4 Great Reasons to Pick Up the Fine Art of Ethical Hacking

You’ve heard of hackers, but what about ethical hackers?

Working on behalf of a network’s owners, these individuals purposefully bypass a system’s security to identify potential data breaches and threats before malicious hackers can exploit them. In a nutshell, ethical hackers are authorised to gain unauthorised access into IT systems to test their defenses.

Sounds cool? We think so too. Here are 4 reasons why ethical hacking is a skill you should adopt.

1) Cybersecurity specialists are in high demand

The introduction of the Cybersecurity Act in 2018, a rapid increase in cybercrime as well as the strong digital push in Singapore have all contributed significantly to the increasing need for cybersecurity specialists. Demand has been robust: the cybersecurity specialist is the eighth fastest-growing job locally according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report for Singapore[1], with the role having grown at a rate of 5.5 times between 2013-2017 alone.[2]

Recognising the importance of protecting Singapore from online threats, the Singapore Government made “Digital Defence” the sixth Total Defence pillar in 2019. If you’re keen on joining the sector, PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts that roles in threat and vulnerability management will see above-average market growth[3], which is why having strong ethical hacking skills will give you an advantage over your peers.

2) Cyber security professionals receive attractive remuneration

Singapore’s technological sector currently faces a labour crunch[4]. In 2019, a survey independently commissioned by professional recruitment consultancy Robert Halffound that 87% of Chief Information Officers find it more difficult to source qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago.[5]

The shortage of tech talent has led to pay raises across the industry, which extends to the niche field of cybersecurity. According to specialist recruitment firm Hays Singapore, cybersecurity salaries increased by around 10-15% in 2018 and were predicted to rise by 20-25% from late 2019 onwards[6]. The firm has also identified ethical hackers, also known as penetration testers or pentesters for short, to be a role in high demand[7]. Ethical hackers currently earn an annual average salary ranging between SGD 48,000-SGD 81,000[8], and there is a high chance that these figures will rise due to the need for such talent.

3) Ethical hacking expertise will improve your career prospects

Being well-versed in ethical hacking and undertaking a professional certification for it will put you in good stead during your job search! Here’s why: look up available cybersecurity positions and you’ll notice a few recurring abbreviations in many organisations’ job advertisements. One of these abbreviations, for example, is ‘CEH’, which stands for Certified Ethical Hacker.

Awarded by the world’s largest cybersecurity technical certification body, the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (ie. the EC-Council), the CEH qualification is internationally recognised and endorsed by government bodies such as the United States Department of Defense. In Singapore, the qualification has been part of the National Infocomm Competency Framework’s competency requirement list since 2008[9]. In April 2019, at least 4,000 jobs listed the CEH qualification as a decisive selection criterion in the United States alone[10], further reflecting the cybersecurity industry’s need for individuals with ethical hacking know-how.

4) There is growing support for ethical hacking and penetration testing in Singapore

As Singapore moves towards becoming a Smart Nation spearheading global innovation, companies and organisations have been working on strengthening and safeguarding their digital information systems.

The Singapore Government has been heavily investing in growing the number of white hat hackers[11], giving individuals talented in ethical hacking more opportunities to shine. Just last year, the government collaborated with the cybersecurity community to uncover online vulnerabilities in its internet-facing systems through its third running Bug Bounty Programme[12]. It has also launched the SG Cyber Talent initiative, which will introduce two new programmes to nurture top young talent and leaders in cybersecurity.[13]

Here’s something else to get you excited: HackerOne,a leading hacker-powered security platform, established their official Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore to meet the region’s cybersecurity needs[14]. This further cements the nation’s growing status as a cyber forensics and ethical hacking hub, and we’re looking forward to future developments in this area.

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Are you excited to explore the world of ethical hacking?

If you’ve answered with a solid yes, pick up the CEH qualification to provide yourself the skills you’ll need! Kaplan Singapore’s CEH course is a 5-day hands-on programme that prepares you for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker exam. You’ll be taught by lecturers with over 15 years of industry experience and even receive an exclusive day one starter kit—comprising over 2200 professional hacking tools to put your newly acquired knowledge to practice.

Upon gaining the Certified Ethical Hacker qualification, you can choose to study for the other EC-Council certifications to build up your knowledge and credentials.

We wish you all the best as you get started on the journey of a lifetime. If you are an ethical hacker with experiences to share, our readers could benefit immensely from your story. Why not leave us a message or comment below? We look forward to hearing from you.

[1]https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/emerging-jobs-report/SG_EJR_2020_Final.pdf

[2]https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/talent-intelligence/emerging-jobs/sg-emerging-jobs-report

[3]https://www.pwc.com/sg/en/publications/assets/unlocking-cybersecurity-growth-potential.pdf

[4]https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/companies-hunt-for-talent-as-singapore-tech-sector-continues-to-12133838

[5]https://www.roberthalf.com.sg/research-insights/salary-guide/it-technology

[6]https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/3002192/talent-shortage-for-cybersecurity-roles-to-continue-for-next-few-years-sc

[7]ibid.

[8]https://www.payscale.com/research/SG/Job=Penetration_Tester/Salary

[9]https://www.eccouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/EC-COUNCIL-RECEIVES-NICF-AND-CITREP-ENDORSEMENT.pdf

[10]https://blog.eccouncil.org/top-10-reasons-to-pursue-the-certified-ethical-hacker-when-considering-a-career-in-cybersecurity/

[11]https://portswigger.net/daily-swig/bug-bounty-earnings-soar-but-63-of-ethical-hackers-have-withheld-security-flaws-study

[12]https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/media-releases/third-govt-bug-bounty-programme-offers-bonus-payouts-for-mobile-applications

[13]https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/budget-2020-cybersecurity-new-programmes-nurture-talent-mci-12494258

[14]https://www.hackerone.com/press-release/bug-bounty-leader-hackerone-announces-apac-headquarters-singapore

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