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  /  Cybersecurity   /  Building Ethical Hacking Portfolio: Guidelines for College Students
Building Ethical Hacking Portfolio: Guidelines for College Students

Building Ethical Hacking Portfolio: Guidelines for College Students

An experienced ethical hacking portfolio is the key to becoming a professional ethical hacker.

To get a job in ethical hacking one needs to impress prospective employers with a useful portfolio. The good thing is that there is no problem in developing such an ethical hacking portfolio even for young college students, many of whom aspire to become ethical hackers. The demand for cybersecurity is continuously rising and those studying in colleges can take advantage of the situation by being employed. Broadly speaking, if one has a reasonable knowledge of wired and wireless networks, computing languages like Java, leading operating systems, and file systems and firewalls, chances are high that they are likely to achieve their goal. Let’s explore how effective is an ethical hacking portfolio for college students to pursue professional careers as ethical hackers.

Ethical hacking is conducted on the basis of a defensive knowledge domain-cum-strategy to prevent offensive, unilateral and illegal hacking with malicious intentions. There are multiple online courses to become professional ethical hackers for current college students. In preparing the portfolio with certain technicalities one must be sure of having clues to the following questions related to cybersecurity: i) How do hackers on their own enter the security systems? ii) How do they ‘steal’ computer data?  iii) How does one build the right defense mechanisms-cum-countermeasures to stop hackers in their tracks?


With these questions in the backdrop, the portfolio of ethical hacking is to reflect the candidate’s grasp over the following major technical issues in information security and cybersecurity with specialization in ethical hacking: 


Web application hacking:  

the exploitation of applications via Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which can be done by manipulating the application through its graphical web interface, tampering the Uniform Resource Identifier or exploiting the Hypertext Transfer Protocol elements


Social engineering:

It is a manipulation technique that exploits human error, such as unsuspected users providing data, being party to malware functions, and giving access to restricted systems, to gain private information, access, or valuables


System hacking:

the compromise between computer systems and software to access the target computer and steal or misuse sensitive information


Hacking wireless networks: 

Sniffing the network packets from different locations by taking advantage of radio waves which are the basis of wireless networks


Web server hacking:

Being a system used for storing, processing, and delivering websites web servers are highly vulnerable to hacking.


There are also five phases of ethical hacking which are supposed to be the important constituents of the ethical hacking portfolio: 



The preparatory phase in which the hacker collects relevant data and information about a target before launching an attack and it is completed in phases prior to exploiting system vulnerabilities



This phase is composed of a set of procedures for identifying live hosts, ports, and services, discovering the operating system (such as Microsoft/Linux) and architecture of the target system, and identifying vulnerabilities and threats in the network


Gaining access:

In this phase, an attacker breaks into the system/network using various tools or methods and then increases his privilege to the administrator level so he can install an application needed to modify/hide data


Maintaining access:

This phase consists of the process in which the hacker, having gained access to a system, installs some backdoors in order to break into the system in future


Covering tracks:

The final stage of a penetration test is a process, with the goal of erasing the digital signs left out by the pen tester during the earlier stages of the test


The ethical hacking portfolio may also reflect the work experience of college students with some organizations or in the absence of any organizational affiliation, some kind of work-related to ethical hacking as aspiring or professional ethical hackers, done individually by the applicant, say, by way of projects in the cybersecurity domain.

The following guidelines confirm the prevalent idea that having an appropriately constructed ethical hacking portfolio is of great importance because during the interview it generates the employers’ confidence in the candidate. It is thus an essential tool for ‘marketing’ oneself for a job in cybersecurity.