How to Hire an Ethical Hacker

Ethical Hacking 101: How to Hire a Hacker for Top Cyber Defense

Doug Britton, CEO of Haystack Solutions, Featured in CSO Online to Discuss Ethical Hacking 

Even though the term “ethical hacking” was first heard sometime in the 1990s, this approach to cybersecurity existed long before the term was first used. Ethical hacking is when a hacker uses multiple techniques to examine the defense system of an organization by breaking into computers and systems as a way to prevent cyberattacks while following ethical guidelines. Unlike cybercriminals, these hackers, or white hat hackers, are legally allowed to break in to find vulnerable points in an organization’s systems. White hat hackers do not sabotage an organization’s security systems but invade the systems to find resolutions for potential weaknesses. 

Similar to ethical hacking, penetration testing (or pentesting) enhances an organization’s security by testing for vulnerabilities or weaknesses to prevent cyberattacks. Unlike ethical hacking, pentesting does not require any certifications or experience to conduct tests. Additionally, pentesting only allows access to the specific systems that require testing, whereas ethical hacking has more open access to provide overall security to systems. As the two activities are very similar, those terms are no longer mutually exclusive in the world of cybersecurity. 

In an article published by CSO Online, Doug Britton, CEO and Founder of Haystack Solutions, was featured along with some ethical hackers and several others who work in the industry to share the skills and qualifications needed in order to be a successful ethical hacker or pentester. 

Ethical Hacking Roadmap 

Ethical hackers include professionals providing services in pentesting or services and consulting in offensive security. Their main responsibility is to look at an organization’s security to find weaknesses that could potentially be exploited in their defense system. 

Unlike other cybersecurity experts, ethical hackers do not necessarily have to be hired as an employee to provide services. They can work as consultants but might not receive as much information or insight into an organization’s systems as in-house employees. 

Some additional responsibilities of an ethical hacker include: 

  • searching public domains for information on potential attacks 
  • analyzing an organization’s systems and firewalls to determine how threat actors can bypass them 
  • conducting simulation on potential cybersecurity threats 
  • training an organization’s employees so that they can spot and prevent cyberattacks 

Preparing for Cybersecurity Careers 

The great thing about cybersecurity careers, particularly for pentesting, is that it doesn’t require a specific degree. However, professionals interested in finding jobs as ethical hackers need to have particular qualities and the right mentality to succeed. Other than formal training or education, all ethical hackers must follow a code of ethics to ensure that they don’t break the law. 

Here are some examples that industry professionals recommend to succeed as an ethical hacker: 

An Understanding of Operating Systems and Databases 

Ethical hackers need to have familiarity with networks and operating systems, particularly in Linux, so they understand the intricacies of particular systems to be able to identify any potential flaws. 

Familiarity with Networks 

Since threats come from networks, it is vital to understand how networks work to determine when they become compromised. 

Strong Knowledge of Application Coding 

Coding is a crucial part of ethical hacking since cybersecurity professionals need to be able to find malicious code or weaknesses in the code. 

The Ability to Think Unconventionally 

For ethical hackers to find weaknesses, they need to think creatively to figure out the mindset of a potential cybercriminal and problem-solve to figure out possible solutions. “At the core of the ‘soft skills’ is the ability to think off script,” says Doug Britton, CEO of Haystack Solutions in the CSO Online publication. “You need to be nimble, audacious, and creative.”

Aptitude for Properly Conveying Risk to Stakeholders 

While much of ethical hacking is done independently, explaining risk and findings to all stakeholders is necessary to find ways to prevent future attacks or breaches. 

Keen Interest in the Subject 

Those interested in cybersecurity careers as an ethical hacker will be glad to hear that you don’t need heavy education or knowledge of everything in order to become a pentester or hacker. While there are systems that they should know, it is important to remember that knowledge of systems is teachable, but an interest in the subject will help professionals succeed. 

How Haystack Solutions Can Help Combat Today’s Top Hackers 

Haystack Solutions can help develop a team to fight and prevent cyberattacks from hitting an organization through CyberGEN.IQ, which is the world’s only non-linguistic-based cybersecurity assessment that tests one’s aptitude and skills. CyberGEN.IQ assesses each individual to reveal their natural aptitude across the following four cognitive domains of cybersecurity: 

  • Initiating 
  • Responding 
  • Real-Time 
  • Exhaustive 

The CyberGEN.IQ assessment will help organizations find the right talent and aid the cybersecurity hiring process. Furthermore, some other benefits of the CyberGEN.IQ assessment is that it can be deployed quickly and effectively with 97% accuracy in predicting job performance and mapping talent to job roles to help organizations hire the right candidates. 

Hiring managers, HR departments, and recruiters can now quickly sort through hundreds of resumes to find the right cybersecurity expert by matching the test scores with the right job roles. CyberGEN.IQ is also beneficial for cybersecurity experts looking to make a career change or enter a career as a pentester as it helps them fully understand their talents and strengths to help find the right job for them. Cybersecurity professionals can also feel at ease knowing that no prior technical knowledge is required to take this assessment. 

Contact us for a free sample of the CyberGEN.IQ assessment to help your cyber recruiting needs today!

 

FAQ:

What is the Ethical Hacking Roadmap?

Ethical hackers include professionals providing services in pentesting or services and consulting in offensive security. Their main responsibility is to look at an organization’s security to find weaknesses that could potentially be exploited in their defense system. 

How to Prepare for a Cyber Security Career?

– An Understanding of Operating Systems and Databases

–  Familiarity with Networks

– Strong Knowledge of Application Coding 

– The Ability to Think Unconventionally 

– Aptitude for Properly Conveying Risk to Stakeholders 

– Keen Interest in the Subject 

How Can Haystack Solutions Help Combat Today’s Top Hackers ?

Haystack Solutions can help develop a team to fight and prevent cyberattacks from hitting an organization through CyberGEN.IQ, which is the world’s only non-linguistic based cybersecurity assessment that tests one’s aptitude and skills.