What you will learn
Learn fundamental networking topics
Learn the important steps of hacking methodology used for penetration testing
Understand techniques for maintaining access and covering your tracks
Learn how to gain access by exploiting vulnerabilities and weaknesses
When we talk about Ethical Hacking, it is explicitly implied that we are talking about hacking that is based on ethical or moral values, without any ill intent. Ethical Hacking is defined as any form of hacking that is authorized by the owner of the target system. It can also refer to the process of taking active security measures to defend systems from hackers with malicious intentions.
From a technical standpoint, Ethical Hacking is the process of bypassing or cracking security measures implemented by a system to find out vulnerabilities, data breaches, and potential threats. It is only deemed ethical if the regional or organizational cyber laws/rules are followed. This job is formally known as penetration testing. As the name suggests, this practice involves trying to infiltrate the system and documenting the steps involved in it.
To sum it up, an Ethical Hacker hacks the target system before any harmful hacker can. This allows the security team of the organization to apply a security patch in the system and effectively eliminate an opening for the attacker to enter the system or execute a hack.
Importance of Ethical Hacking
Let’s understand why Ethical Hacking or penetration testing is such an important field. For this, we need to understand some of the many use cases and types of Ethical Hacking. Here are a few of them:
- Testing password strength
- Ensuring security settings and privilege levels in the domain account and database administration by testing out exploits
- Penetration testing after every software update/upgrade or after adding a new security patch
- Ensuring that data communication channels cannot be intercepted
- Testing validity of authentication protocols
- Ensuring security features in applications, which protect organizational and user databases
- Defense against denial-of-service attacks
- Network security and testing of anti-intrusion features
As you can see, the aforementioned tasks are important to protect the integrity of a digital lifestyle and work environment. If you do not hire Ethical Hackers to deter the threat of unethical hackers, then you are setting yourself up for disaster.
Let’s take a scenario that is very much based on real-world cases in the past. If you are running an e-commerce or social media website, you need to create databases for your web application to save the details of your customer accounts. These details and data can range from birthdays, addresses, likenesses to private multimedia content, privileged messages, payment information, hashed passwords, etc.
As you can probably figure out, any successful attack or exploit on your website, which leads to this data being leaked to an attacker or the public, can prove to be a huge problem. There would be legal repercussions from the customers who had entrusted you with their private data, which could lead to a hefty fine in court. After that, there would be a lack of trust in your website’s security, which would lead to drastically reduced traffic. All of this will be a big liability for your organization.
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