Hacking has a bad reputation in the cyber world. Whether it’s hacking to steal data, money or just to wreak havoc, it’s considered by many as a cybercrime that has to be eradicated.
Knowledge of hacking however, can have it’s benefits and be carried out for the greater good – this is called Ethical hacking. It is the practice of legally attempting to gain unauthorised access to a computer system or network in order to identify and assess security vulnerabilities.
These ethical hackers, known as white hat hackers, use the same tools and techniques as malicious hackers, but they do so with the permission of an organisation. The goal of ethical hacking is to help improve cybersecurity by finding and fixing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited and used criminally.
How can ethical hacking be used to test the cybersecurity of an organisation? This is carried out through:-
- Web applications
- Operating systems
- Network infrastructure
- Mobile devices
- Cloud-based systems
How is ethical hacking carried out?
- Penetration testing. This involves attempting to gain unauthorized access to a system or network using the same methods as a malicious hacker.
- Social engineering. This process tricks users into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.
- Physical security testing. The physical security of a system or network is assessed to gain unauthorised access to a building or data centre.
Ethical hacking is a valuable tool for organisations of all sizes. By identifying and fixing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, ethical hacking can help to prevent data breaches, financial losses, and other security incidents.
Benefits of ethical hacking:-
- Identifies and fixes security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited
- Helps to improve the overall cybersecurity of an organization
- Trains employees on security best practices
- Helps with compliance on security regulations
Interested in a career in ethical hacking? There are a few things you can do to prepare:-
- Learn the different types of security vulnerabilities
- Learn about the different tools and techniques used by ethical hackers
- Gain experience in penetration testing or other forms of ethical hacking
- Get certified in ethical hacking
Ethical hacking is a growing field with a lot of potential for growth. If you are interested in a career in cybersecurity, ethical hacking is a great place to start.