What Does An Ethical Hacker Do?

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An ethical hacker is responsible for testing the security systems of contracting companies by using the tactics and tools used by cybercriminals. Through ethical hacking, this professional detects and offers solutions to vulnerabilities in the cybersecurity of a company. What does an ethical hacker do?

Job profile

Ethical hackers are proficient when it comes to ethical hacking – a specialty within cybersecurity dedicated to searching, finding and fixing vulnerabilities in IT systems and platforms.

Frank Abagnale Jr gained worldwide fame when he was dramatised by Leonardo Di Caprio in the film “Catch Me If You Can”. Abagnale founded a legitimate fraud prevention business based on his skills and knowledge as a con man. In the same way, ethical hacking takes illicit practices as a reference to test the defences of business systems.

Role Overview - Ethical Hacker
Role Overview – Ethical Hacker

For the general public, the terms cybersecurity and hacking are intertwined and opposed. This is because the common perception of hackers is negative because the term hacker is often associated with cyber criminals.

Due to this negative connotation of hacking, a difference was established with cybersecurity professionals in this field.

What does an ethical hacker do?

As mentioned earlier, ethical hackers test the defences of IT systems and platforms for vulnerabilities. In order to achieve this, they make use of the tools, tactics and skills of a cybercriminal or hacker.

They start by meeting with clients to discuss the current security system. They then conduct research on the company’s system, network structure, and possible penetration sites.

Responsibilities Of An Ethical Hacker
Responsibilities Of An Ethical Hacker

These professional hackers plan and conduct pentesting or penetration tests and monitor company networks to prevent the injection of malicious code.

They also create documents of cybersecurity vulnerability information, manage systems and information retrieval at low memory levels, and provide end-user training to prevent social engineering and phishing tactics.

The functions of the position are unconventional and therefore require proper legal management to avoid inconveniences.

Responsibilities of an ethical hacker:

  • Meet with clients to discuss the current security system
  • Conduct research on the company’s system, network structure, and possible penetration sites
  • Periodically plan and execute pentesting or penetration tests
  • Monitor networks to prevent the injection of malicious code
  • Document an orderly record of cybersecurity vulnerability information
  • Systems management and information retrieval at low memory levels
  • End-user training to prevent social engineering and phishing tactics

Find expert ethical hackers for your business here

What are the skills of an ethical hacker? 

Versatility and creativity are essential for this computer security professional. In addition, it is essential to have very solid criteria to avoid unnecessary risks and to act within the legal framework.

Technical competencies vary considerably, depending on the industry of the hiring company. However, there is a common axis of solutions, languages ​​and tactics that every ethical hacker must know and master. 

Skills Of An Ethical Hacker
Skills Of An Ethical Hacker

They must have knowledge of SQL, C#, C++, Javascript and Java, know social engineering tactics to obtain privileged or confidential information, and should have knowledge of ethical hacking tools such as Nmap Hacking Tool, Netsparker, Burp Suite Hacking Tool etc. 

In terms of soft skills, they must have good written and verbal communication skills and must have excellent troubleshooting skills.

Skills of an ethical hacker:

  • Techniques and tools of pentesting or penetration tests
  • Programming languages ​​used by the contracting company such as SQL, C#, C++, Javascript and Java
  • Social engineering tactics to obtain privileged or confidential information
  • Management of ethical hacking tools (Nmap Hacking Tool, Burp Suite Hacking Tool, Netsparker, Metasploit, among others)
  • Automation of malware and cryptographic analysis tasks with Python or other languages
  • Handling cryptography for encryption and decryption
  • Understanding of local and international security and data protection policies and regulations
  • Evasion of firewalls, honeypots, and IDS
  • Wireless Network Penetration
  • IoT hacking proficiency
  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent troubleshooting skills

How can I become an ethical hacker? 

Typically, an ethical hacker is expected to have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Computer Science, Systems Engineering, or Networking. However, proficiency in the use of hacking tactics and tools are crucial and more important than prior academic training.

Ethical hackers can also acquire industry certifications to learn about conventional computer security protocols and systems. You can find options for these down below:

What is the salary of an ethical hacker?

An ethical hacking professional who’s just starting out can expect an annual salary of approximately $82,400. On average, the annual salary is in the range of around $103,800. Senior professionals can earn up to $131,800 a year.

In Germany, the salary range for ethical hackers is €17,640-€60,960 whereas in the UK, the range is £30,000-£70,000.

Salary of an ethical hacker:

US $82,400 – $131,800
Germany €17,640 – €60,960
UK £30,000 – £70,000

How much does a freelance ethical hacker earn?

Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Ethical Hackers
Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Ethical Hackers

The average hourly rate for a freelance ethical hacker is $102. For an 8-hour shift per day, the daily rate would be around $816 (freelancermap price index – July 2022).

Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

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