Tackling the hacker
Cyber security is of vital importance in today's business world, and experts are in great demand.
With the increased use of Internet in our day-to-day life, a virtual world has been created with enormous possibilities.
Although of great utility to us, this virtual world is prone to real threats which include an array of cyber crimes. In this day and age, information security holds immense importance as businesses are going global and processes are increasingly being controlled over networks. There is a growing need for professionals to ensure network and data security.
IT security, which is also referred to as cyber security, is the protection of information against unauthorised disclosure, transfer or modification, whether accidental or intentional.
Computer networking is the key to flow of information. It is, therefore, important to protect computer systems and networks from hacking, information stealing and corruption.
Ethical hackers are actually paid to find security breach in an organisation's network. It is done with the client's permission. Many companies today employ hackers to protect their critical data from possible cracker attacks. They also educate government agencies, defence services, banks and law enforcement bodies on how to better use technology to get their jobs done securely. It is important that one thinks like a hacker in order to be able to crack the hacker. Security is not just about installing systems and files for viruses. It's about managing and securing the knowledge and intellectual property of the organisation.
According to a U.S. Treasury advisors' report, global cyber crime was the largest illegal industry in 2005. It turned in more money than even drug trafficking.
Today, hackers outnumber IT security professionals by 3 to 1 and this scenario needs to change if we want a safer future.
The field of cyber security is growing as fast as computers. Companies are spending as much as three to four per cent of their annual budget on information security and hiring smart hackers to test the soundness of their network security systems.
In India, as the concept of e-security is still not fully developed, ethical hacking is not as popular. However, it is fast catching up and very soon constructive hacking will become a part of technology consulting.
Security professionals are among the most sought after in the IT industry. According to figures released by NASSCOM, over 1,88,000 vacancies will be created in this field by 2008.
Job opportunities are limitless and exist in financial institutions, insurance companies, banks, research institutions, media and entertainment organisations and government, defence and law enforcement agencies. Multinational companies also insist on security certifications.
The unparalleled growth of the IT industry has also fuelled the demand for various specialised security professionals firewall analysts, incident handlers, cyber law experts, security trainers and cryptographists, and PKI (public key infrastructure) and cyber insurance analysts.
IT professionals can work as
Network Security Systems Manager
Network Security Systems Administrator
Network Security Engineer
Systems/Applications Security Executive
Web Security Administrator
Web Security Manager
Data Security Specialist
Chief Information Security Officer
Computer Forensics Investigator
IT Security Consultant
IT Security Manager
IT Security Administrator
Security Certified Programmer
The Manipal education group and a leading U.S.-based IT security education and training provider, Appin Knowledge Solutions, recently announced a tie-up to launch India's first long-distance programme in IT security and ethical hacking. The MASE certification course has been created by leading security professionals with work experience in companies including IBM, Microsoft, Sapient, Motorola, HSBC and alumni and professors from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, University of Texas at Austin, U.S., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Boston, U.S.
This course offers the flexibility of learning from home while enjoying the benefits of classroom teaching. Contact classes will be conducted across major cities at various learning centres and coaching for certification examination will be made available to the students.
The MASE certification course covers both hacking and security. It offers hands-on training to the students, covering more than 50 tools with audio-visual demonstrations.
The course also covers latest techniques and practices in the security industry along with case studies.
There is no particular pre-requisite for joining level 1 of MASE. The course is framed in a simplified manner and covers basic concepts, slowly building on to the next level. Anyone who wants to make a career in the Information Security sector can apply.
The recommended duration of the course is two months assuming that you will spend about two hours daily. However, if you are able to spend more time, you could be ready for the examination earlier. Placement assistance will be provided after successful completion of the course. With strong industry tie-ups, MASE has worked towards ensuring that the certification is valued and accepted by the industry. IT security professionals are highly paid.
To apply, students can log on to www.mase.manipal.edu and follow the directions for applying to the course. The fee for level 1 is Rs. 7,500.
The MASE certification course on `Information Security and Ethical Hacking' is a self-learning course coupled with contact classes.
The writer is an IT security expert
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