What Is Meant By Ethical Hacking?

What Is Meant By Ethical Hacking?

In a broad sense, ethical Hacking refers to an authorized attempt of compromising or gaining unauthorized access to an application, computer system, or data. An ethical hacker performs this attempt, also dabbed as a white hat hacker. White hat hackers get paid by a company as cybersecurity specialists who try to identify security loopholes through Hacking. White hat hackers differ from black hat hackers and grey hat hackers. Grey hat hackers often are hackers that identify vulnerabilities in a system or application without the owner's knowledge or permission. Still, once they find loopholes, they report them to the owners and may request a fee to fix the loopholes identified.

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On the other hand, the black hat hackers are hackers with comprehensive knowledge on bypassing security protocols and breaking into systems and are usually responsible for creating malware. The primary motivation of black hat hackers usually is financial or personal gains, and they can also be involved in protests, cyber espionage, and other cybercrimes. The proactive tasks are done by ethical hackers to assist the organizations in improving their security posture of networks, systems, and data. Ethical Hacking is usually done with prior approval from the target organization. The ethical hackers also sign an NDA agreement that prohibits the hacker from sharing company information on the identified security loopholes or any other information they can access. 


Major Ethical hacking protocols

  1. Legality: Ethical hackers will need to obtain the proper approval and consent from the company before performing the security assessment on the company infrastructure. 
  2. Scope Definition: Ethical hackers will need to determine and agree on the assessment's scope to remain within the boundaries agreed with the organization. 
  3. Reporting: All the information acquired after the assessment, including the vulnerabilities discovered and the general status of the security posture, will need to be notified to the organization. The hacker is also expected to provide the organization with advice that ought to resolve the identified vulnerabilities. 
  4. Data Sensitivity: Before performing the assessment, agreements need to be made between the hacker and the organization, signing to an NDA and other terms that the organization may require.


What Questions does the ethical assessment answer?

  1. What are the vulnerabilities identified by the assessment?
  2. What are the most prone targets of attack by hackers in the organization's infrastructure?
  3. What type of information can be accessed by an attacker to be used?
  4. How many people noticed the attempted hack?
  5. What are the solutions to the vulnerabilities?

These questions need to be answered by the ethical hacker and are crucial towards improving the organization's security posture.

As the S4E team, we strive to pass the ethical hacking process in the best way, and we report to you all the necessary measures for your company's security.

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