A role in Ethical Hacking or Penetration Testing is a solid choice for people who are skilled at lateral thinking, have excellent attention to detail and have strong technical and analytical skills.
If you are starting out in your professional IT career and considering going into ethical hacking, or if you are in an entirely different industry but think these fundamental skills are in your repertoire, then it is important to know how to get there. Ethical hackers are in high demand as companies increase their cybersecurity budgets and recognize the value in keeping one step ahead of black hat hackers.
If you have no experience in IT, then this will be a long road for you than someone with an IT background in say, coding. However, ethical hacking is a fulfilling and well-paid field so it is worth sticking to in the long run. While this list of resources may seem complex, if you don’t have a solid understanding in these areas then you will struggle in your career as an ethical hacker.
On the flip side, if you engage with learning the building blocks of ethical hacking, you will have a strong understanding of the technical skills required and will be more likely to rise up in your career at a faster rate.
Ethical hackers should have a strong understanding of coding languages, and how they work. That is not to say you have to master all coding languages, that would be extreme and near impossible. however, you should have a good understanding of the popular coding languages used in business.
Online resources to learn to code:
- https://www.firecode.io/ : Firecode.io uses machine learning algorithms along with curated real-world interview questions, solutions & a vibrant social community of learners to get you ready for your next coding interview.
- https://www.codingame.com/ : At CodinGame, our goal is to let programmers keep on improving their coding skills by solving the World’s most challenging problems, learn new concepts, and get inspired by the best developers. CodinGame has coding games, as well as a learning platform.
- https://edabit.com/ : the fastest way to learn programming is by actually programming. Edabit offers an almost limitless potential for continuously working on bite-sized coding challenges so you can rapidly advance your abilities.
- https://www.codecademy.com/ : Codecademy is great for complete beginners, it offers many languages that you can learn to code for free. It can be lacking in complexity at the more advanced stages.
- YouTube: There are many University Lectures on computer science and programming available for free on YouTube, as well as tutorials.
It is also important to have an understanding of networking to be an ethical hacker.
Online resources for learning networking
- Reddit: the subreddit r/CCNA is dedicated to discussions around the CCNA networking qualification. There are plenty of great resources here, as well as people who can help if you get stuck with anything. It would be a good idea to find any CCNA resources as well, for example, textbooks or websites. Doing the CCNA qualification isn’t essential but it will stand you in good stead.
- YouTube: YouTubers Professor Messer, and dancourses both offer some great videos on networking.
An understanding of Linux, how it is structured, the permissions and shell scripting are also good skills to have.
- https://linuxjourney.com/ : This website takes you through from “what is Linux?” to package management tools.
- Reddit: The subreddits r/linuxquestions and r/linux4noobs are great resources any questions you have.
- YouTube: TutorialLinux does a step by step course on the Linux Basics.
Set up a practice lab:
https://www.virtualbox.org/ : VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware, targeted at server, desktop, and embedded use. You can use it to test your skills in all areas.
Play hacking games:
You may be wondering how playing games will help with your ethical hacking skills and if it is really worth your time. Firstly, many hacking games contain strong technical components that rely on real-world language skills and problem-solving, giving you the opportunity to practice your skills in a fun environment.
Secondly, being creative is an important part of being an ethical hacker, you need to think of creative solutions to obscure and unknown obstacles, games are a great way to keep you thinking creatively.