Certified Ethical Hacker

Michael Torres, Program Manager at U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Talks about the EC-Council CEH Certification Experience and Certification Tips

Read what Michael Torres had to say on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/michael-torres-ceh-testimonial-certification-review-michael-torres/


My career started in 1999 when Microsoft released Active Directory Services (ADS). At the time, Authentication, Authorization, and Account (AAA) management was in its infancy. Over the years, I served as an AAA SME and Architect for organization-specific and federated Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions based on Active Directory, LDAP, and SAML technologies. In addition to helping Small Businesses, a Fortune 500, and numerous Government organizations design, implement, and maintain secure environments using many variations of AAA mechanisms and SSO solutions, AAA was a springboard into many other aspects of security to include compliance, Information Assurance, and continuous monitoring.

Throughout my 20+ year career, the personal philosophy of ‘Continuua Emendatio’ (Latin for Continuous Improvement) had the most significant impact on my career and cybersecurity competency development. This philosophy fostered passion and practice for lifetime learning, coaching, and teaching. Being a lifetime student provided the foundational knowledgebase and career security; while coaching and teaching others helped to evolved and solidified my craft.

For my personal development, I relied on a combination of certifications and practice. Over the years, I’ve earned over 30 certifications across multiple disciplines. Certifications interest me for two reasons – knowledge validation and continuous growth. Additionally, certifications can serve as an indicator of how likely an individual may be able translate knowledge into practice. It also offers a way to validate the knowledge needed to become an expert practitioner. EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) is one such program that improved my competency and gave me a clear understanding of an ethical hacker’s responsibilities.


Impressive Aspects of C|EH:

Neatly Engineered Information: C|EH has the perfect blend of the right amount of information and the proper modalities to foster practice by allowing the attendees to figure out how to put it into practice. The fact that it was a blended learning environment through instructor-led, reading materials, practice exams, and virtualized training truly set this program above the rest. To date, I have not had an experience like this one!

Use of Hundreds of Tools: With this training, I got the chance to get familiar with footprinting methods and tools. This training also helped me to learn the advance uses for Netcap, Nmap, and Wireshark.

Easiest Way to Gain Hands-on Experience: For getting into cybersecurity, hands-on experience plays an important role. The virtual labs of C|EH ensures that you acquire all the required technical skills. Its labs simulate the real-time environment, which helps in understanding how to work in the outside world.

Get a Brilliant Mentor: For content delivery, EC-Council relies on the best minds of the industry. So, in case you want to get in contact with talented security professionals, then C|EH can help you to build a strong network.

Better Visibility During Job Interviews: In addition to being accredited by ANSI and recognized by the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the C|EH program is well-known amongst the top-notch employers and leaders of the industry.

Tips for Cybersecurity Aspirants:

Here are a few tips that helped me successfully navigate the C|EH prep and exam:

Take control of your learning and development. Take ownership of your studies and do not expect others will handhold you through it. Be systematic and develop a year study plan with certification targets, weekly study goals, and planned study resources. (Example Study Plan Template)

Be patient and sequence your learning. If you are always studying for everything or that person that is perpetually working on two or three certifications concurrently, you will likely not complete anything. Start and finish studying one concept before you begin another.

Practice, Practice, Practice. The only way to become a cyber practitioner is to put what you learned into practice. Create your own practice labs, work through them, and continuously refine them; and when you think reached the end and feel ready, do it all over again.

The “Layman” Test. An essential part of the cyber practice that many fail to learn or appreciate is the art of simplified communication. Having the ability to simplify complex concepts into everyday language so that a layperson can understand it serves as a test of how well you know the information. If you are unable to help a layman understand, then it is likely a sign that you may not have as good of a grasp of the information as you believe you do.

The “Why” is cyber-gold. Everyone learns “How” to do something — Memorizing steps, knowing commands, understand procedures. However, what sets an expert practitioner above the rest is knowing the “Why.” Take the extra time to explore why something works the way it does.

In addition to these tips, you should complement your study with credible, official structured training programs that are internationally recognized and holds professional credibility such as EC-Council’s unique curriculum and training.

My EC-Council Certification Next Steps:

As a result of being a lifelong learner, stopping with the C|EH certification is not an option. My yearly study plan typically consists of a target ‘hit list’ for two to three certifications I try to achieve each year. After the surprisingly excellent experience with EC-Council’s certification program and platform, I’ve decided to deviate from my original 2020 study plan. I’m exclusively focusing on the C|EH (Practical) certification — I have a feeling preparing for this exam will be focused and intense.

Final thoughts

Having much experience with certifications across multiple disciplines, providers, and delivery modalities — as a certifications taker, contributor, and educator — I can say with confidence that EC-Council’s C|EH certification experience sets a standard to follow. EC-Council’s C|EH certification program holds professional credibility and takes a progressive learning approach combining traditional learning, community-based coaching, Hands-on experience, and virtualized real-world practice lab scenarios (not simulations). Additionally, the learning platform was intuitive and easy to use. For this reason, I recommend the C|EH certification program if you are looking for a certification that goes beyond memorizing general knowledge and results in practical skills.

Visit EC-Council’s C|EH certification program or to take a look at their other mind-blowing certification programs to get Hands-on experience and increase your visibility in a pool of applicants.

#ECCouncil #Cybersecurity #CybersecurityTraining #CybersecurityCertification

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