Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that a cyber attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021. The key to staying one step ahead of hackers is to learn the tools they use to exploit systems. By learning how to find vulnerabilities and hack into systems, you can stop attacks before they happen. 

With that in mind, Udacity is excited to introduce the newest addition to our catalog — the Ethical Hacker Nanodegree program.

What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is when someone with the knowledge to infiltrate systems uses their abilities to help organizations increase their security, instead of stealing data or causing harm. Also known as penetration testing, ethical hackers spend their time looking for weak points in the defenses of applications and networks through audits. 

At the end of the audit, the penetration tester compiles a report of vulnerabilities and suggested fixes. While being able to be hacked (even by an ethical hacker) isn’t great for any company, it’s better to have someone on the side of the business find the problem before a real hacker comes along to take advantage of it.

Ethical Hacker Program Details 

The Ethical Hacker Nanodegree program will prepare students to manage the vulnerability lifecycle, perform security audits, identify and research vulnerabilities in systems and compile reports to display findings.

To get the most out of this course, it’s important to know basic Linux commands, at least one programming language (such as Python), understand networking basics and be familiar with some base-level computer security, such as three-way handshake, encryption and hashing. To complete the coursework required for the Ethical Hacker Nanodegree program, students must have a processor with at least 2 GHz speed with virtualization, x64 support, 8GB DDR3 or higher RAM, and a minimum of 100GB storage (SSD preferred).

In as little as two months (at 5-10 hours per week), students who enroll in the Ethical Hacker Nanodegree program will learn how to conduct audits and hack into systems to help businesses increase their cybersecurity practices.

Ethical Hacking Projects

Project 1: Audit ExampleCorp

Audit an imaginary company by scanning for vulnerability, assigning risk ratings and using semi-automated and fully-automated tools. In this project, students will conduct a phishing simulation, create malware for test attacks and write up a full audit report.

Project 2: Red Teaming Operations

Use penetration testing and red teamer methodologies to hack into a system and compile a full report that highlights the business applications of the security testing. In this project, students will find and exploit vulnerabilities in-network services, then cover their tracks to understand ways to increase security practices.

Learning from Top Cybersecurity Professionals

To develop this program’s world-class curriculum, we collaborated with top tier professionals from across the cybersecurity industry. Our collaborators contributed guidance and feedback to focus the program on the most in-demand skills. Each of the instructors has extensive cybersecurity and teaching experience. 


Ethical Hackers are In-demand

There’s never been a better time to be an ethical hacker. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics   (BLS) reports jobs in information security analysis, including penetration testing and ethical hacking, are expected to rise 31% by 2029. As of 2019, there are 131,000 open roles and that number is only going up. Additionally, ethical hackers and penetration testers make a reported median salary of $99,730 a year.

Become an Ethical Hacker

If you’re someone who already has some knowledge of computers and network systems and wants to advance your career into cybersecurity, the Ethical Hacker Nanodegree program is the perfect next step for you. All it takes to become an ethical hacker is persistence, a tactical mindset and a genuine interest in technical systems (and how to protect them).

Meet the industry demand by enrolling in the Ethical Hacker Nanodegree program. Get started now!

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