One of the things I love most about computers is the ability to learn something new every day. The internet helps me do that from the comfort of my own home and gives me more options than I can shake a stick at for learning new things. You can even take classes online and not just the boring ones, either. This sponsored post is about some of the coolest IT Security classes you can take online. Learn to hack online and then make money doing it.
There’s a couple different ways to think about what hacking means. To some people, it’s just seedy characters in seedy places trying to break into your computer and steal your identity. While there’s people out there who do things like that, it’s not the true definition of a hacker. A hacker is someone who thinks outside the box to obtain information and learn new things that is normally unavailable via popular channels. That said, bad hackers are out there, but there is such a thing as Ethical Hacking. Since the EC-Council site does such a good job explaining ethical hacking, I’ll let them tell you in their own words:
The goal of the ethical hacker is to help the organization take preemptive measures against malicious attacks by attacking the system himself; all the while staying within legal limits.
It’s important to note that Ethical Hacking can be learned on your own, but it’s a slow road. Besides, a Certified Ethical Hacker is bound to have better odds making more money. Friends of mine have done this as teams or solo projects and if you’re good, it pays well and is a lot of fun. Now, the pay is better than ever, even in our economy. According to a recent article on CIO.com, the pay for an ethical hacker is up 40%. One of my friends was flown to Japan to hack in to a large company’s network and make a dramatic point about their security needs by walking into a security needs meeting in a highly secured part of the building using only his skills to gain access. “You should have seen their faces”, he told me with a big grin. Speaking for the other side, I manage several servers myself and I can tell you it’s a lot cheaper to pay someone to find all the holes than it is to clean up the mess that an unethical hacker can leave if you don’t.
Roles in IT Security
What if you don’t think hacking is for you? Hacking is rewarding, but there are other IT Security roles that can also be very rewarding and they all pay well. Some of these include pro-active positions like Security Awareness, Security Fundamentals, Advanced Penetration Testing and Application Security as well as some more re-active roles like Disaster Recovery (be the hero), and Computer Forensics (see my post tomorrow for a great real-life example of this from what I dealt with today).
One thing many online classes seem to miss is that a lot of people benefit vastly from the interaction with an actual instructor that a class room environment offers. These guys know that better learning comes from the ability to talk to a real live instructor and get detailed answers to unique and specific questions. They give you access to a real person to help you along as you go.
It’s really a good looking package and I just have to pound the point home… Ethical hacking and IT security is just plain rewarding financially as well as in every other way. If you’re thinking about a career in IT, you should look into this.