Ethical hacking, also known as “pentesting” or penetration testing, is a technique computer security experts use to detect and correct vulnerabilities in information systems. The main goal of ethical hackers is to ensure that an organization’s systems and networks are secure and protected against possible malicious attacks.
Ethical hacking in literature and paperhelp materials is defined as the use of hacking skills and tools to assess the security of a computer system or network legally and ethically to identify and correct potential vulnerabilities before malicious hackers exploit them. It is a practice commonly used by companies and government organizations to protect their assets and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their data.
In ethical hacking, computer security experts collaborate with system or network owners to identify and remediate potential vulnerabilities. This is done by using techniques and tools that mimic the methods used by malicious hackers but to improve security rather than exploit it.
The main difference between ethical hacking and malicious hacking is the intent behind the activity. While malicious hacking aims to compromise the security of a computer system or network for criminal purposes, ethical hacking aims to improve security and prevent potential attacks.
In addition, ethical hacking is done with the knowledge and consent of the owner of the system or network, while malicious hacking is done without their knowledge or permission, which makes it an illegal activity and is punishable by law.
The importance of ethical hacking lies in the need to protect an organization’s information and data against possible malicious attacks. Nowadays, the risk of computer attacks is increasing, and it is necessary to have effective security measures to protect systems and networks.
Ethical hackers help organizations identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in their systems and take steps to correct them before they are exploited by malicious hackers. This helps organizations maintain the integrity of their data and ensure business continuity.
In addition, ethical hacking can also help enhance an organization’s reputation by demonstrating its commitment to security and the protection of confidential information.
Ethical hackers use a variety of tools and techniques to assess the security of computer systems and networks. Some of the most common tools used by ethical hackers are described below:
Penetration testing, also known as pentesting, is a technique used by ethical hackers to evaluate the security of computer systems and networks. It consists in simulating a computer attack to identify possible vulnerabilities in the system and to evaluate its capacity to resist a real attack.
Vulnerability analysis is another technique used by ethical hackers to identify potential vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. This technique involves the use of automated and manual tools to scan and analyze systems for potential vulnerabilities.
Port scanning is a technique used by ethical hackers to identify open ports and services on a computer system or network.
Ethical hacking is a legal and ethical practice, so it is important to follow certain best practices to ensure that these standards are met. Some of the best practices include:
- Obtain authorization: Before conducting any penetration testing or vulnerability scanning, it is essential to obtain authorization from the owner of the system or network being evaluated.
- Document everything: It is important to document all activities performed during the security assessment, including any vulnerabilities found and the steps taken to correct them.
- Maintain confidentiality: Everything discovered during the penetration test should be kept secret and should not be shared with unauthorized third parties.
- Do no harm: The goal of ethical hacking is to improve the security of the system, not to harm it. Therefore, it is important to ensure that penetration testing does not cause harm to the systems being evaluated.
- Know and comply with laws and regulations: It is important to know the local, national, and international laws and regulations related to computer security and make sure to comply with them during any ethical hacking activity.
Anyone interested in computer security and who has technical knowledge in this area can become an ethical hacker. It is not necessary to have a university degree, although it can be beneficial. In addition, it is important to have a good knowledge of operating systems, programming languages, networks, and databases.
There are several ways to become an ethical hacker. One of the most common ways is through training courses in computer security and ethical hacking, such as the Specialization Course in Cybersecurity in IT Environments. Another way to access this professional career is through a Degree in Software Engineering with a mention in Cybersecurity.
Ethical hacking is an important practice in computer security that is used to detect and correct vulnerabilities in information systems. Unlike malicious hacking, ethical hacking is performed legally and ethically with the goal of improving system security. To become an ethical hacker, it is necessary to have technical knowledge of computer security and follow best practices. By following these best practices, ethical hackers can ensure that their activities are ethical and legal while improving system security.