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The figure of a hacker evokes many different images, and only a few would think of a positive one. For many, a hacker is simply a cybercriminal who enters a foreign system with bad intentions, whether it is sabotage, industrial espionage, extorsion or data theft. A dark figure which has a completely opposite counterpart: the ethical hacker (or cyber expert), who uses the same resources has the objective of detecting vulnerabilities in the technological infrastructure and contributing to the cyber security of the companies.

With the increase of cybercrimes, there is more demand for professionals that look for vulnerabilities in the computer security of companies as a way of preventing attacks.

According to LinkedIn social network, the cyber security specialists were the fifth most sought employment in 2020, which is an increase of 60% in relation to the previous year. It has become one of the three STEM professions with the highest salary, especially if you have two or three years of experience. And it is estimated that 84% of Spanish companies will increase their investment in cyber security in the next three years.

All the studies indicate that cybercrimes are increasing. In 2021, there were only in Spain an average of 40,000 cyberattacks per day (125% more than in 2020), and it is estimated that these types of attacks will increase an additional 10% during 2022.

The most common attack, at present, is ransomware, which we have explained in previous articles. It is a type of extorsion using a computer virus to encrypt the files of the infected computer so that these are inaccessible, and afterwards a ransom is requested to recover access.

What preparation does an ethical hacker require?

There is not really a single profile, since the experts in this field have been forced to continuously adapt due to the speed that new threats appear, which also makes them often self-educated.

To put it in a different way, it is not strictly necessary to have a degree in Computer Science, even though some technical background is necessary to be able to face these kinds of challenges. It is also possible to recycle yourself to this field with a masters or postgraduate degree specific to cybersecurity or you can look for intensive learning (bootcamps) or courses specializing in hacking such as Expert Analyst in System and Network Auditing.

In addition to merely academic capacities, it is necessary to have a curious mind to understand how the technology Works from the inside, and have resolution and inventive capacities, and not to quit easily when faced with adversities and technical problems that will surely appear.