How to Become an Ethical Hacker

How Security Teams Use AI To Anticipate Cyber Attacks

The demand for ethical hackers is rising in today’s digital landscape, where cybersecurity threats loom. Ethical hackers, also known as white hat hackers or penetration testers, are skilled professionals who use their expertise to identify computer systems, networks, and application vulnerabilities. They are crucial in securing and protecting organizations’ digital assets from malicious attacks. If you have a passion for technology, problem-solving, and a desire to impact cybersecurity positively, here is a step-by-step guide on becoming an ethical hacker.

Develop a Strong Foundation in Computer Science and Networking

CyberGhost’s study shows to embark on becoming an ethical hacker. It is essential to build a solid foundation in computer science and networking. Pursue a degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field to understand better computer systems, programming languages, operating systems, and network protocols. This knowledge forms the groundwork for your career as an ethical hacker.

Obtain Relevant Certifications

Certifications play a vital role in ethical hacking, as they validate your skills and knowledge in specific areas of cybersecurity. Some widespread documentation for ethical hackers are:

Certified-Ethical-Hacker (C.E.H.): 

Obtainable from EC-Council, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification equips individuals with comprehensive knowledge of hacking techniques, tools, methodologies, and ethical considerations.

Offensive-Security-Certified-Professional (O.S.C.P.): 

Provided by Offensive Security, the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification emphasizes practical penetration testing skills, equipping individuals with hands-on experience and expertise in assessing and securing networks and systems.

Certified-Information-Systems-Security-Professional (C.I.S.S.P.): 

Presented by (ISC)², the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification offers comprehensive coverage of various cybersecurity topics, encompassing ethics, legal considerations, and a wide range of industry best practices. 

Gain Hands-on Experience

Theory alone is not enough to become an effective ethical hacker. Practical experience is essential to develop the necessary skills and learn how to apply them in real-world scenarios. Seek opportunities to participate in bug bounty programs, capture the flag (CTF) competitions, or ethical hacking projects. These experiences will help you sharpen your technical abilities, understand different attack vectors, and think critically when identifying vulnerabilities. 

Learn About Various Hacking Techniques and Tools

To become a proficient ethical hacker, you must familiarize yourself with various hacking techniques and tools. Understand how hackers exploit vulnerabilities, gain unauthorized access, and manipulate systems. Some commonly used tools in ethical hacking include:


It’s a multipurpose framework for directing penetration testing and susceptibility assessments.


A network analysis tool used to capture and analyze network traffic.

Burp Suite: 

An intercepting proxy used for web application security testing.

Stay updated with the latest hacking trends, security vulnerabilities, and emerging technologies through online resources, forums, and cybersecurity communities.

Understand the Legal and Ethical Considerations

Ethical hacking comes with great responsibility. Understanding and adhering to legal and ethical considerations when performing security assessments is crucial. Familiarize yourself with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards, such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Always obtain proper authorization before conducting any security testing and respect the boundaries set by organizations.

Continuously Learn and Stay Updated

The cybersecurity scenery is constantly developing, with new intimidations and weaknesses emerging frequently. You must commit to continuous learning and self-improvement to stay relevant and effective as an ethical hacker. Subscribe to industry publications, follow cybersecurity experts on social media, attend conferences and webinars, and join professional associations and communities. Engage in ongoing training and certifications to enhance your knowledge and skills.

Develop Strong Communication and Problem-Solving Skills

Being an ethical hacker requires more than technical prowess. Problem-solving and effective communication skills are correspondingly critical. As an ethical hacker, you will often work as a team or collaborate with clients and stakeholders. You must communicate complex technical concepts, explain vulnerabilities, and provide actionable recommendations. Additionally, ethical hacking involves thinking creatively and critically to solve security challenges and devise robust solutions.

To become an ethical hacker, you must possess a blend of technical expertise, an ongoing commitment to learning, a strong sense of ethics, and practical communication skills. These elements together form the foundation for a successful career in ethical hacking, enabling you to contribute to a safer and more secure digital landscape. It is a rewarding and challenging career path that allows you to make a positive impact in the cybersecurity field. By following this step-by-step guide and staying dedicated to your professional growth, you can pave the way toward becoming a skilled and sought-after ethical hacker. Remember, great power comes with great responsibility, and you can contribute to a safer digital world as an ethical hacker.

Wali Khan
Khan is a news editor and technical content writer at BestKodiTips. Before this, he worked as a blog editor at various online platforms where he wrote mostly on streaming platforms such as Kodi, Netflix, Amazon FireTV Stick, etc. Apart from writing content, he is a national-level table tennis player and Swimmer. He also loves to play with data and get useful insights for stakeholders.

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