become a hacker for the government

How to become a hacker for the government

In fiscal 2018, the issued cybersecurity spending was $14.9 billion. Of which, the Department of Defense (DoD) got more than $8 billion, while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assigned $1.8 billion. The urgency for ethical hackers in government agencies is rising with these massive investments, making this the right time to join the team.

Ethical hackers contribute to security as well as society in many ways. They tirelessly look for system vulnerabilities. Once identified, the required patch will be released before a black hat can abuse them. By eliminating potential flaws, ethical hackers not only save organizations from monetary losses but ensure that the customers and stakeholders won’t suffer the exploitation of data privacy. Many a time, it has been proven that ethical hackers are valuable assets to the software industry. On June 11, 2019, a vulnerability researcher at Google, Tavis Ormandy, found a bug in Windows’ core cryptographic library, SymCrypt. The flaw was capable of taking down the entire Windows fleet. Likewise, Eyal Itkin, a researcher at Check Point Software Technologies, revealed a flaw in Canon EOS 80D DSLR. The Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) offers an entry-point to infect the DSLR with a ransomware attack. There are many such examples where ethical hackers averted a possible security crisis.

In recent years, government agencies and the corporate world has noted the urgent need for ethical hackers. The multiple reports on Russians meddling with the US election system, attempting to gain access to confidential data on advanced military weapon systems, and other data breaches, backed up the need for security professionals. The US government’s military-grade security is considered to be the best-practiced one. To add another feather in the cap, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) recently proposed a plan that will provide a channel to report bugs on government platforms. This is an initiative by the government to adopt the best strategies for the private sector.

Tips on how to become a hacker for the government

A bug bounty program is the most convenient way to work for the government. It is a vulnerability rewards program. Under this, the government agencies crowdsource to identify flaws in their security system. In return, the security researchers or ethical hackers gain monetary benefits. For instance, the Pentagon has launched an initiative, where ethical hackers from all around the world, get the opportunity to penetrate the department’s VPN, virtual desktops, and proxies. In 2019, Pentagon organized the “Hack the Proxy” program. It resulted in the participation of 81 ethical hackers and the discovery of 31 vulnerabilities (9 with high severity and 21 with low/medium severity).

Watch this hacker share his experience on getting the golden opportunity to identify weaknesses within the Pentagon’s system

The all-rounder ethical hacking certification to work for the government

To get enlisted as a “hacker recruited by government,” keep the following points in mind –

To begin as an ethical hacker, you need to have basic networking and technical knowledge along with other skills. After this, you can develop the required technical skills around your foundational knowledge. With that, having strong verbal and written communication skills would be a plus point. Build interpersonal skills that would help you to interact with team members and stakeholders.

If you want a potential career boost to get identified amongst a pool of applicants, obtain the Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) credential. The program leads you through different aspects of ethical hacking. It will help you to validate your professional credibility. The key features that you will get with this credential are –

DoD 8140/8570 recognition

According to the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 8140/8570, the job responsibilities for the “Information Assurance” workforce are mapped into different categories. And, C|EH falls under more than one category – CSSP (Cyber Security Service Provider) Analyst, CSSP Infrastructure Support, CSSP Incident Responder, CSSP Auditor. As DoD recognized C|EH as one of the baseline programs, it is important to acquire this credential to get a job in any of the mentioned categories.

NCSC Certified Training

Apart from that, C|EH is also a NCSC Certified Training. This is another seal of trust that validates the professional value of obtaining the C|EH credential. NCSC Certified Training shows that the C|EH holders possess the skills required to succeed in their respective jobs. It also evaluates the quality of delivered training and courseware.

ANSI 17024 accreditation

C|EH received the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Personnel Certification Accreditation. The program meets the strict requirements of ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 standards. The accreditation confirms the delivery of high-quality training. It increases the integrity of C|EH amongst the global recruiters and credential holders.

NICE 2.0 Framework Compliant

The C|EH program is mapped to the NICE framework’s “Protect and Defend” specialty area. The framework ascertains that the program offers industry-demanded skills.

Hands-on experience

To provide a lab-intensive training, C|EH dedicates 40 percent of class time to acquiring practical skills. The real-time labs of EC-Council, iLabs, allows developing technical skills around the gained knowledge. These labs help the C|EH credential holders to build hands-on experience, which will provide them with an edge over others.

Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) is a direct answer to “how to become a hacker for the government?” It can help you get a job in several government institutes and agencies. Along with that, the accreditations and market value of EC-Council brings professional credibility to the C|EH credential. Register today to get the ethical hacking training!

What jobs can a hacker get?

As per Indeed, several jobs demand ethical hacking skills. A few of those include Security Engineer, Penetration Tester, Security Specialist, Information Security Analyst, Security Consultant, and many others.

Read more: Top 8 in-demand Cybersecurity Jobs in 2020

What is the salary of a hacker?

For an ethical hacker, the average salary is $84,497. It varies from region to region. For instance, a NY-based ethical hacker would earn 4% more than the stated salary while a Californian hacker could earn 1% over the average salary.

Read more: Ethical Hackers: Get Paid to Break Into Computers

What degrees do hackers have?

There is no standard to become an ethical hacker. Some professionals start by enrolling in Computer Science related degree programs while some gain computer programming knowledge. But if an ethical hacker possesses Computer Science or Information Security degree, then it would be an advantage.

Read more: How to Choose the Best Ethical Hacking Course?

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