Cybersecurity has emerged as one of the most lucrative careers in 2021. While many job profiles have either become obsolete or have seen reduced demand, cybersecurity job roles have only increased en masse. This has led to a wave of college students and IT freshers learning the basics of hacking and penetration testing. If you are one of these aspirants wondering where to start, this blog will tell you about some free resources you can take advantage of.
What Is Ethical Hacking?
Before we dive into the platforms where you can learn the basics of hacking and penetration testing, let’s understand what these terms mean.
In simple terms, ethical hacking is a legal or authorized system of bypassing system security to detect threats and possible network breaches. So, unlike malicious hacking, hacking courses will enable you to breach a system in an authorized, planned, and legal way.
Ethical hackers gather and evaluate the information they glean from this exercise to determine effective ways to fortify the security of an organization’s network, system, or applications. With this information, they can improve the security of an organization and prevent further penetration.
What Is Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing, ethical hacking, or pen testing is the practice of evaluating the vulnerabilities of computer networks and systems. It is a simulated cyberattack meant to seek out vulnerabilities that malicious attackers can exploit. Penetration testers are called white hat hackers because it involves an authorized probe into a system.
Organizations should perform penetration testing regularly to prevent data breaches and cyberattacks. Although only a few large-scale organizations carry out penetration testing on a regular basis, all types of businesses can benefit from this assessment.
Why Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Certification Courses Are Becoming Popular
The cost of a data breach can be destructive, but its severity depends on the country and industry. In 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million, according to a report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute.
Job portals are buzzing with cybersecurity jobs, and organizations worldwide are unable to fill in these positions. Students, as well as IT freshers, have found this situation in their favor. With the freedom to select your career path, you can start with the corresponding certification programs and learn from a basics of hacking course irrespective of the current stage of your career. Your skills will come in handy for the following tasks:
Penetration tests give insight into the outlets within your application or organization that are most at risk. With this insight, you can determine what types of security tools you should invest in or protocols you should pursue to eliminate risk.
Ethical hacking and penetration testing skills help you learn how to tackle any form of unauthorized access or penetration from threat actors. These cybersecurity practices help you determine if an enterprise’s security controls are actually effective. They can also offer solutions that will eject the malicious intruder from the system in an effective fashion.
Another key advantage of penetration testing courses is that they minimize the errors made by developers. Developers can use these insights to avoid certain mistakes that render certain software vulnerable.
Important Self-Learning Platforms
If you are interested in starting a cybersecurity career, it will help if you learn the basics of hacking and penetration testing. It will play an important role in shaping your prospects because it becomes hard to take time out for a new certification in your career’s later stages.
The following are the best platforms to start absorbing knowledge:
Whitepapers are written by industry experts and contain a detailed analysis of certain topics. A whitepaper does more than just share knowledge on a specific topic. Through whitepapers, you can learn about the latest trends in cybersecurity and solutions to problems affecting the industry.
Blogs are the best free resources to learn about cybersecurity. Platforms that offer certifications in ethical hacking courses usually have blog sections that experts write. This section is for anyone who wants to brush up on important and relevant areas of interest, including newcomers, cybersecurity professionals, and anyone in the final stages of ethical hacking or penetration testing courses/certifications.
Webinars have emerged as a great tool for communication since the pandemic. Different cybersecurity institutes conduct webinars on ethical hacking, penetration testing courses, cybersecurity, and other similar topics. Industry experts host these webinars, which are akin to a free classroom session.
Videos can be a great resource to learn different aspects of ethical hacking. There are many channels online that provide knowledge on cybersecurity. You can also opt for a paid subscription to learn your selected topics in detail.
You can start your cybersecurity training at any stage of your life. But it works better if you start your certification program with knowledge of the basics of hacking and penetration testing. After this, you should take the certification path once you are confident enough to crack the exam.
About EC-Council’s Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Programs
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH v11):
EC-Council’s CEH v11 is the most widely recognized and demanded certification in this industry. As a student, you’ll learn about the latest commercial-grade hacking technologies, methodologies, and techniques leveraged by hackers and information security experts to hack an organization legitimately. The CEH v11 certification tests your knowledge in attack detection; information security threats and attack vectors; and attack prevention, procedures, and methodologies, among several others!
Certified Penetration Testing Professional (CPENT):
EC-Council offers the Certified Penetration Testing Professional (CPENT) certification program to help you go beyond the basics of penetration testing. CPENT rewrites the standards of penetration testing skill development.
The CPENT certification exam is one of the most rigorous cybersecurity-based certification exams available. Given this certification’s hands-on nature, most candidates will need to have substantial networking and OS knowledge before attempting to sit for the CPENT exam. What’s more, CPENT certified professionals possess job-ready skill sets that positively influences job security and progression.