Cybercrime is on the rise in both quantity and quality. These attacks can come in many forms and can have a significant impact on national security as well as business interests. Organizations must address these issues now more than ever. Prevention is the best protection.

This is where ethical hacking steps in.

Hacking is authorized to access computer systems, applications, and data. An ethical hack is a copy of the strategies used by malicious hackers. This helps to identify security flaws that can be fixed before they are exploited externally. Hacking can happen to any system, website, process, or device. It is important for ethical hackers they understand the possible consequences and how they could happen.

What is an ethical hacker?

Ethical hackers are security professionals who perform security assessments in order to improve security measures within an organization. Once the business has been approved, the ethical hacker begins to mimic hacking by malicious actors.

These are the key concepts ethical hackers should follow

  • Legal: An ethical hacker must have the approval of the organization’s top leadership before they can conduct any kind of security assessment or ethical hacking.
  • Scope: Ethical hackers must ensure that their work is legal and within approved boundaries. This can be done by determining the assessment’s scope.
  • Vulnerabilities: An ethical hacker should inform the business about all vulnerabilities found and offer insight on how to address them.
  • Data Sensitivity: Ethical hackers need to consider data sensitivity as well as any other requirements of the business when conducting ethical hacking.

These are only a few examples of ethical hackers.

Ethical hackers are not like malicious hackers. They use the same skills and knowledge to help organizations and improve their technology stack, rather than causing damage. They need to have multiple certifications and skills. Sometimes they specialize in one area. An ethical hacker must be proficient in scripting languages, familiar with operating systems, and skilled in networking. A solid knowledge of information security is essential, especially for the organization being assessed.

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Also read: Best 8 Programming Languages for Hacking

Different Types of Hackers

Hackers can be classified into various types. Their names indicate the purpose of the hacking system.

There are two types of hackers.

  1. White Hat Hacker – An white hat hacker who does not intend harm to the system or organization. They simulate the process to find vulnerabilities and offer solutions to make sure safety is maintained in the company.
  2. Black Hat Hacker – This is your traditional hacker. Black hat hackers, also known as hackers who aren’t ethical, carry out attacks that are based on malicious intent, often in order to steal data or collect monetary benefits.

Phases of ethical hacking

Ethical hacking is a process that helps to detect vulnerabilities in an application, system, or organization’s infrastructure. This prevents future attacks and security breaches.

Many ethical hackers use the same five phases as malicious hackers to create their code.

  1. Reconnaissance: The first phase in ethical hacking is reconnaissance, which is the information-gathering phase. This phase involves gathering as much information as you can before you launch an attack. This data could include passwords and essential information about employees. This data can be gathered by hackers using a variety of tools. It helps to identify which attacks are most likely to succeed and which systems of the organization are most vulnerable.
  2. Scanning: The second phase involves hackers discovering different ways to gain information from the target. These include usernames, IP addresses, and credentials, which allow for quick access to the network. This phase uses a variety of tools, including scanners and network mappers.
  3. Access:  The third phase involves gaining access to the target’s networks, systems, and applications. You can exploit the system using various tools and methods. This includes downloading malicious software, stealing sensitive information, gaining access, making ransom demands, and many other things. Firewalls are often used by ethical hackers to protect the network infrastructure and entry points.
  4. Maintain: This is the fourth phase. Once a hacker has accessed the system, it’s important to maintain access. The hacker continues to exploit the system through DDoS attacks, stealing data and other means. The hacker continues to have access to the system until the malicious activities are completed without the organization being aware.
  5. Hiding: Hiding is the final phase in which hackers clean up their tracks and hide any evidence of unauthorized access. Hackers must maintain their connection to the system, without leaving any clues that could lead to their identification and response by the organization. It is not uncommon for software, programs, or folders to be uninstalled during this phase.
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These are the five steps ethical hackers use to find vulnerabilities that could allow them to access malicious actors.

Benefits of Ethical Hacking

Hackers are one of the most serious threats to an organization’s security. It is important to understand and apply your own processes to protect yourself from them. Security professionals from all industries and sectors can reap the many benefits of ethical hacking. Its ability to improve, defend, and inform corporate networks is its greatest benefit.

Many businesses need to pay more attention to security testing. This leaves software at risk. An ethical hacker who is well-trained can assist teams in conducting security testing efficiently and effectively, which is better than other practices that take more time and energy.

The age of cloud technology is also a time when ethical hacking is a crucial defense. Cloud technology is gaining popularity in the tech industry. This means that there are more threats and greater intensity. Cloud computing is not without security risks, but ethical hacking can be a great line of defense.

Also read: Top 10 Best Hacking Apps for Android

Ethical Hacking Certifications & Benefits

Many great certifications in ethical hacking are available for organizations that want to ethically hack.

These are some of the most popular:

  1. EC Council: Certified Ethical Hacking Certificate: This certification is broken into 20 modules and delivered via a five-day training program. Each module includes hands-on labs that allow you to learn the skills and procedures required for ethical hacking. This program is highly recommended for many roles such as Cybersecurity Auditor and Security Administrator, IT Security Administrator, Warning Analyst, Network Engineer, and IT Security Administrator.
  2. CompTIA Safety+: This global certification certifies the skills required to perform core security functions. This certification is a great starting point as it provides the foundation knowledge necessary to perform any cybersecurity role. It will teach you many skills, including attacks, threats and vulnerabilities, architecture and design, operations and incident response, governance, risk, and compliance.
  3. Offensive Security Certified Professional Certification: This self-paced course increases OSCP readiness through instructor-led streaming sessions. This course is for network administrators, security professionals, and other professionals involved in technology.
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Earning an ethical hacking certification has many benefits. They show that you can design, build and maintain a secure environment for your business. This course introduces you to the most recent hacking tools and techniques. It is intended for network administrators, security professionals, and other tech professionals.