What is Ethical Hacking?

In recent years, and with great momentum, the so-called “ethical hacking” has awakened innumerable debates considering the point of views for and against it. The combination of two such distant words seems to confuse many people, since the word “ethical” always refers to something “good”, while “hacking” indicates something similar to accessing unauthorised thing.

This type of hacking analyses corporate computer systems and programs in order to clarify the security status of a company. Specifically, the role of cybercriminal is assumed and attacks on the entity are simulated, thus evaluating the real state of its security.

For it to be considered ethical, it is essential to have the authorization of the company. In fact, the ideal is for a contract to be drawn up indicating the obligations to be fulfilled by the auditor who, in this case, would be the ethical hacker. As a general rule, confidentiality, professional secrecy and integrity clauses are included in these agreements and the limits of the audit are clarified.

As a final result, it is possible to establish the weak points in the computer protection of the company, this being a key factor in stipulating the actions to be developed. In this way, based on the errors themselves, solutions are created to mitigate them or, if possible, eliminate them.

In short, the main advantage of ethical hacking is to give companies the keys to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

What is this type of hacking for?

These actions have three main functions, which are the following:

  • Get ahead of digital criminals by solving any weaknesses that may cause a cyber-attack.
  • Raise awareness among company professionals of the importance of maintaining
    computer security in their daily work.
  • Improve security processes by performing a software update or an incident response and
    action plan.

Types of Ethical Hacking

To speak with total certainty, there is only one typology of this activity that is ethical. The rest either hide not-too-good intentions or have an ambiguous ethic. On the other hand, it would be better to focus it on the types of hackers, since it is these people who carry out the different actions with good or bad intentions.

  1. Black Hat Hackers
    Those persons or community involved in cyber-crime activities would be considered as black hat hackers. This figure is one who has the necessary knowledge to break the security of a computer or program or to create viruses and uses them with malicious intent. Therefore,
    their actions would not be legal.
  2. White Hat Hackers
    The hackers White Hat are those who do have ethics. That is, they have the necessary knowledge to bypass the security of a computer or create digital viruses, but they use it to do good by helping to improve the security of companies, governments and individuals.
  3. Gray Hat Hackers
    Those who are recognized as grey hat hackers are those who have an ambiguous ethic.
    That is, they have the knowledge of black’s hats and use them to enter systems and search for vulnerabilities. After this, they would offer to fix them. But of course, once they have inspected the system without any type of agreement or contract.

These are the three main types of hackers and, as can be seen, only one of them uses their knowledge for an ethical purpose.

What is the goal of ethical hacking?

The objective of ethical hacking is, therefore, to assess computer security and identify vulnerabilities in systems, networks or system infrastructures.

They use the same skills, methods, and techniques as conventional black hat hackers, also known as crackers, to avoid security as they would and to determine if unauthorized access or other malicious activity is possible.

However, instead of exploiting the vulnerabilities they find for their personal gain, ethical hackers document them and provide advice on how to remedy them so that organizations can strengthen the security of their computer.

In summary, it could be said that the main difference between an ethical hacker and a cracker is the legality of their actions.

How to learn Ethical Hacking?

The main question arises here i.e. as how to learn ethical hacking ? Despite the fact that he has become a professional figure in high demand by organizations, ethical hacking is still a very young discipline.

This current situation is the main reason why there is no specific and official training on ethical piracy, but they are generally people who have studies in computer science, mathematics or information security and who have learned piracy techniques independently.

However, in response to the growing demand and need for companies to incorporate these figures to protect their security systems, the educational offer in this area has also increased.

There should be no doubt that ethical hacking techniques have become an indispensable tool for protecting corporate security, so the presence of ethical hackers in them will continue to grow and acquire importance in combating cyber-attacks.


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