When most people think of hacking, they think of data breaches, ransomware, and malware. But the origins of hacking, somewhere in the 1970s, were very pure. Hacking meant finding ways for machinery and processes to work more efficiently and was a term used by engineering students. But as people got more adept at this skill, they started to take advantage of it. A hacker came to be a person with malicious intent who would break into your network and steal data.
On the flip side, the US Military also ran a program that paid IT professionals to break into the army’s systems to test their security and find vulnerabilities. That’s how ‘ethical’ hacking was born.
Today, ethical hacking has become a need of the hour and it’s not just IT professionals but even regular students who are enrolled in an ethical hacking institute. The disastrous Sony Networks data breach in 2011 ended with the records (including names, addresses, and credit card data) of 77 million customers being published online making it evident that even large corporations were not invulnerable to cybercriminals. Even more recently, targeted hacking of Apple’s iCloud in 2014 led to the release of multiple private photographs from celebrities’
personal accounts being leaked to the internet. These are of course some of the most widely known incidents. The number of incidents of cybercrime has kept increasing. 2019 isn’t even over yet and already millions of small and large businesses, as well as individuals, have had their data breached or systems held hostage by hackers.
With such a state of affairs, ethical hacking is an industry that is booming right now with more and more organizations hiring cybersecurity experts and ethical hackers to audit their security and identify any risks that they may face. According to a NASSCOM report, India would need as many as 1 million cybersecurity professionals by 2023. But there is a wide gap between demand and supply. This has made a career in ethical hacking a very attractive option for IT professionals.
Because of the kind of specialization and skills it requires, to get into ethical hacking, one needs to get certified. This has led to another sister-industry boom: that of the ethical hacking training institute that offers a certified ethical hacking course. (Like hacking, this boom has also led to scam courses, so make sure you only enrol in a reputed ethical hacking institute like Appin)
After completing a certified ethical hacking course, students can immediately join the ranks of cybersecurity experts who are always being recruited by leading IT companies such as Wipro, Tech Mahindra, IBM and more. There are also an increasing number of openings in the retail and aviation industry. As a professional, one can also supplement their income by taking up training positions at an ethical hacking training institute.
As the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Incident Report (DBIR) points out, cybercrimes not only continue to plague users and companies, but they are adapting to the trends. A cryptocurrency company called Cryptopia suffered a cyberattack and reports claim as much as $16 million was lost. Such kinds of incidents only make it even more evident that even strongly secured networks can be vulnerable and increases the demand for specialized and reputed ethical hackers.
This means that we can hope to see an ever-rising need for ethical hacking in 2023 and the years beyond. And the data seems to agree. According to analysts Frost and Sullivan, the global ethical hacking industry is growing at an estimated annual rate of 21%. Ethical hacking is soon becoming not just a viable but an extremely profitable career as well. And the industry will continue to flourish to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for cybersecurity.