What to look for in ethical hacking training

Web ProCategory
7 min read
Tushar Johari

Do you know there were more than 3,13,000 cyber security incidents reported in the country in 2019? This has only increased, as hackers have taken advantage of the mass migration to work-from-home to break into private networks. Although it might seem like a dire situation, it presents opportunities for anyone interested in the field of ethical hacking. In this article, we will discuss some ethical hacking training courses that could help boost your career as an ethical hacker.

The internet has become an integral part of our lives, but we keep hearing about these malicious cyber attacks.

Ethical hackers test IT systems to evaluate their weaknesses or vulnerabilities. There is a huge demand for ethical hackers within the corporate structure and this can lead to a highly rewarding career for those trained in this speciality.

Related: How to install network firewall security for clients

5 options for ethical hacking training

Ethical or white hat hackers are the ones who break into IT systems with permission from the business owners. If you are looking for ethical hacking training, here are a few options to consider:

  1. The Complete Ethical Hacking Course Bundle (STATION X).
  2. Licensed Penetration Tester Course.
  3. Udemy - Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch.
  4. Cybrary.
  5. Recognized ethical hacking certifications.

Before we share our list of training options, let’s define what ethical hacking is and what skills it requires.

What is ethical hacking?

Ethical hacking is legitimately intruding in a particular system with the intention to assess the threats in those systems.

Unlike malicious hacking, the ethical hacking process is approved by the company — it’s planned and legitimate.

Ethical Hacking Training Programmer with Headphones

In this case, the intention is not destructive, rather it is used to implement stronger security systems and measures to prevent any future cyberattack.

In the process of ethical hacking, a company allows security experts to legitimately break into their systems to find and fix the holes and vulnerabilities black hat hackers could use to hack in.

Responsibilities of ethical hackers

A good ethical hacker must know his responsibilities and adhere to them. Main responsibilities of an ethical hacker are to:

  • Get authorization from the company before trying to breach their network and performing the security assessment on the system.
  • Assess vulnerabilities by scanning the ports and checking the patches. They also implement social engineering hacks like scavenging in bins for charts, sniffing, phishing, session hijacking and so on.
  • Report the weaknesses or vulnerabilities found in the system.
  • Keep the outcome confidential and erase all the traces of the legitimate hack so malicious hackers cannot enter the system through identified loopholes.

White hat hackers should follow all legitimate practices to protect IT systems and data from malicious hacking attempts.

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Skills needed to be an ethical hacker

As we discussed earlier, ethical hacking is a financially and professionally rewarding career and anyone having an interest in programming and solving complex problems can be a good fit. There is a set of mandatory skills that an ethical hacker must possess to efficiently perform their tasks.

Programming skills

Ethical hackers must understand the code to spot loopholes and correct them to reduce risk of hacking.

Ethical Hacking Training Closeup of Code
Web developers and programmers can become ethical hackers with training.
Photo: Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Understanding of networks

Networks are prone to attacks, since several devices access them across various platforms. An ethical hacker should have a strong knowledge of networks to eliminate any potential threat and identify if the system is compromised.

Understanding of databases, both relational and non-relational

Data security is the prime concern for corporations these days, as hackers try to steal confidential information by attacking the database systems of large companies.

You’ll also need to know your way around operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux and Unix, and be familiar with various hacking tools and software available in the market.

How to choose the right training

It is crucial to choose the right ethical hacking training program, especially if you’re paying for it. Keep these factors in mind while making your decision:

Syllabus of the training program

There may be certain areas of the field like social engineering, network security, cryptography, etc. in which you are primarily interested or want to make your career in. Research the syllabus of the program thoroughly to be doubly sure that the course covers those topics in detail.

Your experience level

Beginners and experienced professionals opt for different courses depending on their level of experience. For beginners, the best-suited courses are those where they can learn ethical hacking from scratch. Experienced professionals opt for more advanced programs that can hone their existing skills.


Ask experienced security professionals you know about the training courses they recommend. Then read online reviews about the course and browse all forums to understand the quality of the course.

Mode of delivery

Primarily training programs are delivered in three ways:

  • Self-paced
  • Live-online
  • In person (boot camps or master classes)

Choose the program that delivers the course in your preferable mode.


Last but not the least, the budget is an important criterion. Courses are available in all price ranges. You have to select the course that balances well within your career aspirations and pocket-friendliness.

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Ethical Hacking Training Coder Seen from Behind
Consider focus, mode of delivery and price when choosing a course or certification.
Photo: Arian Darvishi on Unsplash

A few training options to consider

In addition to the free courses offered through providers like edX, you might consider these ethical hacking training programs:

1. The Complete Ethical Hacking Course Bundle (STATION X)

This is one of the best comprehensive courses for beginners. There is a bundle of five courses that you can purchase.

2. Licensed Penetration Tester Course

This class is a more advanced and well-recognized certification from EC-Council.

3. Udemy - Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch

Udemy’s Learn ethical hacking from scratch course includes 12.5 hrs of video content and is designed for absolute beginners in this field. Udemy regularly runs several discounts.

4. Cybrary

Cybrary offers several courses in ethical hacking. You can choose and start the course in which you are interested with an annual subscription.

5. Recognized ethical hacking certifications

Ethical hacking training certifications can also open new opportunities and career paths for you. You earn a certification by evaluating the security of systems using penetration testing. Some popular global certifications:

These certifications may also help you in seeking a better job and outshining other job candidates.

This field will only grow

Every other day we hear about some malicious hacking activities and security breaches in the IT systems of both big and small corporations. Data security and confidentiality is of prime importance for the companies that own valuable customer information.

Therefore, ethical hacking has gained massive popularity and importance to keep the networks safe.

Now you have a brief idea about the field and available training programs. So what are you waiting for? If this field really interests you, then just choose a suitable ethical hacking training program and kick start a new career in ethical hacking.

This post does not represent an endorsement of any of the training programs mentioned here. Information was accurate as of publication date.