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How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker

In today’s digitally interconnected world, where cyber threats continue to escalate, the need for skilled professionals who can combat these malicious activities is higher than ever. Enter the certified ethical hacker (CEH) – an individual with the knowledge and expertise to identify vulnerabilities, strengthen defenses, and protect valuable data from cybercriminals.

Becoming a certified ethical hacker is a journey that combines technical acumen, a deep understanding of cybersecurity principles, and a commitment to ethical practices. This guide will provide an overview of the steps you can take to embark on this rewarding and challenging career path.

What is a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)?

A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a professional with the knowledge and skills to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in computer systems and networks. A CEH’s role involves simulating malicious hackers’ actions but with the ethical intention of improving the security and protection of the targeted systems.

CEHs are trained to use various tools, techniques, and methodologies that hackers commonly employ to gain unauthorized access to systems. By adopting a proactive approach, CEHs help organizations identify potential security risks, assess the effectiveness of existing security measures, and develop strategies to enhance overall security posture.

The CEH certification is recognized globally and is awarded by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). To obtain the certification, individuals must demonstrate proficiency in network scanning, system hacking, social engineering, web application security, cryptography, and incident management.

Developing Required Skills to be a certified ethical hacker

To become a certified ethical hacker, you should develop several key skills. Here are the main areas of knowledge and expertise you should focus on:

Knowledge of computer systems and networks:

  1. Understanding operating systems: Gain knowledge of different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and macOS. Learn about their functionalities, file systems, and security features.
  2. Networking concepts and protocols: Familiarize yourself with networking fundamentals, including TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP, routing, switching, and firewalls. Understand how data flows across networks.
  3.  Web technologies and programming languages: Learn about web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and server-side scripting languages like PHP, Python, or Ruby. Understanding how web applications work will be crucial.

Proficiency in security tools and techniques:

  1. Penetration testing tools: Acquire knowledge of popular penetration testing tools like Metasploit, Nmap, Burp Suite, Wireshark, and others. Learn how to use these tools to identify vulnerabilities effectively.
  2. Vulnerability scanning and assessment: Understand the process of scanning and assessing systems for security weaknesses. Familiarize yourself with tools like Nessus, OpenVAS, or QualysGuard.
  3. Intrusion detection and prevention systems: Learn about different intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) and how they work. Gain knowledge of tools like Snort, Suricata, or OSSEC.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills:

  1. Analyzing vulnerabilities and potential exploits: Develop the ability to identify and analyze vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. Understand potential exploits that can be used to compromise systems.
  2. Identifying security weaknesses and risks: Improve your skills in recognizing security weaknesses in various environments, including network infrastructure, web applications, and databases. Understand the risks associated with different vulnerabilities.
  3. Developing effective countermeasures: Learn how to develop and implement effective security countermeasures to mitigate vulnerabilities. This includes knowledge of access controls, encryption, secure coding practices, and patch management.

In addition to the technical skills mentioned above, having a strong ethical foundation and adhering to legal and ethical guidelines when performing ethical hacking activities is essential. Continuous learning, staying updated with the latest security trends and vulnerabilities, and practicing in a controlled environment are key to becoming a proficient certified ethical hackers.

How to Gain Relevant Experience to Be a certified ethical hacker?

To gain relevant experience and become a certified ethical hacker, you can follow several steps:

Building a strong foundation:

  1. Pursue a degree in computer science or cybersecurity: Obtaining a formal education in computer science or cybersecurity provides a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding of various hacking, security, and computer systems concepts.
  2. Earn industry-recognized certifications: Consider obtaining certifications such as CompTIA Security+ or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). These certifications demonstrate your knowledge and skills in information security and are highly valued by employers in cybersecurity.

Participating in hands-on projects and exercises:

  1. Join capture the flag (CTF) competitions: CTF competitions are cybersecurity challenges where participants solve various hacking puzzles and tasks. Participating in CTFs helps you enhance your technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and knowledge of different attack vectors.
  2. Engage in bug bounty programs: Bug bounty programs allow ethical hackers to find vulnerabilities in software or websites and report them to the organization for a reward. Participating in bug bounty programs can give you practical experience identifying and exploiting security flaws in real-world applications.
  3. Conduct ethical hacking in controlled environments: Set up your lab environment or use platforms like Hack The Box or Virtual Hacking Labs to practice ethical hacking techniques. Conducting ethical hacking exercises in controlled environments allows you to experiment, learn new techniques, and understand the impact of different vulnerabilities.

Remember that ethical hacking requires a responsible and ethical approach. Always seek permission and ensure you operate within legal boundaries when performing security testing or hacking activities. Additionally, staying up to date with the latest security trends, attending cybersecurity conferences, and joining online communities can further enhance your knowledge and provide networking opportunities in ethical hacking.

How to Choose the Right Certification Path?

Choosing the right certification path can be crucial when pursuing a career in ethical hacking. Here is a guide to help you make an informed choice:

Overview of Different Ethical Hacking Certifications:

  1. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): The CEH certification is provided by the EC-Council and focuses on the knowledge and skills required to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities. It covers various hacking techniques and tools.
  2. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP): The OSCP certification offered by Offensive Security is highly practical and hands-on. It emphasizes real-world penetration testing skills and requires candidates to complete a 24-hour practical exam.
  3. GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN): The GPEN certification, offered by the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), validates the skills of penetration testers. It covers network and application penetration testing and vulnerability assessment techniques.

Comparing Requirements, Benefits, and Recognition:

When comparing these certifications, consider the following factors:

  1. Requirements: Check the prerequisites for each certification. Some may require specific work experience, training, or prior certifications.
  2. Rigor and Practicality: Assess the practical nature of the certification. Look for certifications that emphasize hands-on skills and real-world scenarios.
  3. Industry Recognition: Research the reputation and recognition of the certifying body within the industry. Check if the certification is widely accepted and valued by employers.
  4. Career Advancement: Consider the certification’s impact on your career progression. Determine if it aligns with your desired job roles and offers growth opportunities.
  5. Cost and Time: Evaluate the cost of obtaining the certification, including training materials, exam fees, and any additional expenses. Also, consider the time required to prepare for and complete the certification.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Certification Program:

  1. Career Goals: Identify your career aspirations and select a certification that aligns with your objectives. Consider whether you want to specialize in a particular area of ethical hacking or have a broader skill set.
  2. Skill Development: Assess your current skill level and choose a certification that helps you develop and enhance the skills you need for your desired career path.
  3. Job Market Demand: Research the job market to identify certifications that are in high demand. Look for certifications sought by employers in your target industry or geographic region.
  4. Personal Interest: Consider your interests and passion for ethical hacking. Choosing a certification that aligns with your interests can enhance your motivation and job satisfaction.
  5. Continuing Education: Determine if the certification requires ongoing professional development to maintain its validity. Some certifications may have renewal requirements that need to be fulfilled periodically.

Remember, certifications are not the sole measure of your skills and knowledge. Practical experience and a strong understanding of concepts are equally important. Consider certifications complementing your expertise and use them to demonstrate your commitment to professional growth.

Ultimately, the right certification path will depend on your individual goals, interests, and the specific requirements of the job market you wish to enter. Research and carefully weigh your options to make an informed decision that aligns with your career aspirations.

How much does the Certified Ethical Hacker exam cost?

The cost of the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) exam can vary depending on several factors, such as the country or region where you are taking the exam and whether you are a member of the EC-Council (the organization that offers the CEH certification). However, as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the typical cost of the CEH exam is around $1,199 for non-members and $950 for EC-Council members. These prices may be subject to change, so it’s always recommended to check the official EC-Council website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on exam fees.

How to Prepare for the Certification Exam?

To prepare for the Certification Exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker, you can follow these steps:

A. Familiarize yourself with the exam objectives and domains:

  • Obtain the official exam syllabus or objectives document provided by the certification authority. Understand the topics and domains covered in the exam.
  • Review the skills and knowledge areas required to pass the exam.
  • Identify any knowledge gaps you may have and prioritize your study accordingly.

B. Utilize study resources and training materials:

   1. Official study guides and books:

  • Look for official study guides recommended by the certification authority. These resources are often comprehensive and align well with the exam objectives.
  • Read books designed for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification exam. These books cover the relevant topics in-depth and provide valuable insights.

   2. Online courses and video tutorials:

  • Enroll in online courses offered by recognized training providers. These courses are designed to cover all the necessary exam topics and provide hands-on practice.
  • Watch video tutorials available on platforms like YouTube or online learning platforms. These tutorials can help you understand complex concepts and demonstrate practical examples.

   3. Practice exams and virtual labs:

  • Take advantage of practice exams and mock tests designed specifically for the CEH certification exam. These simulate the exam environment and help you assess your readiness.
  • Use virtual labs or online platforms that provide hands-on practice. This allows you to gain practical experience in ethical hacking techniques and tools.

C. Join study groups and online communities:

   1. Engage in discussions and knowledge sharing:

  •  Join online forums, discussion boards, and social media groups dedicated to ethical hacking and the CEH certification.
  •   Participate actively in discussions, ask questions, and share your knowledge with others. This interaction can help you gain new perspectives and insights.

   2. Collaborate with like-minded individuals:

  • Form study groups with other individuals preparing for the same certification exam. Collaborate on projects, share resources, and solve challenges together.
  • Engage in peer-to-peer learning and leverage the collective knowledge and experience of the group.

Remember to establish a study schedule and allocate dedicated time for exam preparation. Regular practice, hands-on experience, and active engagement with study resources and communities will greatly enhance your chances of success in becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker. Good luck with your exam preparation!


In conclusion, becoming a certified ethical hacker requires knowledge, skills, and dedication. It is a challenging yet rewarding journey that can open up exciting career opportunities in cybersecurity. 

By following these steps and maintaining a commitment to ethical hacking principles, you can become a certified ethical hacker. Remember, ethical hacking is about protecting systems, detecting vulnerabilities, and contributing to the overall security of digital environments. Good luck on your journey! Read More

Uneeb Khan
Uneeb Khan
Uneeb Khan CEO at blogili.com. Have 4 years of experience in the websites field. Uneeb Khan is the premier and most trustworthy informer for technology, telecom, business, auto news, games review in World.

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