The CEH Certification is an information security training and certification program from the EC-Council. CEH stands for Certified Ethical Hackers and is based on the cybersecurity construct that to defeat a hacker; you need to think like one. Ethical hacking was championed by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), and the EC-Council introduced its certification for ethical hacking to promote the moral hacking concept.
The formation of the EC-Council resulted from thinking after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. One of the EC-Council founders wondered what would happen if a similar attack were carried out on the Cyber battlefield. Unfortunately, it did not seem that the information security community, at large, had the tools and resources to anticipate, meet, and defeat such an attack. Therefore, the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants was formed to create information security training and certification programs. The EC-Council gained vital support from leading researchers and launched the Certified Ethical Hacker program and certification.
To qualify as a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), you had to exhibit a skill level consistent with that of a hacker but also demonstrate excellent judgment to stay on the side of the law and participate in only legal activity. Ethical hackers are focused on proactive prevention services. They may provide these preventative services as members of a red team, pentesters, consultants, or a crowd-sourced organization.
The EC-Council’s mission, as stated, is “to validate information security professionals who are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge required in a specialized information security domain that will help them avert a cyber conflict, should the need ever arise.” EC-Council is “committed to the highest levels of impartiality and objectivity in its practices, decision making, and authority in all matters related to certification.”
The EC-Council has certified over 200,000 security professionals from private and public enterprises. Many certified members come from IBM, Microsoft, the FBI, the United Nations, the U.S. Army, and many others. In addition, many EC-Council certifications have received endorsements from government agencies, including the U.S. Federal Government. For example, the United States Department of Defense has included the CEH program in its Directive 8570 as a mandatory standard for Computer Network Defenders Service Providers (CND-SP).
CEH Certification was designed to indicate that the certified graduate understands how to look for vulnerabilities in computer systems and is highly proficient with the tactics, techniques, tools, and procedures used by a malicious hacker. In addition, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) provides a deep understanding of ethical hacking phases, the attack vectors and techniques used, and best practice preventative countermeasures. Most importantly, the CEH Certification will teach you how hackers think, so you can develop defense strategies that anticipate their approach.
The objectives of the CEH Certification courses, as cited from the EC-Council website https://iclass.eccouncil.org/our-courses/certified-ethical-hacker-ceh include gaining an understanding of:
- Information security controls, laws, and standards.
- Various types of footprinting, footprinting tools, and countermeasures.
- Network scanning techniques and scanning countermeasures
- Enumeration techniques and enumeration countermeasures
- Vulnerability analysis to identify security loopholes in the target organization’s network, communication infrastructure, and end systems.
- System hacking methodology, steganography, steganalysis attacks, and covering tracks to discover system and network vulnerabilities.
- Different types of malware (Trojan, Virus, worms, etc.), system auditing for malware attacks, malware analysis, and countermeasures.
- Packet sniffing techniques to discover network vulnerabilities and countermeasures to defend against sniffing.
- Social engineering techniques and how to identify theft attacks to audit human-level vulnerabilities and social engineering countermeasures.
- DoS/DDoS attack techniques and tools to audit a target and DoS/DDoS countermeasures.
- Session hijacking techniques to discover network-level session management, authentication/authorization, and cryptographic weaknesses and countermeasures.
- Web server attacks and a comprehensive attack methodology to audit vulnerabilities in web server infrastructure and countermeasures.
- Web application attacks, comprehensive web application hacking methodology to audit vulnerabilities in web applications, and countermeasures.
- SQL injection attack techniques, injection detection tools to detect SQL injection attempts, and countermeasures.
- Wireless encryption, wireless hacking methodology, wireless hacking tools, and Wi-Fi security tools.
- The mobile platform attack vector, android vulnerability exploitations, and mobile security guidelines and tools.
- Firewall, IDS, and honeypot evasion techniques, evasion tools and techniques to audit a network perimeter for weaknesses, and countermeasures.
- Cloud computing concepts (Container technology, serverless computing), the working of various threats and attacks, and security techniques and tools.
- Penetration testing, security audit, vulnerability assessment, and penetration testing roadmap.
- Threats to IoT and O.T. platforms and defending IoT and O.T. devices.
- Cryptography ciphers, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), cryptography attacks, and cryptanalysis tools.
Why Get the CEH Certification?
Cyber threats have escalated worldwide, and the trend is expected to continue. Unfortunately, most commercial organizations and mid-level government organizations are behind the curve in adequately preparing to meet the increased threat. In many cases, this is because they cannot find skilled personnel to support filling the open positions within their organization. It may also be because budgets do not yet have the necessary funding to meet hiring needs to meet the escalating cyber threats.
There is a massive global shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals at this time. In 2022 the situation continues to get worse. Many new positions remain open for months placing much heavier workloads on existing team members. The workloads are so high that many of the existing team members don’t have the time to learn the latest skills and stay current with the corresponding skill levels of the threat actors.
CEH Certification opens the door to a multitude of open cybersecurity positions. Roles include cloud security specialist, cybersecurity analyst, security investigator, security system administrator, application security specialist, Linux server administrator, digital forensics specialist, risk analysis specialist, penetration tester, network security administrator, mobile security specialist, database security specialist, incident response manager, security auditor, and many more.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that an information security analyst will be the 10th fastest-growing occupation between 2020 and 2030. This forecast includes a projected growth rate of over 30% versus 4%, on average, for all careers nationwide. Information security analyst careers represent an outstanding opportunity for those certified under CEH.
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