Yes, there is such a thing and it is possible with the right education and certifications. It is actually called “ethical hacking” and it can open up many doors professionally and offer opportunities to work in a wide variety of areas. The term “ethical hacking” does make some computer security professionals cringe, as they believe the term is a paradox that paints them in a bad light. On that same note, they don’t believe it’s possible to be an “ethical” hacker because the term “hacker” refers to an illegal act, and that another, more positive-sounding title would be more appropriate. Titles such as Information Security Officer and Penetration Tester certainly make the profession sound much more like it’s on the right side of the law, but these titles would most likely generate blank stares among the general population outside of the IT world.
Ethical hackers are hired by companies or organizations and are given permission to purposely penetrate their computer systems using the same methods as illegal hackers in an effort to find/fix system vulnerabilities and to fix errors, all in an effort to keep the system as safe as possible from illegal hackers and other outside attacks. This can mean working with small or large businesses, international corporations, churches, law enforcement on a local, state, or federal level, and also the military. Law enforcement agencies use ethical hackers in a variety of ways to help solve many different types of crimes. For instance, the FBI can combat illegal hacking with legal hacking, and can try to stay one step ahead of them. When hired by the military, either in a civilian or enlisted capacity, ethical hackers work to ensure the country’s cyber security infrastructure is safe from unwanted attacks.
The education needed for this type of career varies from college to college, and also from state to state. A person could begin a career in this field with as little as an Associate’s degree, or much as an MBA or Master of Science. There are also a few schools who offer a Doctorate in this field. For further information on the types of degrees needed, go to http://www.computer-forensics-recruiter.com/degrees.html.
- Grand Canyon University - Bachelor's and Master's in Accounting
- SNHU - A.S. in Accounting, B.S. in Accounting, and M.S. in Accounting
- Capella University - BS Accounting CPA Pathway
- Capella University - MBA Accounting CPA Pathway
- Liberty University - Bachelor of Science in Accounting - ACBSP-Accredited