Ethical hackers use many of the same techniques and tools that malicious hackers use. However, ethical hackers legally use them to identify vulnerabilities in organizations’ computer systems and networks, so those weaknesses can be mitigated. In addition, ethical hackers must learn to think and act like a cybercriminal, using hacking methods to prevent attacks and improve the overall information security of a company’s digital infrastructure.
Numerous IT and cybersecurity job roles involve ethical hacking, including security analysts, security managers, security architects, penetration testers, systems engineers, computer forensics analysts, site administrators, network security specialists, and many others. The primary responsibility of professionals specializing in ethical hacking is to improve information security by exposing networks and systems to cyberattacks that could potentially be used by malicious, or black hat, hackers. They also identify weaknesses and work with other information technology and security professionals to fortify their system and network security.
What is the Certified Ethical Hacker Certification?
One of the most sought-after and popular credentials in information security is the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. This credential is awarded by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), a certifying organization that is highly regarded worldwide. IT and cybersecurity professionals who are interested in becoming skilled at ethical hacking will find that the CEH certification is a must for advancing their careers. CEH is a vendor-neutral designation that proves your knowledge of the use of ethical hacking to provide network and system security.
How Difficult is the CEH Certification Exam?
The Certified Ethical Hacker certification exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions covering a range of information security and hacking topics, many of which are in-depth. You have four hours to complete the exam and must score at least 70% to pass.
Ethical hacking is a multidisciplinary vocation for which you must have a working knowledge of different IT areas, including programming, networking, databases, and information security. The topics included in the exam blueprint include:
- Analysis and assessment
- Tools, systems, and programs
- Procedures and methodology
- Regulations and policies
The CEH certification exam is considered an intermediate-level test that most test-takers report is fairly challenging – certainly more so than lower-level certifications like Security+. As a result, adequate study and practice are critical to preparing for the official exam. Many of the questions on the test will be hard to answer if you are only relying on textbook learning to prepare. Ideally, you will have work experience or have taken a training course that allows hands-on practice before taking the CEH exam. This will make the exam much easier to pass.
It’s crucial to be prepared for questions designed to confuse or trip you up. Exam-takers have reported that the test includes similar questions that are asked in several ways, which can cause you to second-guess your answers. This means that paying careful attention to what the questions are asking is essential. In addition, while most CEH test-takers agree that four hours is plenty of time to answer the 125 questions when you’re properly prepared, some found it difficult to remain focused for that length of time.
How hard you find the CEH certification exam depends on several factors, including your level of experience, learning style, how much you’ve studied, and your test-taking skills. To have the best chance of earning a passing score on the CEH exam, preparation is key. You can find numerous online training courses and other resources that will help you prepare for the test with hands-on learning and practice.
Becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker
If you’re interested in a career in information security because you want to protect an organization’s digital assets from cybercriminals, then pursuing a role that uses ethical hacking is an ideal career choice. Ethical hacking jobs are often exciting, and they allow you to protect your organization while earning a good salary at the same time. At TrainACE, we offer a comprehensive Certified Ethical Hacker Training and Certification course to ensure that you are prepared to pass the official CEH certification exam and earn your credential.