Cybercrime is on the increase. According to the Online Trust Alliance report, there were 159,700 cyberattacks in 2017. Businesses have been forced to pay billions yearly for cybersecurity and damages. To stay ahead of hackers, the US government spent $28 billion on cybersecurity in 2016.
Ethical hackers are the first line of defense against cybercrime. They have the job of securing a company before hackers can discover any vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity is dependent on the effectiveness of ethical hackers. Ethical hackers’ job is to defend against attack after attack and protect businesses and their sensitive information.
What does an ethical hacker do?
An ethical hacker’s role is to imitate malicious hackers’ actions and identify potential risks in a world where data is stored online. They are, in essence, the data guardians and integral to keeping sensitive data safe.
Any person hired by an organization to monitor or test its defenses, perform pen tests or conduct IT health checks to assess the security of its system. The main purpose of an ethical hacker’s job is to identify any weaknesses in a system that could lead to financial, sensitive, or customer data exploitation.
Depending on the job, there are many techniques an ethical hacker can use. Their services are often used to find security flaws. It could include the detection of bugs in a system or the continued use of outdated software.
Ethical hackers are also able to be used for security assessments. They can find information about employees, suppliers, and other details. This is done to determine where security is weakest. A hacker might be able to find passwords and names of employees, as well as sensitive information about employees.
This information can launch an attack against the business security system, either remotely or physically. Hackers may be able to crack passwords or exploit vulnerabilities. They can even hijack sessions.
Ethical hackers often need penetration tests on security systems in addition to the many services they offer.
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Ethical Hacking and Penetration Tests
Penetration testing can be more than just finding information. A full system attack is where the ethical hacker attempts to access all parts of a system. Tests are usually conducted with a specific goal in mind. They can be either done with the knowledge of the plan (white box test) or without knowledge (black box test).
Although attacking a system might seem extreme, it is a way for ethical hackers to do what they excel at, finding weaknesses and strengths. The hacker will provide a detailed report of the findings to the company to identify areas for improvement and where security is high.
What are the Key Differences between a Hacker & an Ethical Hacker
It seems that hacking and ethical hacking can be easily confused. Hackers are looking to get a reward for stealing data. This could be for the pleasure of taking it, blackmail, or for financial gain. Although there is some monetary gain for ethical hackers, it is not the only reason they perform their duties.
The ethical hacker will normally detail every step taken to gain access to the security system. They might also be asked to show how access can be regained.
Every practice of ethical hacking is agreed upon beforehand, and there are guidelines for what can be done. Cyberlaw, regulations, and moral codes govern the entire process. After each test, full reports are prepared, and security tests cannot be performed until all parties know exactly what will happen.
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What is ethical hacking?
The importance of ethical hacking is growing as more companies become victims of data breaches every year. Companies are now choosing to employ ethical hackers to protect their systems, warn them about problems and assist them in establishing security that can deter cybercriminals. Cybercrime could have unlimited access to vulnerabilities and vital data without ethical hackers.