What is ethical hacking ?
To better understand this reality, we must also mention the rest of hackers , because within cyber security there are three kinds of hackers: black, gray or white hat . The former hack for reasons of selfishness , such as stealing money, revenge, or to cause some harm. White hat hackers are those who would fall into the field of improving security . They look for holes in it and inform victims so that they are aware that their most relevant data is in the hands of a less scrupulous hacker . And the gray hat pirates they are located in the middle, carrying out operations that may be morally questionable . For example, hacking ideologically opposed groups or to launch protests from other hackers . This would be the antagonism of ethical hacking . Those who practice cyber encryption in a more moral way are people who belong to companies or institutional groups, seeking to make their data more secure. In fact, the value here is that ethical hackers know how pirates can act. That gives them a slight advantage in preventing attacks . Another way that allows us to identify these hackers is when they are required by agencies for the collection of ‘bug bounties’. That is, big data companies offer a reward to researchers or hackers who discover holes in their security system . So they are also prevented from pirates. For example, Google , Facebook or Microsoft have these figures to prevent black hackers from stealing money or data, which are their greatest assets.
How ethical hacking works
The process consists of several stages and all of them must be carried out with information between the departments. This ensures that the audit is carried out in the best way and the results will be transparent . Therefore, this will allow us to take the appropriate measures. So, the steps are as follows:
- Audit agreement : it is the preparation of a document to reflect the scope of the audit and the tests that are going to be carried out , formalizing a contract as such.
- Collection of information : here all the information about employees and everything related to the company is collected so that the hacking is adequate.
- Threat modeling : with the information obtained, the importance of the company’s assets is defined. This is how possible threats are determined .
- Vulnerability analysis : In relation, ports and services are searched to locate possible vulnerable zones .
- Exploitation : This is where you confirm if there are vulnerabilities and risks .
- Post-exploitation : the auditor compiles the evidence and assesses the impact of this exploitation on the company to see how far those hackers who want to attack the company can go.
- Report : the auditor reports a report with the vulnerabilities detected , how they can be exploited and what needs to be done to correct or mitigate them.
Benefits of ethical hacking
In relation to the functions, the report of the same allows the company to have a better concept about its network security . In this way, you can choose to make one or more reports to confirm if the risks are the same or if they vary with different reports. However, regardless of the number of reports that are made, they conclude with some actions that must be carried out. Therefore, the benefits of ethical hacking are the following:
- Anticipation of possible attacks : this is perhaps the most decisive point, because with these reports it is possible to detect vulnerabilities and do everything possible to stop a cyber attack in the future.
- Awareness of the company’s professionals : today cyber security is fundamental and having knowledge of it is basic, hence many companies have already become aware with exclusive departments to protect their computer systems .
- Improvement of security processes : These reports also allow you to see the weaknesses and what needs to be improved. For example, software update. In this way, companies have greater security when establishing business relationships , knowing that their systems are better protected and that it will not be easy to access them for morally reprehensible purposes.
All in all, ethical hacking is essential for companies, since, as we have seen, it allows them to avoid possible attacks from a malicious hacker .