Here at TCS, we love to spotlight the many enriching careers in a broad range of fields that can be built from a foundation in coding. One of the more surprising (and exciting!) coding careers involves the field of Ethical Hacking.
Ethical hacking is legally breaking into computers and devices to test the strength of an organization's defenses. It's among the most exciting IT jobs out there. You are literally getting paid to keep up with the latest technology and employ your creativity & coding strategy to break into computers. Ethical hackers aim to investigate the system for weak points that malicious hackers might be able to exploit. They collect and analyze the information to figure out ways to strengthen the security of the system/network/applications. By collecting this info, ethical hackers can figure out ways to strengthen a network’s security so that it can better withstand future attacks.
Companies engage ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities in their systems, so that they can develop preventative solutions and stave off data breaches. From the ethical hacker’s point of view, there are no bad outcomes: if you manage to hack past the company’s current defenses, you’ve given them a chance to close the hole before a malicious hacker discovers it. If you can’t hack your way through, your happy client gets to declare their systems unhackable.
Ethical hackers are sometimes called “White Hat” hacking — they’re the good guys! In contrast, Black Hat hackers use illegal means to compromise security systems or leak stolen information. There is even a third group, called “Grey Hat” hackers. Grey Hats aren’t hired by a company, and they don’t ask for permission before hacking into a system, but they’re distinct from Black Hats in that they don’t hack for any personal or third-party benefit. In other words, these hackers may not be condoned by the system they’re hacking into, but they also don’t have any malicious intent – they’re usually just hacking for fun or to test their own abilities.
Keep an eye out in the coming weeks and months for more blogs in the Coding Career Spotlight series. You might be surprised to learn about all of the professional paths that open up with a coding education!