When you hear the term “hacker,” you might think of someone who maliciously breaks into computer systems to steal data or cause harm. However, there’s another side to hacking that’s focused on improving cybersecurity and protecting against attacks. This type of hacking is known as “ethical hacking,” and it involves using the same techniques as malicious hackers to find vulnerabilities in systems and then fixing them before they can be exploited.
Learning ethical hacking can offer many advantages, both personally and professionally. In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 of the most significant benefits of learning ethical hacking, and we’ll provide real-life case studies to illustrate how these advantages can be applied in practice.
One of the most significant advantages of learning ethical hacking is that it can improve security. By understanding how malicious hackers operate, ethical hackers can identify vulnerabilities in systems and then work to fix them before they can be exploited. This can help prevent data breaches, theft, and other types of cyber attacks.
In 2015, hackers stole personal information from over 22 million people who had applied for security clearances from the US government. The breach was the result of a vulnerability in the government’s background check system. Ethical hackers could have identified this vulnerability and helped the government fix it before the breach occurred.
In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is a growing concern for individuals and businesses alike. As a result, there’s a high demand for professionals with expertise in this area. By learning ethical hacking, you can gain the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in cybersecurity.
In 2020, cybersecurity jobs were in high demand, with over 500,000 open positions in the United States alone. The average salary for a cybersecurity professional was $99,730 per year. By learning ethical hacking, you can position yourself for a lucrative and rewarding career in this field.
Greater Understanding of Cybercrime
Learning ethical hacking can provide a better understanding of cybercrime and help prevent future attacks. By understanding how malicious hackers operate, you can better protect yourself and your business against cyber threats.
In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries. The attack was successful because it exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that had been identified by the US National Security Agency (NSA) but not shared with Microsoft. Ethical hackers could have identified this vulnerability and helped prevent the attack.
Improved Problem-Solving Skills
Ethical hacking requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By learning these skills, you can apply them to other areas of life and work.
A student who learned ethical hacking reported that the skills he gained helped him solve a difficult math problem. He was able to use the same problem-solving techniques he learned in ethical hacking to approach the math problem in a different way and arrive at the correct answer.
Better Preparedness for Cyber Attacks
By learning ethical hacking, individuals and businesses can better prepare for and respond to cyber attacks. Knowing how hackers operate can help you identify and mitigate potential risks before they become actual threats.
In 2019, a city in Florida was hit by a ransomware attack that took down the city’s computer systems. The attack cost the city over $1 million in damages. By learning ethical hacking, the city could have identified vulnerabilities in its systems and taken steps to prevent the attack.
Increased Awareness of Cybersecurity Risks
Learning ethical hacking can increase awareness of the potential risks associated with technology use. By becoming more aware of these risks, individuals and businesses can take steps to protect themselves and their data.
In 2013, a high-profile data breach at Target compromised the personal and financial information of over 40 million customers. The breach occurred because of a vulnerability in the company’s payment system. If Target had employed ethical hackers to identify and fix this vulnerability before it was exploited, the breach may have been prevented.
Enhanced Technical Skills
Ethical hacking requires technical skills that can be applied to other areas of computer science and information technology. By learning ethical hacking, individuals can gain valuable technical skills that can help them in their careers.
A student who learned ethical hacking reported that the technical skills he gained helped him in his job as a software engineer. He was able to apply his knowledge of hacking techniques to identify vulnerabilities in his company’s software and suggest improvements to the code.
Greater Control over Personal Security
By learning ethical hacking, individuals can take control of their own personal security online. They can identify vulnerabilities in their own systems and take steps to protect themselves from cyber attacks.
In 2016, a celebrity’s iCloud account was hacked, and personal photos were leaked online. By learning ethical hacking, individuals can take steps to secure their own iCloud accounts and prevent similar breaches from occurring.
Improved Ethical Decision Making
Ethical hacking requires individuals to make ethical decisions, which can help improve overall ethical decision making. By learning ethical hacking, individuals can become more aware of the ethical implications of their actions and make more informed decisions.
A student who learned ethical hacking reported that the ethical decisions he had to make during his training helped him become more aware of the ethical implications of his actions in his personal and professional life.
Contribution to the Greater Good
Ethical hackers can contribute to the greater good by identifying vulnerabilities in systems and helping to improve security measures. By learning ethical hacking, individuals can use their skills to make a positive impact on society.
In 2018, ethical hackers identified a vulnerability in an app used by the Finnish government to vote in national elections. The vulnerability could have allowed hackers to manipulate the election results. By identifying and reporting the vulnerability, the ethical hackers helped to ensure the integrity of the election.
Learning ethical hacking can offer many benefits, both personally and professionally. By understanding how malicious hackers operate, individuals can improve security, gain valuable technical skills, and contribute to the greater good. With the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals, there’s never been a better time to learn ethical hacking.