courses:

1. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

  • Offered by: EC-Council
  • Focus: Provides hands-on training in ethical hacking tools and techniques.
  • Recognition: Globally acknowledged for its intensive curriculum.

2. CompTIA Security+

  • Focus: Lays a solid foundation for diving deeper into cybersecurity.
  • Coverage: Includes topics like threat management, cryptography, and identity management.
  • Suitability: Ideal for those seeking entry-level cybersecurity roles and is a great choice for those who are wondering how to become ethical hacker after 12th.

3. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

  • Focus: A comprehensive course that delves deep into information security.
  • Recognition: Globally revered for its depth and coverage.
  • Suitability: Aspired by professionals aiming for senior cybersecurity roles.

In addition to these, many online platforms provide specialised courses. These are curated to address the contemporary demands of the industry, emphasising practical application and real-world challenges.

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Ethical Hacker Essential Skills – Beginner’s Edition

The journey to building a career in ethical hacking after 12th is more than just course certificates and hands-on training. It’s about harnessing a unique blend of technical skill and mental agility. An ethical hacker should possess various innate and learned skills to stand out in cybersecurity.

1. Technical Proficiency:

  • Core Areas: An adept understanding of computer networks, familiarity with various programming languages, and an in-depth grasp of different operating systems form the bedrock of ethical hacking.
  • Network Nuances: Familiarity with firewalls, VPNs, proxies, and various types of malware is invaluable.

2. Analytical Thinking:

  • Data Comprehension: Dissecting vast volumes of data, discerning patterns, and assessing vulnerabilities is crucial.
  • Attention to Detail: Often, the most critical vulnerabilities lurk in minute details.

3. Problem Solving:

  • Innovative Approaches: With cyber threats becoming more sophisticated, ethical hackers must have the skill to develop and deploy out-of-the-box solutions.

4. Knowledge of Law and Ethics:

  • Guiding Principles: An ethical hacker must be well-versed in cyber laws, ensuring their activities remain within legal and ethical bounds.
  • Integrity: Holding oneself to the highest ethical standards is non-negotiable.

5. Constant Learning:

  • Dynamic Landscape: Ethical hackers must have a voracious appetite for knowledge and be proactive in updating themselves about the latest threats and countermeasures.

Your Ethical Hacking Journey Post 12th: A Blueprint

Aspiring to be an ethical hacker straight out of high school and asking the question, “and is a great answer to how to become ethical hacker after 12th”, might seem daunting at first, but the transition can be seamless with a systematic plan and dedication. Here’s a detailed guide to ease the process:

Step 1: Lay the Groundwork with Basics

  • Computer Science Fundamentals: Familiarise yourself with core concepts like algorithms, data structures, and basic programming constructs.
  • Network Architecture: Delve into the intricacies of TCP/IP, subnets, VPNs, LAN setups, and protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and DNS.
  • Databases & OS: Understand different databases (SQL, NoSQL) and get acquainted with operating systems, especially Linux and Windows, as they form the backbone of many servers.

Step 2: Choose the Right Academic Path

  • Relevant Courses: Opt for specialised courses tailored for cybersecurity enthusiasts. Platforms offer comprehensive modules to cultivate practical and theoretical knowledge.

Step 3: Create a Personal Lab

  • Simulation Environment: Use VirtualBox or VMware to set up virtual networks and machines. This allows for safe and ethical hacking exercises.
  • Hands-on Challenges: Engage with platforms like Hack The Box or TryHackMe, which provide real-world scenarios to hone your hacking skills.

Step 4: Network

  • Online Forums & Communities: Platforms like Stack Exchange and GitHub offer avenues to discuss, share and learn from peers.
  • Seminars & Workshops: Engage in cybersecurity events. Not only do these provide learning opportunities, but they also open doors for potential mentorships and job prospects.

Step 5: Acquire Relevant Certifications

  • Foundational: Start with certifications like CompTIA Security+ for a foundational grasp.
  • Specialised: Progress to more specialised ones like the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

Step 6: Embrace the Ever-evolving Tech Landscape

  • Stay Informed: With cyber threats changing constantly, it’s crucial to keep abreast with the latest trends, tools, and threats.
  • Regular Training: Dedicate time for periodic training sessions, webinars, and online courses.

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Navigating the Career Pathways in Ethical Hacking

As ethical hacking continues to mature, several specialised roles have sprung up, catering to different aspects of cybersecurity.

1. Penetration Tester

  • Role: To proactively hunt for systems, applications, or network vulnerabilities.
  • Objective: Identify and rectify potential weak points before malicious hackers can exploit them.

2. Information Security Analyst

  • Role: Are at the forefront of an organisation’s cyber defence.
  • Objective: Monitor networks, detect anomalies, and initiate protective protocols against potential threats.

3. Security Engineer

  • Role: They are the architects of the digital fortresses.
  • Objective: Develop and maintain cutting-edge security infrastructure, integrating the latest technologies to keep cyber threats at bay.

4. Forensic Investigator

  • Role: They are the detectives of the digital world.
  • Objective: Investigate cybercrimes, trace digital footprints, gather crucial evidence, and aid in prosecuting cybercriminals.

5. Security Consultant

  • Role: Strategists aiding businesses.
  • Objective: Analyse an organisation’s security posture, understand its needs, and offer tailored solutions to fortify its digital domains.

Enhancing Your Ethical Hacking Skills

While ethical hacking textbooks provide foundational knowledge, real-world experience is the key to gaining expertise. Here’s how you can immerse yourself and gain practical experience:

1. Internships

  • Advantages: Exposure to corporate security environments, mentoring by seasoned professionals, and understanding of real-world cybersecurity protocols.
  • Tip: Seek opportunities in renowned cybersecurity firms or IT departments of larger companies for a well-rounded experience.

2. Online Challenges

  • Online competitions: Simulate real-world scenarios where participants must exploit vulnerabilities, defend systems, or uncover hidden digital flags.
  • Advantages: Enhance practical skills, network with like-minded individuals, and earn recognition in the hacking community.

3. Open Source Contribution

  • Where to Start: Platforms like GitHub house numerous cybersecurity projects. Choose one that aligns with your interests.
  • Advantages: Open source contributions refine your skills and exhibit your expertise to potential employers. It’s an excellent way to give back to the community and establish credibility.

4. Continous Learning

  • Method: Attend workshops, enroll in advanced courses, and read up on the latest cyber threats and defense mechanisms.
  • Advantages: Cybersecurity is a dynamic field. Regular updates ensure you stay ahead of cybercriminals and are prepared for emerging threats.

Salary of Ethical Hackers in India

The demand for ethical hackers has sharply risen in India, as reflected in their salary packages. This growth can be attributed to the burgeoning digitisation and the associated cyber threats organisations struggle with. 

The earning potential across different experience levels varies depending on the company, sector and geographical location. An entry-level Ethical Hacker can earn up to INR 3-6 lakh annually, while mid-level professionals’ salary ranges between INR 7-15 lakh annually. For those with experience, the number lies around INR 20 lakh per annum

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Conclusion

Ethical hacking involves possessing technical skills and embracing a keen analytical mindset, a strong ethical compass, and a constant thirst for knowledge. The pathway might initially seem daunting for individuals embarking on this journey after their 12th, but the opportunities and rewards awaiting them are worth the effort. 

To thrive as an ethical hacker, continuous upskilling and adaptability are key. Thus, while the initial steps involve gaining the requisite certifications and theoretical understanding, hands-on experience and real-world problem-solving truly shape an ethical hacker.

Profile

Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Which course is best for becoming an Ethical Hacker after 12th?

Courses like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and CompTIA Security+ are great starting points. Platforms like upGrad also offer tailored courses for aspirants.

2What is the qualification of an Ethical Hacker?

While certifications like CEH and CompTIA Security+ are beneficial, practical experience, a deep understanding of computer systems, and an ethical approach are paramount to establishing a career in ethical hacking after 12th.

3Is ethical hacking a good career?

Absolutely. With the rising cyber threats, organisations are actively seeking skilled ethical hackers, making it a high-demand career.

4Do ethical hackers write code?

Ethical hackers often write scripts and codes to test and exploit vulnerabilities, making programming knowledge crucial.

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