When we hear the word “hacking” or “hacker”, the first thing that hits our mind is the image of someone who breaks into our computer and injects malware or steals information. Literally, the word “hacker” was first coined in the 1960s when some members of the MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Tech Model Railroad Club hacked their high-tech train sets to improve its functionalities. Later the term became common for computer experts, who use their technical knowledge to overcome an obstacle or challenge.
Types of Hackers
There are mainly three types of hackers – White Hat Hackers, Black Hat Hackers and Grey Hat Hackers.
What is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical hacking is carried out by White Hat Hackers. It is the authorized attempt to gain access to a system, network or application duplicating the actions performed by a cybercriminal or Black Hat Hackers.
Different Phases of Ethical Hacking
- Reconnaissance: In this phase, the hacker gathers information about the target system using various tools.
- Scanning: In this phase, the system is scanned and actively probed for vulnerabilities.
- Gaining Access: In this phase, the vulnerabilities found in the previous phase are exploited and the hacker tried to enter the target system.
- Maintaining Access: In this phase, the hacker tries to maintain persistent access to the target system for future attacks and also uses it as a base for additional attacks.
- Clearing Tracks: In this phase, the hacker deletes all the logs of the hacking session to make sure that no one can reach them.
- Reporting: In the last phase, the hacker compiles a report that contains the tools used, vulnerabilities found, exploitation possibilities and solution for the vulnerabilities.
What does an Ethical Hacker do?
When it comes to assessing your cybersecurity strategies, you must think from the perspective of a black hat hacker. That is what exactly an ethical hacker does. If conducted accurately, ethical hacking provides you with valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s Security Posture.
Benefits of Ethical Hacking
- Prepare for undetected or unseen breaches
- Strengthen cybersecurity strategies
- Reduce remediation costs and downtime
- Prevent unauthorized access
- Identify loopholes/vulnerabilities in the system
- Meet security compliance requirements