To become a professional ethical hacker, or white hat, you will need to get a CEH course under your belt and pass the CEH examination. If defending networks and organizations from malicious hackers sounds exciting, then keep reading to discover all you need to know.
This extensive guide will walk you through a variety of certification tips. Explore how to earn your certified ethical hacker (CEH) certification, how long it takes, how much it will cost, the application process, the best training programs, and much more.
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What Is the CEH Certification?
The certification for ethical hacking is mainly proof of your abilities, but it also doubles as interview preparation. For most careers in ethical hacking, you have to be ready for tough technical questions in your interview and will require your CEH.
As a globally recognized certification, EC-Council certified ethical hackers inspire more trust in their employers and colleagues. Plus, it highlights your real-world hacking skills and identifies you as capable of defending different operating systems and networks.
The certification is extensive and covers a range of key topics. These include introducing scanning networks, malware threats, vulnerability analysis, system hacking, and social engineering.
What Are the Benefits of the CEH Certification?
Below are the main benefits of gaining your CEH certification and reasons to consider doing the EC council exams.
- Gain Knowledge. CEH training will improve your awareness of risks and ways that hackers can attack a system. It will teach you how to spot a hacker on the network and provide knowledge in network security.
- Advance your Career. The exam is not only for penetration testers. It is also great for anyone in IT security or for general network professionals.
- Think Like a Hacker. Learn the strategies that hackers implement, learn to think as they do, and improve the speed at which you fend off the attacks.
- Salary Boost. There is no doubt that CEH training will help advance your ethical hacking career and help bring in more money.
Earning Your CEH
First, almost all candidates will need to take the EC-Council’s training program to be eligible for the exam. Exemptions are only offered to professionals with two years of experience in the network or information security fields.
How Long Does It Take to Become CEH Certified?
The CEH exam has 125 questions and lasts four hours. This may sound like plenty of time, but the multiple-choice questions have fairly complex parameters. To pass, you will need to earn at least 70 percent on the exam, which works out to 88 correct answers.
How Much Does the CEH Cost?
The exam costs around $500 for those who took the CEH training program. Those exempted from the training on account of their experience must pay an additional $100 for the application fee. The training fees vary by provider but the program usually costs between $1,000 and $3,000.
You must typically submit proof that you have two years of work experience in a security-related field. You also need to submit a CEH exam application, which the EC-Council has to authorize before you can attempt the exam.
What Is on the CEH Exam?
The questions are like scenarios that explain possible threats, which is the test taker’s job to neutralize. To get some examples of questions on the CEH exam, try a tutorial on YouTube. Or, check our resources section below to find some websites with practice exams.
How to Become a CEH: Step-by-Step
Whether you’re just starting out or somewhere in the training process, below is a guide to get you certified and ready for a job in information security.
- Studying or Extensive Reading. A great place to start is to research subjects like digital forensics, malware detecting, pen-testing, and auditing.
- Know Your Operating Systems. To master an operating system is to learn the hardware and the software programs that manage different computers, including Windows, Mac, Kali Linux, Parrot Security OS, BackBox, and Pentoo Linux.
- Learn Network and Security. You can do this by taking either standalone computer networking courses and cyber security courses, or CompTIA certifications like Security+ and Network+.
- Important Certifications before CEH. Before heading towards completing the CEH, you should look into taking Network+, Security+, CCNA, CISA, CISM, OSCP, and CISSP.
- Take the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam. Once you are an expert programmer with good knowledge of operating systems, networks, and security, it is time for the exam.
The Best CEH Training Programs
When you feel ready to start studying for the exam, the best CEH training programs will be there to help. Explore your options for getting the best practice exam resources, the most highly regarded training programs, and free and online courses on CEH prep.
Best CEH Practice Exams
Below is a great practice option for testing your knowledge before taking the real exam. For more CEH exam practice, check the books and resources section further down.
- Name: EC-Council Certificate of CEH v10 Exam Practice App
- Time: Varies
- Questions: 800 Practice Questions
- Price: Free App for CEH Practice Tests
Use this handy app to practice for the CEH test. You can study for the exam on many devices, including mobile and web applications. Track your progress with detailed CEH exam results and historical charts. Find out how long you took, analyze your scores, and assess your strengths and weaknesses.
Best CEH Training Programs
When searching for a CEH training course, always remember to check the credentials of any website against the EC-Council’s list of unauthorized training providers. If you ask us, the following options represent the best available training for the upcoming CEH exam.
- Name: Certified Ethical Hacker Training
- Time: Varies
- Where: Online or in-person (multiple options globally)
- Price: Varies
The EC-Council offers world-class courses to go with the CEH exam. This is perfect for those who want to learn ethical hacking, footprinting, vulnerability analysis, malware threats, sniffing, social engineering, and different hacking forms.
- Name: Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH v10) Training
- Time: Varies
- Where: Online
- Price: Around $2,012
This on-demand online training by Learning Tree follows the official EC-Council Curriculum. You will have access to exam prep questions and receive an exam voucher. Learn how to become an ethical hacker and prepare for the all-important CEH test.
- Name: Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Training Course & Practical Exam
- Time: Varies
- Where: Online
- Price: £3,000 ($4,044)
In this CEH course, you can do the course and the practical exam together. You will learn the key principles and theories of ethical hacking, attack strategies, technology, tactics, tools, and criminal hackers’ motivations. It focuses on giving you the best skills to enter the industry and be a successful ethical hacker.
Best CEH Online Courses
These CEH courses are great for beginners who want to learn about ethical hacking for free, or for learners searching for a more thorough online course.
- Name: Metasploit Unleashed: Free Ethical Hacking Course
- Time: Varies
- Where: Online
- Price: Free
This course is an ideal guide for information security professionals who want to study penetration testing and ethical hacking but aren’t quite ready to commit to a paid course.
You will learn to use the Metasploit computer security project to tackle a lot of ethical hacking problems. This free course also makes a great reference guide for penetration testers or other security professionals.
- Name: CEH v11: Certified Ethical Hacking Course
- Time: 40 hours (6 months access to iLabs)
- Where: Online bootcamp
- Price: £2,899 ($3,910.25)
Accredited by the EC-Council, this excellent course will provide an array of skills. You will learn about Trojans, backdoors, firewalls, honeypots, and more advanced hacking concepts. It is the perfect online bootcamp for those who want to gain CEH training in a blended-learning setting.
The Best Online CEH Resources and Study Guides
There is plenty of useful web content for those with the patience to hunt it down. Luckily, we have made the hunt a lot easier for you. Below are the very best online resources and study guides to begin decoding the subject.
EC-Council: Exam Blueprint
Check out this PDF file of the exam blueprint to get started on your learning. This handy reference tool shows you all the exam topics you will need to know.
Once you have looked over the EC-Council’s blueprints, the handbook will provide even more detail on the CEH exams, topics, and extra information.
EC-Council: Unauthorized Training Providers
This is a highly valuable tool to check over when picking courses to ensure they are accredited training centers. The last thing you want is to pay $2000 or $3000 for a sham CEH exam course. This list is updated regularly and will help ensure that the training you choose sets you on the right path.
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CEH Online Practice Exam
Here is a handy website to test your knowledge at the beginning of your CEH journey. Although these questions may be outdated, it is still good practice and will give you a rough feel for what CEH testing is like.
Cybrary: CEH Study Guide
Cybrary has a CEH Exam Study Guide, which includes over 300 practice test questions and information on their free Ethical Hacking Course. This is a fantastic resource for those looking to practice for the exam.
Best CEH Books
Flick through these guides to gain beneficial insights into ethical hacking, exams, and all things CEH.
CEH Certified Ethical Hacker Study Guide, Kimberly Graves
This guide covers a wide array of essential topics. These include legal issues, scanning, footprinting, enumeration, system hacking, trojans, sniffers, denial of service, hacking web servers, social engineering, session hijacking, and web application vulnerabilities.
CEH v10 Study Guide, Ric Messier
The text thoroughly covers all topics and includes chapter review questions and other exam essentials. Topics covered include DDoS attacks, intrusion detection, buffer overflows, virus creation, and much more. A mixture of test prep info, test exercises, and real scenarios, the book aims to help you ace the exam and put your skills to work in your job role.
CEH Certified Ethical Hacker Exam Guide, Fourth Edition, Matt Walker
This updated book offers complete coverage of the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker exam. In this edition, Matt Walker, an IT security expert, discusses the latest tools, methods, and tips relevant to the exam.
Why Should I Become CEH Certified?
If you want to defend organizations or governments from malware or other cybersecurity threats, then a certification in Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH) is required. It will also broaden your skills, test your abilities, and give you ultimate bragging rights.
CEH Job Possibilities
The job possibilities for those who have completed their CEH certification are numerous. A few opportunities are penetration tester, information security analyst, computer forensics analyst, cyber security analyst, homeland security specialist, security engineer, security auditor, vulnerability tester, and many more jobs.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts make $99,730 per year. And this is just one example. With further certifications, more experience, and the development of more relevant skills, you could make $128,000 or more.
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