June 22, 2020

Purdue leverages its cybersecurity expertise for new online Certified Ethical Hacker course

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is offering a new online version of its course to prepare people to take the Certified Ethical Hacker exam and earn a certification that can give them a career boost in cybersecurity, one of the hottest job markets.

Ethical hackers are hacking good guys who work with organizations to identify and address network and system vulnerabilities that could be exploited by bad guys. The Purdue Certified Ethical Hacker course leverages Purdue’s highly ranked cybersecurity programs and faculty and its online course design expertise to bring the students a course tailored for online learning with a definite Purdue stamp on it.

“This course is above and beyond, really, what they can get anywhere else,” said Marcus Rogers, a cyberforensics professor in Purdue’s Department of Computer and Information Technology and executive director of the Purdue Cyber Security Education and Network Training Resource program.

The course is open to information technology professionals in business, government, the military and other organizations with two or more years of experience, a requirement to take the Certified Ethical Hacker exam. Students who have graduated with a four-year degree in cybersecurity also can take the course. Network and security analysts, software engineers, website administrators, security auditors, security consultants, security officers, security researchers and security technicians are among those who might be interested in the course, which is GI Bill eligible.

Purdue, which has offered an in-person Certified Ethical Hacker boot camp previously, will offer two versions of the online course, one where students and instructors meet together online in sessions spread over four weeks. There also will be a self-paced version of the online course that doesn’t require students to attend class online at a specific time.

Course material will cover topics that appear on the Certified Ethical Hacker exam, including an introduction to ethical hacking; threats such as malware and denial of service attacks; hijacking web servers and applications; hacking wireless networks and mobile devices; evading firewalls and other protective systems; and cryptography.

Those who complete the course receive a voucher permitting them to take the Certified Ethical Hacker exam through the EC-Council, the international professional organization that administers the exam. Students have up to a year to take the exam after completing the Purdue course.

The course can help meet professional development and government certification requirements and also offers a solid grounding for going on to train and become certified in other cybersecurity areas. The Certified Ethical Hacker course is one of three designed to build expertise in penetration testing to find security vulnerabilities, along with the Certified Security Analyst and Advanced Penetration Testing courses.

“It’s a good foundational course that allows you to move in several directions,” said Ida Ngambeki, assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Technology at Purdue, whose research focuses on cybersecurity education.

More than 300,000 cybersecurity jobs were open in the U.S. as of early 2020 and the figure could top 3 million globally in 2021, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and others. The virus pandemic and the movement of so many activities online has only increased demand, Ngambeki and Rogers said.

“We can’t produce enough people for the demand we have currently, let alone two or three years down the road,” Rogers said.

For more information on Purdue’s online Certified Ethical Hacker course, see https://polytechnic.purdue.edu/centr/certified-ethical-hacker.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-494-8167, gkline@purdue.edu 

Sources: Marcus Rogers, rogersmk@purdue.edu

Ida Ngambeki, ingambek@purdue.edu

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