What is Ethical Hacking? & How to Become an Ethical Hacker?

What is ethical hacking?

Ethical hacking means to get authorized access to unauthorized assets in a computer, applications or data.  Executing ethical hacking includes duplicate schemes and actions of malign attacks.  This act assists to recognize security weaknesses which can be sort out before a malicious hacking attempt having opportunity to utilize them. 

Ethical hackers are security specialists that perform these actions.  They do proactive activities to improve the security postures of organizations.  The quest of ethical hackers is opposite from those of malicious hackers as they are approved from the organizations and owner of IT assets. The scope of ethical hacking is increasing day by day, as organizations need them to secure and improve the technology of organizations.  They identify and analyze the organizations in search of patterns that can be exploited.   

source: infosecinstitute.com

Key concepts of ethical hacking:

Following key points distinguish ethical hackers from malicious hackers:

  • Legal Assessments: Ethical hackers are suggested to get approval before getting security assessments. 
  • Value Data Sensitivity: Sensitive data is that must be protected and unreachable by unauthorized parties.  So, depending upon sensitivity of data ethical hackers has to accept non-disclosure agreement in addition to other requirement by the organization.
  • Explain the scope: To identify the scope of assessment so that operations remain legal and within the approved limits of organizations. 
  • Report unprotected Data: During the assessment to data it’s important to report exposed data.  Also provide recommendation to sort out issues for these vulnerabilities. 

Difference between ethical hackers and malicious hackers

Ethical hackers have same information about this knowledge as malicious hackers do.  But, the difference between these two individuals is that ethical hackers utilize their knowledge to improve security and technology of organizations. They provide services to different organizations for identifying, analyzing and protecting their exposed sensitive data that can lead to security breach.  Ethical hackers report the analyzed vulnerabilities and provide remedies to protect them.  They are also required to re-ensure the security of data.  Their intensions for hacking are not for malicious purposes.

On the other hand malicious hackers tend to get unauthorized access to sensitive information of organizations.  These malicious hackers utilize their knowledge as a fun to crash the backend servers and deface websites. They do so to damage the reputations of websites and to make them face financial losses as well.  In this type of hacking the methods used remain unreported.  They have no concern to improve the security postures of organizations.  They actively work to disable the security systems of organizations intending to steal information and taking down the system. 

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source: studyonline.ecu.edu

Problems that hacking identify

Ethical hacker imitates an attacker while getting asses to the security of an organization. In performing this operation they go through the attack vectors against the target.  The foremost goal is to perform survey, gaining all the possible information.  After gathering information as much as possible they search for the vulnerabilities and data that are reliable to be exposed.  They do automated and manual tests to perform this operation. 

After realizing the vulnerabilities ethical hackers use exploits against the vulnerabilities to show that how malicious attempts could utilize them. 

Here are the most found vulnerabilities mostly discovered by ethical hackers:

  • Security deviations
  • Crashed authentications
  • Injected attacks
  • Exposed sensitive information

After this analyzation, a detailed report is prepared by ethical hackers.  These documents include steps to sort out the discovered vulnerabilities.

Scope of Ethical Hacking:

Ethical hacking is a complex and difficult task.  IT companies, financial institutes, defense establishments, banks and multinational companies hire the individuals for the services of ethical hacking to ensure the protection of their data from crime access. 

Cyber security and ethical hacking is a great field to achieve but it requires the plenty of knowledge.  The world is going to be digital soon.  Big organizations and multinational institutes would be in the need of such individuals which keep their data safe from malicious attempts and identify the expected exposable data.  This is one of the most in demand career. 

source: mercurysolutions.com

Ethical Hacking includes following job descriptions:

  • Penetration tester
  • Security Analyst
  • Information security manager

Skills and Certifications required for ethical hacking

Ethical hacking is a digital task so this field requires wide range of computer skills.  Ethical hacking bears different domains.  Ethical hackers often specialize to become subject matter experts. 

Every Ethical Hacker should have following expertise:

  •            Scripting languages
  •            Operating systems
  •            Networking
  •            Information Security principles

Here are few most important certifications for becoming an ethical hacker: 

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