Tutorial

CEH certification in a nutshell: A Tutorial

Professional certification courses provide a quick way for IT professionals to improve their career prospects. Organizations in India and worldwide prefer certified professionals for their IT needs as they are seen to possess the specialized skill-sets needed to handle complex technologies, or to manage the ever-changing information security domain.

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification from the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is one such highly sought-after IT security certification. The EC-Council is an independent professional certification organization providing certification in IT security, disaster recovery, secure programming and e-business.

EC-Council's CEH certification training is aimed at security officers and auditors, site administrators, webmasters, and other personnel responsible for monitoring and maintaining computer networks. The course and CEH certification exam are conducted by the EC-Council through its affiliate training partners worldwide.

The EC-Council's CEH certification is unique in that it is attack-based and vendor neutral, giving it an edge over certification programs that are vendor-specific, such as the Microsoft or Cisco certification programs, or those that focus on defensive security strategies such as firewalls and antivirus. CEH trainees are trained to think and act like hackers, using techniques used by actual hackers. CEH certification training covers both

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hardware and software, and features content from diverse platforms and technologies. CEH certification is said to be the most comprehensive ethical hacker certification program available today.

Career value of CEH certification

The CEH certification is recognized worldwide and endorsed by top government and corporate organizations. CEH certified professionals go on to join the ranks of the elite in computer security, working in areas ranging from corporate security to government and military services. CEH certification helps professionals find employment in organizations such as the United Nations, the US Army and FBI, Microsoft, IBM, and other Fortune 500 companies.

The US Department of Defense includes CEH certification in its Directive 8570, making it one of the standards to be achieved by Computer Network Defenders Service Providers (CND-SP). IT professionals in India can expect a 15% to 20% hike in their salaries after CEH certification.

Overview of CEH training

CEH certificationtrainees use techniques and tools used by actual blackhat hackers to scan, test, hack and secure their own systems. They learn how perimeter defenses work and are trained to scan and penetrate their own lab networks. The CEH courseware is based on actual research in the hacker underground community by EC-Council researches, and features the latest tools, attacks and exploits used by present-day hackers.

CEHv7

CEHv7 (CEH version 7) is the newest version of the CEH certification. New additions in CEHv7 include the Frankenstein code repository and iLabs. The Frankenstein repository provides the latest penetration testing tools for download, while iLabs is a subscription-based, virtualized remote Windows server environment for lab exercises.

CEH course and CEH certification exam

CEH certification training spans five full days. The CEHv7 course in India costs between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000. The training modules include hardware and software topics to help trainees understand how real-world hackers operate, and to enable them to hack on their own. Complete details of the course are available at http://www.eccouncil.org/certification/certified_ethical_hacker.aspx.

The CEHv7 course prepares trainees for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker exam 312-50. The CEH certification exam, currently in version 7.1, is usually conducted on the last day of training.

The CEHv7 certification exam 312-50 consists of 150 multiple choice questions, taken over a four-hour period. Candidates must score at least 70% in the exam, to be awarded CEH certification.

Candidates who do not wish to attend the CEH certification training course at an EC-Council accredited training center must show documentation demonstrating at least two years of information security related experience, pay a non-refundable application fee of USD 100 and complete an exam eligibility form, to qualify for the CEH certification exam.

EC-Council Accredited Training Centers

CEH training and certification are provided through EC-Council Accredited Training Centers (ATCs). In India, leading ATCs include:

CEH instructors

The EC-Council places great emphasis on the quality of its instructors and encourages experienced security professionals to become instructors. A Certified EC-Council Instructor (CEI) is required to have hands-on information security experience, and must be certified in the designated program.

Aspiring CEH instructors may need to attend the EC-Council Train-The-Trainer course and pass the CEI Exam. However, trainers certified for other major certification programs, and holding MCT, CTT++ or similar certifications, are exempt from this requirement.

EC-Council contact details

For more information about the EC-Council and CEH certification, enquire at http://ww.eccouncil.org/contact_us.aspx. Information requests on CEH certification sent to info@eccouncil.org will be entertained only from company email addresses. 

The EC-Council distributor in India is Comguard Networks, contactable on +91 22 40243181, or by email to mail@comguard.net.

This was first published in August 2011