A Day in the Life of an Ethical Hacker

As we know, ethical hackers have become a valuable resource in many cyber systems. These hackers can help protect companies’ systems and data against attack. Thus, businesses can operate smoothly and secure their information.

Does the cyber security sector interest you? Do you want to discover a day in the life of an ethical hacker? What are the daily tasks of this role? You will find all the answers in this post. Let’s read on to discover!

An Overview Of Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking (white hat hacking) is an attempt to access systems or apps with the authorization of the owners. It can involve the same methods as hackers use.

However, the goal of ethical hacking is to help find out the security loops in the system. Thus, the engineers can find solutions to eliminate the threats and make the system more secure.

White hat hackers are the experts in this practice. They are hired by organizations to help secure their computer systems.

Ethical hackers make systems and businesses more secure.

A Day In The Life Of An Ethical Hacker

Ethical hackers attack the systems to identify their weaknesses. However, the exact methods they use are not the same. I will dwell more into these details in the following sections.

Work Environment And Job Overview

I’m working for a tech company that produces various desktop apps. Each project has a separate operating system and its own database.

Due to the high number of projects, my company needs a team of ethical hackers to maintain their security.

My job is to attack all these systems with the authorization of the company board. I will discover all the weaknesses in these systems and report them back.

Then, the team will find solutions to fix these security holes. I also develop strategies to make the apps more resilient against future attacks.

When there are no projects developed, I will research new technologies. It helps me catch up with the latest hacking tools and protect the apps better.

As a full-time employee, I have to follow the company’s fixed schedule. Besides the technical tasks, I work with many other IT departments. I also join company meetings and attend cyber events.

Now let’s discover the activities on a typical day of my work!

Identify security holes

8:30 AM

My work schedule starts at 8:30 AM and usually ends at 6:00 PM. I will come to the office about 30 minutes early to prepare for the morning work, and start by checking the company’s network to review my tasks.

The engineering team has developed a new app and finished building the system. My job is to test its security level before releasing the app. I need to assess its stability and report on the weaknesses identified.

I first have a short conversation with the software developers. It helps me understand all the features of the app thoroughly. Then, I will review their documents to check the technologies used in the project.

10:00 AM

After reviewing all details of the project, I will use a mix of scripting languages and malware to attack the system. However, this practice won’t cause any damage to the system’s structure or data.

I will try a variety of methods to test the security level of the app. If its security solutions fail to prevent my attacks, I will report back on these weaknesses.

I also find creative ways to exploit the app’s technologies. It will help the engineering team identify its setbacks and find ways to improve the app.

Find more advanced methods to attack systems

11:00 AM

After implementing all strategies, I will develop a detailed report on the project’s security level. It includes factors like:

  • How well did the security solutions of the app perform?
  • What are the weaknesses that hackers can take advantage of?
  • What are the solutions to improve the security level of the app?

I submitted this report to the team’s manager and software developers in the company. I will have a short discussion with these experts to clarify the details.

In the Afternoon

I usually spend the afternoon monitoring the apps that my company has released. I also perform different hacking techniques to test their security levels.

There are many new hacking tools developed by malicious hackers. It’s my job to find out these techniques and report them. Then, I will help the engineers develop solutions to tackle malicious hackers.

I will join the team’s meeting at about 4:00 PM to report on my progress. I also discuss with the other white hat hackers to discover better methods.

Continuous Learning And Free Time

There are many new technology tricks that malicious hackers use to attack systems. Without updating their knowledge, white hat hackers cannot deal with these new strategies effectively.

It’s the duty of ethical hackers to constantly learn and catch up with the latest changes. For this reason, I devote my free time to researching tech journals.

Also, I must learn the new techs used by corporations around the world. I can identify their security loops better if I’m familiar with the technology.

I always strive to maintain a healthy balance between life and work. Spending many hours with computer systems can lead to stress and burns out, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for ethical hackers.

Learn new cyber technologies and knowledge

Is Ethical Hacking The Right Profession For You?

In 2023, ComputerCareers.org indicated that ethical hackers could earn an average of $112,860. It’s one of the most competitive wages in the cyber industry.

You will need a wide range of computer skills and knowledge to work as an ethical hacker. Skills are vital, like the scripting languages and operating systems.

Besides, ethical hackers need to possess deep knowledge and experience in networking. The other certificates in cyber security, like CompTIA Security+ or SANS GIAC, will be beneficial.

There are many clear routes and education programs that train you to become an ethical hacker. Therefore, this career is open to anyone who loves cyber technology and wants to develop this successful career.

Final Thoughts

Ethical hackers help organizations secure their systems and protect digital assets. These hackers also keep the online world functioning effectively and bring high value to many modern businesses.

The demands for ethical hackers will keep growing when there are more systems produced. For this reason, the career prospect this role brings is very promising.

Thank you for reading!