Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker

Best Information Security Certifications For 2017

Hackers are innovators and constantly find new ways to attack information systems and exploit system vulnerabilities. Savvy businesses proactively protect their information systems by engaging the services and expertise of IT professionals skilled in beating hackers at their own game (often called "white hat hackers" or simply "white hats"). Such professionals use the same skills and techniques hackers use to identify system vulnerabilities and access points for penetration, and to prevent unwanted access to network and information systems.

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is an intermediate-level credential offered by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). It's a must-have for IT professionals pursuing careers in ethical hacking. CEH credential holders possess skills and knowledge on hacking practices in areas such as footprinting and reconnaissance, scanning networks, enumeration, system hacking, Trojans, worms and viruses, sniffers, denial-of-service attacks, social engineering, session hijacking, hacking web servers, wireless networks and web applications, SQL injection, cryptography, penetration testing, evading IDS, firewalls, and honeypots.

To obtain the CEH certification, candidates must pass one exam. A comprehensive five-day CEH training course is recommended, with the exam presented at the end of training. Candidates may self-study for the exam but must submit documentation of at least two years of work experience in information security with employer verification. Self-study candidates are also required to pay an additional $100 application fee. Education may be substituted for experience, but this is approved on a case-by-case basis.

Because technology in the field of hacking changes almost daily, CEH credential holders are required to obtain 120 continuing education credits for each three-year cycle.

CEH Facts & Figures

Certification Name
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
Prerequisites & Required CoursesTraining is highly recommended. Without formal training, candidates must have at least two years of information security-related experience and an educational background in information security, pay a nonrefundable eligibility application fee of $100, and submit an Exam Eligibility Application prior to purchasing an exam voucher.
Number of Exams
One: 312-50 (125 multiple-choice questions, four hours)
Cost of Exam
$500 EC-Council test center; $600 Pearson VUE test center
Self-Study Materials
EC-Council instructor-led courses, computer-based training, online courses and more are available at A CEH skills assessment is also available for credential seekers.

MORE: EC Council Certs & Career Paths

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Training

While EC-Council offers both instructor-led and online training for its CEH certification (as listed in the table above), IT professionals have plenty of other choices of self-study materials, including video-based training, practice exams and books.

Pluralsight currently offers several ethical hacking courses geared toward the 312-50 exam. With a monthly subscription, you get access to all of these courses plus everything else in Pluralsight's training library. Through Pluralsight's ethical hacking courses, IT professionals learn about session hijacking, reconnaissance and footprinting, SQL injection, enumeration, social engineering, and how to hack web servers, applications and mobile platforms. offers a few training courses covering the Certified Ethical Hacking exam 312-50. Through an interactive environment, IT professionals get access to a lab where they can learn how to scan, test, hack and secure various systems. Topics covered include DDoS attacks, intrusion detection and virus creation.

Finally, Transcender offers a practice exam for the CEH 312-50 certification that includes 235 questions. Backed by its "pass the first time" guarantee, Transcender is so confident that this practice exam will help you prepare for the CEH exam that you can get a full refund if you don't pass the CEH exam.