It’s time to renew your CEH certification, certified and ethical hacker. You’ve already done the hardest part, obtaining certification, and now you have to meet the EC-Council requirements to maintain it.
It’s fairly simple to renew CEH certification and most of you are already well on your way to meeting them. But before we cover that, let’s get into the history of CEH.
CEH – Certified Ethical Hacker
The first incidents of “hacking” were really just practical jokers, teenagers hired to run Bell switchboards in the 1880s. They would disconnect calls and misdirect them for fun.
In 1983, War Games with Matthew Broderick, was the first movie that focused on computer hacking. The movie brought together all of the fears of the time, nuclear war, the idea of technology taking over the world, and the idea that there were 16 year old kids that were able to manipulate that technology, even if it was without evil intention.
Twenty years after the debut of War Games, the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) began providing CEH, Certified Ethical Hacker certification.
One of the most respectable and renowned IT security certifications, EC started the programs for “white hat hackers”. Also called Sneakers, “white hats” check, with consent, current programs for vulnerabilities. Their goal is to hack proof a system by hacking the system.
To keep their hats white, EC-Council requires renewal of CEH certification every three years.
ECE Requirements for CEH Renewal
All EC-Council certifications, including CEH, have the same renewal requirements:
- ECSH (Practical) & ECSA – EC-Council Certified Security Analyst
- LPT & LPT(Master) – Licensed Penetration Tester
- ENSA – EC-Council Network Security Advisor
- CND – Certified Network Defender
- CHFI – Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator
- ECVP – EC-Council Certified VoIP Professional
- ECSP – EC-Council Certified Secure Programmer
- EDRP – EC-Council Disaster Recovery Professional
- CCISO – Certified Chief Information Security Officer
- CEI – Certified EC-Council Instructor
- ECIH – EC-Council Certified Incident Handler
- ECDR-VT – EC-Council Certified Disaster Recovery and Virtualization Technology Professional
- CAST – Certified Advanced Network Defense
- ECES – EC-Council Certified Encryption Specialist
- CIMP – Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program, and
- CDM – Certified Digital Marketer.
Each certificate holder must:
Earn 120 ECE (EC-Council Continuing Education) CEH credits for the three years between renewals.
Submit 40 CEH credits to EC-Council per year. This ensures EC-Council that you are staying on top of the industry and not trying to cram all 120 hours into year three.
You must be a member in good standing of the EC-Council. EC requires certified professionals to be members in order to receive and maintain their certifications. It is the only way to submit your ECEs to them and at $80 per year, it’s worth the cost.
Ways to earn CEH ECE Credits to Renew your CEH Certification
With 10 different ways to earn ECE credits, EC-Council has made renewing your certification easy. Whether through volunteering, meetings, authoring, education, seminars, identifying vulnerabilities, presentations, reading IT security resources and going forward with your Masters or PHD that includes coursework on IT are all ways that you can count those hours.
Ways to Earn:
- IT Security Courses (60 ECE CEH Credits)
If you are able to attend in person, live instructor courses, those of course will count towards your renewal. Courses taken in the pursuit of your Masters Degree or PHD can also count. However, if the travel time, hours of courses, days of courses, don’t work with your schedule you may opt for online courses to achieve the same end.
Each course counts as 20 ECE CEH credits when completed, so one course a year provides you with half of your overall objective and half of your objective for each year’s submission.
Meetings, Seminars, Conferences about IT Security (16 ECE CEH Credits)
Associations, conferences, seminars, all provide meeting times that are generally one hour minimum. Each hour counts towards an ECE up to 16 in the three year period. One two day conference can provide you with all 16 credits.
Check online for local events and conferences, or if your employer is willing to send you to Vegas for that two day Knowledge conference, roll the dice. Just remember, you have to Attend the conference, not just the casinos.
Reading IT Security Related Resource (5 ECE CEH Credits)
Whether you follow Security Magazine online, or read an article on the latest hacks of cryptocurrency in Forbes, EC-Council acknowledges the fact that you are always trying to keep ahead with the news of the industry. Each three years you can count and submit the resources information, up to 5 credits worth, towards your CEH renewal.
- Presentation (12 ECE CEH Credits)
Not only is it a great way to get your name out there, presenting can earn you 12 credit hours of ECE. By preparing a one hour information security lecture and presenting it you can count 3 ECE credits. EC-Council recognizes the preparation as well as the presentation.
- Identify New Vulnerability (10 ECE CEH Credits)
Security is foremost on most companies’ minds. With a rise in incidents of “black hat” hacking, it’s not unlikely that you may discover vulnerabilities in your services. That discovery doesn’t just save you and your company, it also counts as up to 10 of your CEH renewal ECE credits.
- Other Sources (17 ECE CEH Credits)
Volunteering at that conference in Vegas, or authoring an article for Security Magazine can also earn your ECE credits. You may even teach a class, which just like a presentation earns you 3 ECE’s for each hour you are in front of students.
There are a variety of ways to earn the entire 120 credits in the three years, but none of them stand alone. You have to combine them in order to fill the requirements.
Submitting ECE CEH Credits
Each year when you renew your annual membership with ECE you will have access to the Aspen Portal. You can also find a link through EC-council’s ECE Policy FAQs. At the portal you can submit your 40 credits per year to keep up with the 120 total minimum. Remember, all certifications through EC-council require 120 ECEs every three years, however, each individual certification requires 120 total. If you have two separate certificates you will need to submit 80 total ECEs per annum.
Once these ECE credits are submitted, you must pay the $80 CEH annual fee to renew your certification.
Failure to submit ECE credits
If you have been unable to complete and submit your 120 ECE credits within the three year period your certificate will be suspended. If you are new to the process, remember to start filling up those hours as soon as you get your certificate. Some conferences you may want to attend only happen every two years, or there may be courses you want to take that aren’t offered when you are able to take them. The 40 submitted credits per year isn’t just for EC-council. It’s for you. It helps you to keep track of what you’ve done, learned, gained, and what’s left to keep you certified.
If you’ve been unable to submit your credits and your certificate has been suspended, you will have one year to complete and submit all 120 hours of ECE credits. The limits are still in place; no more than 60 for coursework, no more than 5 for reading. You have to get them all. If you don’t you will no longer be a white hat. You will need to be recertified, submitting all of the initial exam requirements and retaking the test.
Again, submitting those 40 hours per year saves you time and aggravation.
EC-Council ECE Submission Audits
Unfortunately, there are those, we can call them “gray hats” who don’t always comply with the policies EC-Council has set forth. So, they will sometimes randomly audit credit submissions to make sure you didn’t just sit at the blackjack table in Vegas, or that you actually read the article in Forbes. They will check your submissions for compliance, the amount of hours you are claiming as well as asking you details about the credits you are claiming. By keeping notes as you read, attend, present, etc. you’re covered, with a white hat.
CEH Renewal Summary
We’ve played the game, and to take a concept from another great hacker movie, “Sneakers” starring Robert Redford and Sidney Poitier, there are no more secrets. You have the information you need to renew your CEH certificate. You know how to earn the 120 ECE credits. You know where to go to submit them and you understand that keeping your EC-Council membership up to date is a must.
In War Games, Matthew Broderick used a dial up modem and an IMSAI 8080 microcomputer. Now, “gray hat” and “black hat” hackers can use a laptop at a coffee shop to connect to anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world. Put on your white hat and ride on. You are a protector of information technology. We’re counting on you.
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