Ethical Hacking – what is it?

by Ben Brown | 05/19/2022

Ronin-Pentest – ethical hacking

What is Ethical Hacking?

What is ethical hacking? An ethical hacker is a professional who with permission hacks into a system, or network, looking for any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a malicious hacker. Ethical hacking has become an integral part of protecting businesses from cybercrime. In order to ethically hack into a system, you must have specific qualifications and adhere to a strict code of ethics. Ethical hackers are always authorised to conduct the 'attacks' by the owner of the system or network.

Ethical hackers infiltrate a company’s systems from the perspective of a malicious hacker. By doing this the company can be made aware of any vulnerabilities in its infrastructure and put appropriate remedies in place.

As a business, it’s much better to find out from an ethical hacker where your business could be exploited. Don’t wait for a malicious hacker to highlight your lack of preparedness, because by then it’s, too late!

White Hat Hackers, Black Hat Hackers ... What's the difference?

It comes down to ethical vs non-ethical. The Good ... Ethical hackers are commonly known as 'white hat' hackers and they’re the good guys, as they hack with permission and for honourable reasons. ‘Black hat’ hackers are those who hack without permission and for malicious reasons. Ethical hackers are cyber security specialists who use their skills and expertise for good.

The Bad ... In complete contrast to ethical 'white hat' hackers, malicious 'black hat' hackers exploit and infiltrate networks for personal gain. Their main objective is to cause as much damage, and harassment, as possible which includes financial gain, obtaining sensitive information, disabling networks, and holding companies to ransom. The two types of 'hackers' couldn't be more different!

What vulnerabilities does ethical hacking identify?

There are many different types of vulnerabilities that ethical hackers will be looking for. Some common ones include:

These are just a few of the common vulnerabilities that ethical hackers will look for. After completing the 'ethical hack' companies will be given a detailed and comprehensive report, documenting weaknesses, and giving crucial advice and information for rectifying them. By identifying vulnerabilities, the 'ethical hacker' helps companies secure their systems and prevent future attacks.

Key concepts of an ethical hacker.

To engage in legal hacking, ethical hackers follow strict regulations and adhere to a strict ethical code.

They must follow the following protocols:

What qualifications are needed to become an ethical hacker?

A competent, experienced ethical hacker will have vast knowledge of coding and an impressive skill set. They will know numerous programming languages, how to exploit systems, software, social engineering techniques and much more.

They will have accredited certifications to validate their skills and legitimacy as an ethical hacker. The most widely recognised certification is the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. The holder of this qualification has had to demonstrate that they have skills and experience when looking for vulnerabilities and weaknesses in computer and network systems and are proficient with the tools and techniques used by a would-be malicious attacker. Many other recognised certifications and cyber-security courses are also available, and a competent 'ethical hacker' will have completed a number of them.

How can small businesses get help from an ethical hacker?

The best thing to do is to employ the services of a reputable cyber security company. We are a cybersecurity consultancy with a big difference. We are a team of seasoned 'white hat' ethical hackers with extensive experience and expertise of working inside some of the largest security consultancies. We have a combined experience of over 20 years in the cyber security industry.

We now used our well-honed skills to benefit businesses of all sizes. Why should only the larger organisations get crucial cyber security protection? We aim to ensure that small businesses are also protected!

If you are a business owner, then contact us and let us help ensure your business is cyber secure.

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