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The Ultimate Study Guide for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam

The Ultimate Study Guide for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam

Let’s be honest, no one likes studying. No matter the subject, it’s tempting to procrastinate. After all, some tests you can take on an hour of sleep and two cans of Red Bull. Unfortunately, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is not one of them.

Given the ever-growing importance of cyber security, maybe it’s no surprise that the CEH is rated as one of the hardest exams in the IT world. A four-hour long affair that costs $950 or more, it’s not something you want to do more than once. That means studying smart is everything if you want to learn how to ethically hack.

Fortunately, there’s no need to go it alone. We’ve prepared a list of resources and handy advice so you can pass with flying colors.

Exam Overview

“To beat a hacker, you need to think like a hacker.”
—EC-Council on CEH

The Certified Ethical Hacker is a vendor-neutral certification focused on cyber security and penetration testing. Its goal is to certify that a professional is able to identify weakness and vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit. In ethical hacking or, “white hat,” hacking, this information is used to help an organization strengthen its defenses.

Here’s the lowdown on the test.

The purpose of the CEH credential is to:

  • Establish and govern minimum standards for credentialing professional information security specialists in ethical hacking measures.
  • Inform the public that credentialed individuals meet or exceed the minimum standards.
  • Reinforce ethical hacking as a unique and self-regulating profession.

If you’re not sure if you want to get your CISSP or CEH, check out our blog on 5 Essential IT Certifications for Cyber Security Jobs.

CEH Exam Quick Facts

  • Exam Voucher Cost: $950 – $1,199 (this is the Certified Ethical Hacker certification price)
  • Number of Questions: 125
  • Duration: Four hours
  • Format: Multiple choice
  • Test Delivery: ECC EXAM, VUE

Source: EC-Council

Though it may seem pricey, CEH-certified individuals make an average salary of $90,000 per year and as much as $126,381. With earning potential like that, the investment is well worth it.

CEH Prerequisites

The CEH program requires the candidate to have two years of work experience in the Information Security domain and should be able to provide a proof of the same as validated through the application process unless the candidate attends official training. If a candidate has completed official EC-Council training either at an Accredited Training Center, via the iClass platform, or at an approved academic institution, the candidate is eligible to attempt the relevant EC-Council exam without going through the application process. LeaderQuest is an Accredited EC-Council Training Center

Free Resources

Of course, everybody wants free hacker training! Fortunately, the EC-Council provides a variety of free resources to get you started. Begin by heading over to the CEH assessment which provides 50 questions that will give you an idea of how prepared you are to dive in. It’ll help you gauge what needs the most attention.

Next, the EC-Council’s comprehensive exam blueprint dives deep into which subjects will be covered in the text, how they are weighted, and even how many questions will be devoted to each topic. Going one step further, the EC-Council CEH Candidate Handbook v2.2 covers not only the nitty-gritty details, but also lays out a CEH career path, discusses the application process, and even outlines a strict code of ethics that white hat hackers must follow.

If you need to study on-the-go, this free EC-Council CEH™ v9 Exam Prep (which includes some in-app purchases) provides you with 600 practice questions over seven different subjects. It’s available for iPhone, Android, and through Amazon. It’s perfect for Certified Ethical Hacker online training.

Lastly, it’s important to stay in the mindset of a hacker and the EC-Council white papers are a great way to do that including the 10 Deadly Sins in Virtualization Security and 5 phases every hacker must follow.

Best Textbooks

Internet resources are great, but they can only take you so far. At some point, putting money into your CEH study is a wise choice. Here are the most highly-rated textbooks and what you can expect to learn from them.

Study with an Expert

No matter how hard you study alone, there’s bound to be gaps. If you’ve hit a wall in your studying, or are worried you’re missing key information that will help you pass, don’t go through it alone. At LeaderQuest, we offer a 5-day Certified Ethical Hacker training course taught by industry expert instructors. They know what they’re talking about because they’ve been there and had years of real experience. They’re ready to help you get certified while also preparing you for the real-life challenges you’ll face during your cyber security career.

LeaderQuest classes come with a CEH VUE exam voucher (value $1,199) and an opportunity to take the test at our onsite location. That way, you don’t have to stress about the details and can focus on passing. You also won’t have to pay the $100 eligibility application fee for self-study students. If you ever feel like you need a refresher, we offer free class resits to all our graduates.

No matter what your schedule, we can work with you. Our classes are available on campus, online, during the day, or at night. We will work with your schedule to get you certified and strengthen your earning potential.

Don’t tear your hair out studying for your Certified Ethical Hacker. Train with the experts at LeaderQuest and kick your cyber security career up a notch. Your next Ethical hacking job is out there today.

Learn more about LeaderQuest training.

 

The Most In-Demand IT and Tech Skills of 2018 and Beyond

The Most In-Demand IT and Tech Skills of 2018 and Beyond

Between cloud computing, increasing automation, artificial intelligence, and more, there’s no doubt that trends in the tech world have forever reshaped the skills professionals need to remain viable in the workplace.

In CompTIA’s most recent series, they’ve been examining the skills that companies value most and have broken them down in a comprehensive research brief. It examines different job titles, skillsets, and how the overall picture of what it means to be an “IT Professional,” looks like in the modern workplace.

Want to know if you have the most in-demand IT skills? Just fill out the form below, and we’ll send you the Future of IT Skills Research Brief and send you emails about local events, cyber security updates, and more.

Already subscribed? Just drop us a line and we’ll send you the research.


Do you have the skills you need to succeed?

When you need to pick up a new skillset, IT certification can get you there fast. Getting certified takes hard work and dedication, but  LeaderQuest can prepare you for a number of different certifications including A+, Security+, CEH, CISSP, PMP, and more!

We also offer a number of cyber security training courses which you can day online, on campus, during the day, or at night. We’re here to fit your schedule.

Are you ready to start your best career? Contact us today!

I Passed My CCNA…What Now?

I Passed My CCNA…What Now?

You should feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction once you have achieved your CCNA certification. The biggest question is, “What do I do now?” Don’t let your time, effort, and money go to waste! Utilize this new certification to boost your IT career!

What you can do with your CCNA certification depends on your current situation. If you are new to the field and looking for your first IT position, then your strategy would be very different from the experienced IT pro who has recently obtained their certification. In either case, the good news is that the CCNA certification from Cisco is considered to be a valuable and highly sought after credential, so job opportunities should be abundant.

Here are my thoughts on how to proceed for both the new entrant to the IT field and the experienced IT Pro:

CCNA Without Experience

Never stop learning!

Working with technology means that change is part of our daily lives, so we must stay current with the latest advancements. Staying on top of the advances in a given field or area of expertise is critical to your relevance in the work place, so take advantage of all learning opportunities. Join study groups or Meet Ups to learn from others in the field, read blogs and Cisco websites to stay on top of new or evolving technologies. One strategy that I have found critical is leveraging Twitter which can funnel information to me rather than spending hours searching the Internet to find important announcements or relevant changes.

Socialize

Utilize social networking tools like LinkedIn to promote your newly acquired certification and effectively connect with other professionals and placement specialists. Also, attending Cisco conferences can help you meet the right people to further promote yourself. Again, join various study groups and learn enough to become a presenter/mentor for others.

Gain real-world experience

Hands-on experience in a production environment can further set you apart from other candidates, so be willing to gain experience through different channels. One solution would be to purchase a home lab and work through all the setup, configuration, troubleshooting, security and optimization procedures taught in your studies for the CCNA. Labs kits can be purchased off of eBay and can be a difference maker when it comes to thoroughly understanding these technologies.

Also, pursue other forms of experience by offering your services for free. For example, work as a volunteer for smaller companies who may not be able to afford high priced consultants and full-time IT staffs. Often family and friends work for or know of small companies who need some basic assistance with networking, etc. so become a valued technologist by assisting these companies free of charge or perhaps at a discounted rate.

Experienced IT Pro

Explore new technologies

Few technologies have the staying power to be relevant throughout your IT career, so be open to learning new technologies which can lead to new opportunities. Be willing to self-study some technologies in order to gain a rudimentary understanding of potentially relevant fields of study.

Embrace the Cloud and Security

The cloud and cyber security are two areas of interest are two of the most sought after skill-sets and will likely be in demand for several years, so embrace learning and being an advocate of both of these fields. Both may require a steep learning curve and constant attention to evolving technologies, but these types of skill-sets will certainly open doors for qualified practitioners. LeaderQuest offers a complete Cyber Security program and also several individual cyber security courses.

Network

Engaging with other technical specialists can be enlightening as to what skills gaps you may still have and can assist with improving your overall understanding of this constantly changing field. Take opportunities to attend sponsored events and conferences to learn the latest technologies directly from the experts.

 

If you haven’t achieved your CCNA certification yet, stop thinking about it and just do it! The bottom line is that the CCNA certification can help you boost your career and increase your pay. You will need to network, market yourself and your certifications, and continue growing your skills and experience. Our Network Support Specialist training will prepare you for the CCNA certification and help boost your professional profile.

The Top 6 IT Skills Cloud Companies are Hungry For

The Top 6 IT Skills Cloud Companies are Hungry For

Despite the fact that the cloud’s revolutionizing everything, the good news for IT professionals is that the vast majority of their skills aren’t being outdated.

Companies still need skilled developers, talented project managers, and data analysts.

But those working for cloud companies will be expected to take their skills to the next level… to be on the cutting edge of both tech and business.

But taking an extra course to stay on top of the cloud is well worth it… jobs for cloud companies are hot right now.

There’s loads of meaningful, cloud-based tech startups that will turn into giant companies in the future, and they’re hiring the people who will build their companies to their full potential.

But just having the bare minimum of skills and education to coast by for the rest of your career isn’t going to work. Because the cloud combines tech and business sense, you’ve got to know both to get your foot in the door at one of these fast-growing companies that could turn into a rockstar tech career.

But before you go signing up for any random IT certification just so you can look better on paper, consider the top 6 IT skills cloud companies are hungry for so you can decide which one fits best with your dream job and which will set you apart the most from your job-hunting peers.

1. App Development

Even if you’re not a developer, a rudimentary knowledge of mobile and cloud-based computer app development can go a long way in truly understanding the depths and inner workings of a cloud business.

The cloud lets single end users and businesses access the applications they need to get work done from any device, anywhere in the world with an internet connection (part of the BYOD phenomenon). So a basic knowledge of what it takes for apps to function well on any device is more than appreciated by everyone in the business.

If you don’t know where to start, a simple development course can get you up and running quickly. Look for Java and .NET in the curriculum – they’re the leaders of the pack right now.

2. Virtualization

Virtualization is the technique that lets you run multiple operating systems at once on the same piece of hardware.

Since development for so many different devices and operating systems is essential to what the cloud is, this skill is vital to each and every cloud company out there.

Microsoft’s got a cool virtualization training program with an on-site tool to help you find institutions near your town that teach it.

3. Business Smarts

At the end of the day, there’s only one reason cloud companies are going so well—and that’s business.

Going to the cloud is one of the best business decisions a company can make, but a lot of legacy software companies (and their customers) still have a problem adapting to the idea of using the cloud and its inherently different payment models, not wanting to fix what isn’t broken.

Even a basic understanding of business and finance will help you to make the case for deployment to the cloud.

Hint: A lot of cloud-based companies like to hire business liaisons who speak IT and business languages to help get both sides of the company on the same page.

4. Data Analysis

Big data is something that’s gaining traction in almost every industry you can think of—from finance to environmental issues to farming to marketing trends and crime fighting—big data, if properly sorted for analyzation, can give a business the keys it needs to unlock success faster than ever before.

Cloud companies love data because it doesn’t require the possible mishaps involved with best guesses and intuition. It gives them answers about what to do and how successful a certain move will be.

Employees who know how to design the systems to track relevant data from the cloud in an efficient way are incredibly valuable, but so are those who know how to take that data, run the numbers and actually do something with it that leads to smarter business decisions.

5. Security & Compliance

On the cloud, more so than on a private company-based server, security is a huge issue.

No company wants their data stolen, lost or hacked.

First and foremost, every employee at a cloud company will need to know what their security protocols are, so if you know more of the reasoning behind those protocols, you’ll be seen as far less of a potential liability.

But beyond just the basics of keeping information secure, there’s some compliance regulations set by each industry that a cloud company serving that industry would also have to follow. For example, if your company handles the financial data of individual investors, you’ll need to know what risks exist and how to diminish them.

At another level, there’s also national and international mandates for data handling such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley that each company has to follow no matter their industry.

6. Project Management

Whether you’re working on a project that will move a company from old-school software into cloud computing, or you’re working on projects specifically for a cloud-based company, knowledge of the project management process helps a lot.

For example, knowing where and how to avoid scope creep and keeping projects on-budget and on-deadline while doing the best work possible usually isn’t possible without some meticulous, advanced planning. And taking a project management course helps you learn how to do that planning and work with your actual project manager to get things rolling in the right direction and not be a hold up.

The Actual Tools that Are Hot Right Now in the Cloud

Rick Blaisdell, CTO of Motus, made a list of the top basic skills cloud companies are looking for. Among them, he mentions:

• Development languages like Perl, Ruby on Rails, Python and Java
• DevOps
• Linux
• Virtualization
• Puppet and Chef
• Database skills like MySQL, Hadoop and Cassandra
• Vendor skills for Amazon Web Services

90% of Companies Use the Cloud – It’s Time to Get on Board

According to CompTIA’s 2014 cloud computing survey, a whopping 90% of companies in the United States use cloud computing in some form or another, and 60% of companies want to expand their hiring to bring on employees to help them transition from traditional software technology to cloud computing.

By getting on board with cloud-based knowledge and expanding your understanding and skill set, you’ll be on par with what the industry needs, and your career path will thank you.

How BYOD Has Shaped App Development in the Last 6 Years

How BYOD Has Shaped App Development in the Last 6 Years

In tech, six years ago is ancient history.

But in enterprise, six years is nothing.

The BYOD phenomenon caught on in 2009, and employees have been thrilled to use the phones, PCs and tablets they’re most comfortable with to do their work. Some say it even makes them more productive.

But since enterprises are usually pretty slow to adjust, there’s still companies that haven’t made the switch to BYOD yet and need expert developers and IT security professionals to help them through the process.

As an app or website developer, your understanding of the changes BYOD has brought about in development and security management is something companies making the transition to BYOD desperately need—helping you stand out as a leader and advance your career.

The Nuts & Bolts of BYOD

On the surface, BYOD seems like a nice, win-win situation for everyone: employees get to use the technology they’re most comfortable with, and companies don’t have to shell out the cash to buy new devices for everyone.

But for developers and IT security professionals, it’s a whole different ball game.

In fact, developing for BYOD differs in developing for company-sponsored devices in 6 key ways: screen size responsiveness, UI & UX, non-native development, public internet security, security patches, and no centralized app management.

1. Screen Responsiveness

Rather than only having one type of computer, tablet or phone to develop an enterprise-specific app for, you’ve got to create an app that works on any screen size, no matter what kind of wonky device an employee might bring in.

Responsive screens are really catching on both online and on mobile, though, so this isn’t the biggest of your worries as an enterprise app developer creating something for BYOD. Since website responsiveness is becoming standard, it’s nothing too different from regular website or Android-based development.

2. Instantly Intuitive UI & UX

Even though mobile and PC operating systems are vastly different from each other, companies won’t want to spend their resources on app training.

Like the majority of non-workplace apps, they’ll expect the UI & UX to be intuitive enough to be used with zero to minimal training, and with the differences in operating systems, a non-intuitive UI would mean a different training for each new device.

Each enterprise app needs to be designed and functional for immediate, out-of-the-box use.

3. Non-Native Development

Before BYOD, when everyone in the company was using a company-sponsored BlackBerry and Windows laptop, native apps were the best, safest choice.

But with BYOD, developing natively means you’d have to have the resources to develop for BlackBerry, Android, Windows, iOS, and Symbian, among others… and for companies that don’t specialize in app development, footing the bill for all of those resources for the development and subsequent updates could be a problem.

Instead, most BYOD-friendly enterprise apps are developed in HTML5, so they instantly work on any device.

4. Public Internet Security

Unless the app or internal company website you’re developing is 100% useless off the premises of the company, you’ll need to assume that employees are going to use it over public internet connections, and make in-built security capabilities to protect whatever sensitive company data may pass through their phones.

For example, you’ll need to set up the app so almost all of the traffic is directed to an HTTPS page, rather than an HTTP page.

And even though you might be developing an app instead of a website, because you’d build it on HTML5, you’d have to put securities in place to protect it against cross-site-scripting, SQL injections, and other attacks.

5. Constant Security Patch Updates

An app that operates on a closed network doesn’t necessarily need many security updates.

But creating an HTML5-based app means it’ll have to be open to functioning with new security patches added by you as the app developer, or by the device manufacturers themselves.

6. Working Without Centralized Management

For the same reason you want to develop non-natively on HTML5, you’ll also want to set up the app’s security to work without centralized management.

The end user, not someone in office headquarters, needs to be the one to configure their own preferences because the way to do this is different from one operating system to another.

Becoming an Enterprise BYOD Development Guru

Want to help your company transition to BYOD?

A fresh new IT certificate in development or cyber security could be exactly what you need to get rolling.

Check out our different IT training programs, sorted by area of expertise and experience level to find one that fits your schedule – most of the time, you’ll be finished in less than a month!