What Is a Certified Ethical Hacker

What Is Ethical Hacking? Becoming an Ethical Hacker

June 12, 2022
| Ethical Hacking

It’s strange to think about, but imagine walking into a business and saying, “Yes, hello. I’d like to hack your entire computer network…ethically.”

If the company was smart, they’d respond: “That sounds great—let’s talk.”

The Need for Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking has become a highly in-demand field. Ethical hackers can conduct a variety of useful assessments (Ahmed, 2021), including:

  • Exploring a company’s security system to find vulnerabilities
  • Assisting a company in developing appropriate training tools to close security loopholes and prevent social engineering and phishing attacks
  • Making recommendations about network vulnerabilities and how to address them

Ethical hacking works well when combined with other cybersecurity measures, such as penetration testing. Penetration testers check for weak points in computer networks, analyze security systems, and identify openings that ethical hackers can exploit. Penetration testing is the first step in testing a network’s security, since it often happens after a vulnerability assessment (a test that helps show where weaknesses lie).

What Is a Certified Ethical Hacker?

EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) certification allows cybersecurity professionals to demonstrate their competency in the technical skills required to perform ethical hacking. The certification teaches learners how they can use the most up-to-date hacking tools and information about security flaws to better protect their clients.

The C|EH certification from EC-Council is the leading ethical hacking course available today, as it teaches an array of skills unavailable elsewhere. In the C|EH program, you’ll learn about numerous essential topics, including vulnerability assessments, social engineering and phishing tactics, and penetration testing.

Certified Ethical Hackers Create Value

Ethical hackers have a significant and positive impact on the business community. Consider the following:

  • Billions of records—including sensitive personal information—have been compromised in hundreds of attacks over the past few years (Lazic, 2021), and businesses are growing increasingly nervous about cybercrime’s potential impact.
  • By October, the number of cyberattacks in 2021 had already eclipsed all of 2020 (Brooks, 2021).
  • The average cost and overall number of cyberattacks continue to grow, with ransomware attacks becoming increasingly common (Insurance Information Institute, 2021).

The fact that cybercrime has become such a massively pressing issue demonstrates the importance of ethical hackers. Businesses increasingly need to develop robust anti-hacking protocols, and ethical hackers are a vital part of these security plans.

Career Opportunities for Certified Ethical Hackers

Ethical hacking certifications are not only good for businesses that hire certified ethical hackers—they’re also good for ethical hackers themselves.

What does this mean, exactly? Career opportunities. The demand for ethical hackers is rising, and as many as 3.5 million new computer security positions may open up in the next 3 years; however, hundreds of thousands of these jobs will go unfilled unless more people become qualified cybersecurity professionals (Morgan, 2021).

The laws of supply and demand will likely apply here, pushing salaries higher. As of March 2022, the average salary for a certified ethical hacker is around USD 103,000 (Salary.com, 2022). This salary is well above the average American’s annual pay, and it seems likely to increase in the future.

Comparing Cybersecurity Certifications

EC-Council’s C|EH is the leading certification for those seeking a career in ethical hacking. While you may have seen the C|EH compared with other certifications, like CompTIA’s Security+ and PenTest+, you should know that these comparisons are misleading. Directly comparing the C|EH certification with Sec+ or PenTest+ fails to consider the C|EH’s unique strengths.

The truth is, there’s no one-to-one comparison for these certifications—each is designed to achieve different things. A better comparison would be EC-Council’s Certified Cybersecurity Technician (C|CT) versus Security+ or EC-Council’s Certified Penetration Tester (C|PENT) versus PenTest+. These offerings from EC-Council have numerous advantages, including flexibility, more up-to-date curricula, and integration of real-world examples and practice.

How to Become an Ethical Hacker

Becoming an ethical hacker can be exceptionally useful. Ethical hacking is a valuable skill that can protect an organization and position you for significant career success.

At EC-Council, we’ve developed a robust curriculum for the C|EH program: a serious, in-depth certification designed to give you the industry-relevant skills necessary to become an ethical hacker.

In the C|EH course, you’ll learn about a wide variety of aspects of ethical hacking, including:

  • The 18 most common attack vectors used by hackers
  • Modern exploit technologies, including application to existing, new, and emerging vulnerabilities
  • Contemporary and ongoing cyberattacks, including what you can learn from them and how ethical hackers could have helped prevent them
  • How to stay on top of the latest technological developments to ensure that your skills are always as sharp and up to date as possible

Now that you know how to become an ethical hacker, it’s the perfect time to get started. The skill is useful, valuable, and in demand, and it can lead to a high-paying career. Learn more and sign up for EC-Council’s C|EH program today!


Ahmed, A. (2021, December 13). HackerOne releases its ethical hacking security report for the year 2021. Digital Information World. https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2021/12/hackerone-releases-its-ethical-hacking.html

Brooks, C. (2021, October 24). More alarming cybersecurity stats for 2021! Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckbrooks/2021/10/24/more-alarming-cybersecurity-stats-for-2021-/

Insurance Information Institute. (2021). Facts + statistics: Identity theft and cybercrime. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-identity-theft-and-cybercrime

Lazic, M. (2022, January 17). 39 worrying cyber crime statistics [updated for 2022]. Legal Jobs. https://legaljobs.io/blog/cyber-crime-statistics/

Morgan, S. (2021, November 11). Cybersecurity jobs report: 3.5 million openings in 2025. Cybercrime Magazine. https://cybersecurityventures.com/jobs/

Salary.com. (2022, March 29). Ethical hacker salary. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/posting/ethical-hacker-salary

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