Ethical hacking is the process of detecting flaws in computer systems or networks in order to identify threats, vulnerabilities, and exploit them in order to gain access using the same hacking knowledge and tools as a malicious hacker, but in a lawful and legitimate manner (written permission) in order to assess the security posture of a target system.
A white-hat hacker is a type of ethical hacker. The role of an ethical hacker is comparable to that of a penetration tester, although it entails more responsibilities. Ethical hacking has been a component of computing for about five decades, and it is a vast field that encompasses a wide range of issues.
In order to run a successful business, computers are now required. It is not sufficient to have isolated computer systems; they must be networked in order to communicate with external enterprises.
The Ethical Hacking Process
In order to have a successful project in ethical hacking, you must plan ahead. It allows for critical analysis about what needs to be done, the setting of goals, and the risk assessment of how a project should be carried out.
Reconnaissance in Ethical Hacking is the search for freely available information to assist in an attack
Enumeration in Ethical Hacking is also known as network or vulnerability discovery. It is the act of obtaining information that is readily available from the target’s system, applications, and networks.
An ethical hacker must use a rational and pragmatic method to successfully examine data. The acquired data is compared to known vulnerabilities in a practical process during the vulnerability analysis phase.
In ethical hacking, a large amount of work is spent preparing and evaluating.
Of course, all of this hacking strategy will inevitably result in an attack. Exploiting a system can be as simple as running a little tool or as complicated as following a number of sophisticated actions in a specific order in order to get access.
Although the exploitation phase of Ethical Hacking includes a number of checks and validations to assure success, a final analysis is required to categorise the system’s vulnerabilities in terms of their level of exposure and to aid in the development of a mitigation strategy. The final analysis phase connects the exploitation phase with the delivery of a deliverable.
The findings of tests are communicated in a variety of ways through deliverables.
Some deliverables are short and concise, containing only a list of vulnerabilities and instructions on how to fix them, while others are long and detailed, containing a list of vulnerabilities as well as detailed descriptions of how they were discovered, exploited, and the consequences of having such a vulnerability.
An ethical hacker uses the deliverable phase to communicate the outcomes of their tests. Recently, ethical hacking has gotten so commoditized that if a deliverable does not make CEOs fearful, it may be regarded a failure.
Ethical hacking is a term used to describe a type of hacking that Finally, there must be a way to put the results of the tests to good use. To improve mitigation and generate remedies and fixes for vulnerabilities, the deliverable is frequently coupled with existing materials such as risk analysis, security policy, past test results, and information linked with a security programme. During the integration of any test results, there are three differentiating variables to consider:
Mitigation –In ethical hacking, if a vulnerability that poses an unacceptable risk is discovered, it must be patched. Testing, piloting, implementing, and validating system modifications are all examples of vulnerability mitigation.
Defense –In order to avoid future or unknown vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities must be handled strategically. Defense planning entails laying a secure foundation on which to build and achieve long-term success.
Incident Management – The ability to identify, respond to, and recover from an attack is critical in ethical hacking. Knowing how assaults are carried out and the system’s potential consequences aids in the creation of an incident response strategy. The ethical hacking technique allows for the discovery of a system’s many flaws and appealing attack pathways, which can help prevent future attacks.
Who is an Ethical Hacker?
A competent expert with superior technical knowledge and skills who knows how to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in target systems is known as an ethical hacker. Ethical hackers only work with the authorization of system owners. The goal of an Ethical Hacker is to assess the security posture of a target organization/system while adhering to the regulations of the target business or owner as well as the law of the land.
Purpose of Ethical Hacking
The goal of ethical hacking is to improve the network or system’s security by addressing vulnerabilities discovered during testing. Finding and attempting to exploit any vulnerabilities is part of ethical hacking to see if unauthorised access or other malicious acts are possible.
Ethical hackers look for security vulnerabilities in insecure system setups, known and unknown hardware and software vulnerabilities, and operational flaws in procedural or technical remedies.
The goal of an ethical hacker is to protect the privacy of the organisation that has been hacked, to transparently report all detected computer system weaknesses to the organisation, and to inform hardware and software providers of the identified holes. Penetration testing by ethical hackers should be considered for any organisation that has a network connection to the Internet or provides an online service.
Advantages of Ethical Hacking
The majority of the advantages of ethical hacking are self-evident, but there are a few that are neglected. The advantages of ethical hacking range from preventing malevolent hacking to avoiding national security breaches. The following are some of the advantages:
- To recover lost information, especially in case you lost your password.
- perform penetration testing to strengthen computer and network security.
- To put adequate preventative measures in place to prevent security breaches.
- To have a computer system that prevents malicious hackers from gaining access.
- Testing Security Measures
- Finding Vulnerable Areas
- Understanding Hacker Techniques
- Preparing for a Hacker Attack
- Fighting against terrorism and national security breaches
- Having a computer system that prevents malicious hackers from gaining access
- Having adequate preventative measures in place to prevent security breaches
How to Obtain An Ethical Hacking Course or Certification?
After you’ve completed the Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking coursework (and any other relevant courses), you might want to explore getting certified. Depending on your experience, skill level, and overall knowledge, the initial step toward Ethical Hacking certification could be advanced research on penetration testing and ethical hacking tactics.
You can find resources to assist you with your certification preparation. Because of the debate surrounding ethical hacking, there are a variety of ethical hacking credentials as well as IT certifications linked to security that can assist people become ethical hackers. These include:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) — The EC-Council offers this hacking credential, which is the most sought-after and recognisable accreditation in the area.
- ISACA, a nonprofit, independent group that works for professionals involved in information security, assurance, risk management, and governance, offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification.
- Certified information security manager (CISM) – The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) is an advanced certification offered by ISACA that validates individuals who have demonstrated the in-depth knowledge and experience needed to develop and manage an enterprise information security programme.
- GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) – The Global Information Assurance Certification organisation designed and administers this Hacking certification for security professionals who want to demonstrate that they are qualified for hands-on security jobs in IT systems.
While certifications are not required for all ethical hacking positions, they are a valuable credential to present to new or potential employers because it demonstrates that you have a basic understanding of how to protect their systems using ethical hacking and penetration testing as the cornerstone of your methodology.