With the first batch of the NIIT-EC Council ethical hacking course to graduate this month, NIIT Group President, Skills and Careers, Shivan Bhargava said the feedback has been positive. The Indian based-company which trains individuals in information technology, business process outsourcing, banking finance and insurance among others launched the ethical hacking course in October-November last year owing to the dearth of ethical hackers in the country.
The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC Council) is a certification body based in New Mexico best known for its certified ethical hacker programme. “EC Council’s certificates are hugely recognised across the globe. With this tie-up, NIIT has industry practitioners and those involved in research imparting training in the ethical hacking programme. We have a special capsule on cyber law. We also have guided virtual labs for the students,” says Bhargava.
The course duration is three months and is held for four hours every Saturday making it convenient for IT professionals to take out time on weekends. The students should have a working knowledge of operating systems like UNIX and Linux, SQL, database servers and a minimum experience of one-three years in the IT field to be eligible for the course. Those who wish to test their knowledge of networking concepts and especially TCP/IP fundamentals, can take an online test on NIIT’s website. “Every organisation has a firewall and to make it foolproof, it gives licence to ethical hackers to hack to see how vulnerable they are. Simply put, if every house had a lock, to make the lock foolproof, one needs to know how the lock is made, that’s how ethical hacking works,” he explains.
Some of the modules include Footprinting and Reconnaissance, Scanning Networks, Trojans and Backdoors, Viruses and Worms, Sniffers, Social Engineering, Denial of Service, Session Hijacking, Hacking Webservers, Hacking Web Applications, SQL Injection, Hacking Wireless Networks, Hacking Mobile Platforms, Evading IDS, Firewalls, and Honeypots, Buffer Overflow, Cryptography and Penetration Testing.
The second batch is set to start soon. Asked if they plan to take the course to colleges, Bhargava says the delivery mechanisms do not allow them to do so. “The course is priced at `29,000. Though the course is available only in select NIIT centres, it is available in all metros which is where the IT market largely is,” he says. According to NASSCOM, India will require at least 1.8 lakh IT security professionals and over 70,000 ethical hackers by 2015, whereas at the moment it produces only 15,000 in a year, said a statement released by NIIT recently.
With IT majors increasingly adopting cloud computing, challenges to secure data has become more important than ever. With Indian e-commerce industry increasing by the day, the need for trained network security professionals is becoming essential. Though India has low internet penetration cybercrimes in India has seen a multi-fold increase. Ethical hacking as a career provides lucrative options and short-term courses like these act as value additions.