What is Ethical Hacking? & Types of Ethical Hackers

Introduction

Data, as in basic information, is being received from numerous sources at a very high speed. It is being generated as though it had started its journey a million light-years ago. This basic information is very easy to manipulate if not given attention. With advancements happening in today’s world of the information technology sector, numerous software, new applications, and new security systems are developed and supervised every day. When they are still in the stage of development or the process of testing, the data or the system’s mainframe is exposed to many malicious hackers and attackers.

As the name suggests, ethical hacking is hacking into the systems completely based on principles and moral values. It is the practice of breaking into a system’s mainframe or passing beyond a system’s security measures to determine any vulnerabilities that might threaten the organization or company. Ethical Hackers provide this service for an organization to prevent breaching of data and fix the weaknesses that might harm the company’s reputation.

Ethical Hackers also help in implementing a strong wall that prevents security breaching. Ethical Hacking requires some prerequisites. This involves knowing most of the computer skills. It also includes having a practical knowledge of scripting languages, expertise in operating systems, a detailed understanding of networking, and fundamental and moral knowledge of principles of Information Security. They must also have a good understanding of the databases and their applications.

Types of Ethical Hackers

There are mainly three types of Hackers:

1. White-Hat Hackers:  Derived from the Spaghetti Westerns, the name refers to the good guys who wore white collar shirts to portray their intentions. As advertised, these are called ethical hackers. They breach the security systems of the organization or the government on being told to determine the vulnerabilities. They do so by cracking beyond the security measures, pointing out the weaknesses, and providing a solution to resolve the issue.

2. Black-Hat Hackers: In contrast to the White-Hat Hackers, derived from the Spaghetti Westerns, these bad guys wore black collar shirts to portray their ill-intent. These are the malicious hackers who breach the security systems, steal data and use it as leverage against the organization or government for monetary benefits. These non-ethical hackers can crack the security systems, look up personal, financial, or professional information, and use them against the organization.

3. Grey-Hat Hackers: These hackers are the amalgamation of White-Hat and Black-Hat Hackers. They may have good or bad moral values about Hacking. For instance, if they breach the firewall of an organization’s security systems and inform them about the same, then they are ethical hackers without any bad intentions. However, if they hack the organization or personal computers for fun and leverage them against the party, they’re realized as the Black-Hat hackers.

Differentiation Between White-Hat Hackers and Black-Hat Hackers?

As already established, one of the best ways to differentiate between the two types of hackers is to determine what motive they serve. However, there are other factors based on which define the type of hacker they are becoming easier:

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1. Ownership: While the organization hires White-Hat workers to detect vulnerabilities, Black-Hat hackers are not recruited by any public or private organization. They work individually for personal and monetary benefits.

2. Technology: White-Hat hackers trace the Black-Hat hackers’ steps to find the system’s issues. As they are allowed to crack security measures by the organization officially, they can find the flaws and weaknesses in the security measures and report them to fix them.

3. Authenticity: As The organization hires white-Hat hackers, they are legally bound to the company and are intended to have good values. At the same time, Black-Hat hackers are the opposite.

What Are the Responsibilities of an Ethical Hacker?

An ethical hacker sticks to the guidelines given by the company to perform hacking legally. Having good intentions, the hacker must adhere to the following responsibilities:

1. An ethical hacker, upon getting recruited, must obtain and request authorization from the organization or the owner of the system. The complete approval and agreement to hack the security systems should be obtained.

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2. Determine the capacity of the estimation and present the performance plan on the security systems to the organization and get their approval.

3. Observing and reporting any issues and weak points in the system while cracking the security to the authorized people.

4. After examining the vulnerabilities, the hacker should clear all the hacking history and traces.

How To Become an Ethical Hacker?

As being an ethical hacker requires learning and gaining practical cyber-security knowledge, one must undergo a few months of training and practice to gain mastery over ethical Hacking. If an individual is interested and passionate about making a career in cyber-security, then there are ample online certifications to enroll in. Depending on the level of knowledge level, one can take up ethical hacking training. They can choose the mode of learning: Hybrid, online or offline.

Conclusion

As everything around the globe today is connected through the internet, it is a very delicate matter to preserve all the information. This is why Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking have become trending subjects in the Information Technology Sector. They have created abundant opportunities for all the people with ‘desired IT skills. The most effective way of getting noticed is by getting certified by renowned certifications or under a professional expert.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.