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What the Heck Is An Ethical Hacker?

Published: January 11, 2017

Hacking. You’ve heard the term used over and over and over again. And it all sounds pretty scary. Did the Russians really hack the 2016 U.S. elections?1 Were the health records of 79 million people compromised in Anthem Health Insurance’s security breach?2 And were you one of the millions of people who lost  personal info simply because you shop at Target?3

Hacking is the malicious attack of files, computers, and networks that can result in catastrophic consequences for businesses and individuals. Identities and funds are stolen. Profits are lost. And worse. Only a small fraction of companies survive longer than two years after a significant data breach.

Hacking is bad.

But what’s ethical hacking?

Ethical hackers, sometimes called white hat hackers, are the good guys. They’re the people who use all the strategies and tools of the black hat hackers, but with good purpose. They probe networks to discover vulnerabilities. Then, they put fixes and protective software in place to prevent data theft and fraud.

Ethical hacking is big business. The cyber security industry is expected to grow from its 2016 high of $122 billion to more than $200 billion by 2021.4 As long as people conduct business online, there’ll be bad actors trying to steal data and money. And as long as there are unethical hackers, there will be a need for ethical hackers.

How do you learn about ethical hacking?

Ethical hackers are IT professionals who have been in the business for a while. They’ve had formal education and training, and have attained certifications in networks and security. And they have experience. Lots of experience.

If you’d like to learn about ethical hacking, check out the Charter College Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems. This completely online IT program will teach you the basics of Ethical Hacking and help you qualify for entry level employment in such IT fields as Network Support, Architecture, and Security. Fill out the form to request further information now.


1 http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/03/politics/russia-trump-hacking-john-kirby-amanpour/

2 http://www.wsj.com/articles/anthem-hacked-database-included-78-8-million-people-1424807364

3 http://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2014/01/10/target-data-breach-spilled-info-on-as-many-as-70-million-customers/#30ae31156bd1

4 http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/cyber-security-market-505.html