What is a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)?
Posted by: Joshua Hester
Published: July 09, 2018
What is an ethical hacker? In the industry, we call them white hats...the good guys. We also call them penetration testers, or pen testers for short. They attack targets to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities so the data owner can fix them before the bad guys show up. They sneak into systems and discover what they can, so that there's no doubt about the true strength of an organization’s security posture. In a nutshell, an ethical hacker is our safety net so that we don't have to fall hard when everything's on the line. EC-Council provides the baseline Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) to validate whether a candidate has the knowledge and skills to pursue this career.
To make it this deep in information security, you need to be highly analytical and posses the network and power-user chops to know what makes computers tick, no matter the operating system or device. Being a penetration tester isn't just about preventing what's hammering away at vulnerabilities right now. It’s also anticipating that next big attack that lurks in the shadows of tomorrow!
In order to become a Certified Ethical Hacker, you need to take the 312-50 exam through Pearson/VUE or directly from EC-Council's online exam platform and score 70% or higher. The 312-50 exam is 125 multiple-choice questions ranging in topic from common hacking tools and security concepts to the ethics of penetration testing. The level of questions also vary by level, with some being knowledge-based and others requiring real-world experience and familiarity with common scenarios to answer.
Before you can even take the 312-50 Certified Ethical Hacker exam, you need to either complete the official EC-Council training (online through iClass), at an Accredited Training Center, or through an approved academic institution) or self-study. The last route will require a $100 eligibility application, proving you have at least two years of information security experience. Whichever path you take, you should plan for at least three to six months of dedicated study on your own.
How should you dedicate yourself to individual study? Follow our Certified Ethical Hacker series for the steps you can take to prepare for the certification exam, pass it, and join the ranks of CEHs worldwide.
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