As technology advances, there is also a constant rise in cybercrime cases, including online theft and data breaches, causing more damage than expected. However, it also has created a need for specialists to find system loopholes, helping government bodies and large organisations enhance their security walls.
Ethical hacking is a rarely used term misunderstood chiefly due to its association with hacking. However, unlike hacking, which is generally a criminal offence used for unethical practices and cybercrime, ethical hacking does the exact opposite.
In this article, we will talk about ethical hacking, the need for cybersecurity in the current scenario and how ethical hacking can prove beneficial as a cybersecurity practice.
Understanding the Concept of Ethical Hacking.
The concept of ethical hacking is to diffuse any potential online risks or cyberattack threats and strengthen an organisation’s security systems. Ethical hacking is not restricted to national security and government bodies but is an important security tool for large corporations. According to CyberGhost, ethical hacking helps safeguard confidential data and sensitive information for organisations, allowing them to navigate confidently on digital platforms.
Ethical hackers are well-versed in hacking systems. However, their knowledge and skill sets are utilised to ensure data security and avoid cyberattacks. Since this is another form of hacking, an ethical hacker also helps understand the behaviour of a potential hacker and the threat they pose to the system. Penetration testing is a widely used activity that helps ethical hackers safeguard data from cyber threats. Ethical hacking makes it easier to identify potential threats, any system vulnerabilities or security parameters that a hacker can use for loopholes to enter the system and leak information.
Cybersecurity breaches can cause a lot of damage to businesses or create security panic in government bodies, especially if an essential piece of data is leaked.
Ethical hackers are specifically appointed to look at the potential flaws in a system firewall that hackers can easily access. As the only acceptable form of hacking, ethical hacking uses computer experts that take care of security systems and firewalls, analysing the security checks and recommending possible solutions to upgrade and improve the system. It is most useful in national security and data protection that entails classified government information.
Importance of cybersecurity in the digital age.
In a time when anyone can track most of our activities and information online, there is an urgent need to be secure on the internet. Cybersecurity is one of the topmost essentials today, whether for individuals or organisations. Keeping personal data secure and safe from possible online threats is crucial, and ethical hacking helps keep intruders away. Hackers can access and misuse personal data or important information on the internet, and the only way to deal with it is through ethical hacking protocols.
Cybersecurity, in terms of ethical hacking, is helpful for government bodies to prevent information about a political affair, security plans or highly confidential matters from being leaked and influencing the possible results of a situation. It is also beneficial in tracking online terrorist activities and potential assault situations.
Moreover, with cybersecurity measures, government bodies and large-scale organisations can easily prevent system crashes or future hacking situations. Ethical hacking helps construct system firewalls that cannot be breached easily, ensuring improved data protection.
There are several quality check testing tools and protocols that ethical hackers use to detect and remove any possible flaws in a firewall quickly. It helps identify the problem area and allows organisations to understand the possible flaws from a hacker’s viewpoint. Accordingly, it becomes much easier to rectify such weak system issues and protect sensitive information.
Hence, while the technology gets better, it will be essential for organisations to rework their cybersecurity plans and better security protocols to avoid online threats and potential attacks. Thanks to data protection needs, there is a high demand for good ethical hackers in large firms and government bodies.
Importance of Ethical Hackers in Cybersecurity
While cybersecurity has a vast scope, the need for ethical hackers is one of the latest trends catching up with large organisations. Here are some reasons that explain the importance ethical hackers have in cybersecurity.
- Identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities in systems.
Ethical hacking helps find loopholes from a hacker’s perspective and how it can be used to blackmail or create cyber threats. They can also recognise and inform organisations about the existing security measures and whether those methods are effective or require an upgrade.
Ethical hackers perform an evaluation and create an analysis, informing the organisation on weak spots such as password encryption insufficiency, unprotected applications or systems that are utilising unpatched tools. Based on the analysis, the organisations can work on improvement plans to overcome potential cybersecurity issues.
- Protection of sensitive information from cybercriminals.
With the help of ethical hackers, it becomes easier to protect sensitive data and information that can easily trigger an online attack or a mere threat. Ethical hacking allows organisations to become aware of their data protection protocols and helps them rework the weak, vulnerable ones.
It is much better to have insider knowledge from an ethical hacker who can offer in-depth protection analysis than a security professional and how sensitive information can be protected from online threats.
- Maintaining trust and confidence in digital platforms.
With possible cyber threats, diffusing a situation is more straightforward if an ethical hacker has conducted security measure testing and assessed and recommended existing security protocols. This way, the organisation’s reputation stays intact, and the information stays within the security firewalls.
The Legal and Ethical Framework of Ethical Hacking
Under the Information & Technology Act 2000, Sections 43 and 66 address all cybercrimes committed in India. With hacking as one of the cybercrimes, ethical hacking is a legal job profile under which the organisation hires a professional with knowledge of how to get past a system firewall to check their security protocols and analyse the firewall’s strength. These hackers are certified with proper training on hacking methods and are professionally bound by contracts with their employer organisation.
Section 84, IT Act 2000 protects a hacker employed by the government to perform ethical hacking and protect their network from cyberattacks or data breaches. All other ethical hackers, if employed by a private organisation, can be punished under Section 84 unless they have legal rights to access a computer system.
The Path to Becoming an Ethical Hacker
To become an ethical hacker, a potential candidate must have one crucial prerequisite, i.e., an advanced technical knowledge of cybersecurity. Moreover, to be a skilled, ethical hacker, the candidate must be good at analysing the system firewalls and recommending mitigation plans and possible strategies to upgrade them. Also, the candidate must have good knowledge of wired networks, wireless networks, operating systems (Windows, Linux) and firewalls.
Ethical hacking also requires proficient coding skills and familiarity with general computer science, workstations, and servers. As an ethical hacker, a candidate must possess a skill set in different technologies and a strategic mindset to make recommendations for enhancing different segments within cybersecurity. But that is not all; ethical hackers must also work on sound ethics and ensure the knowledge is used to disable any cyber threats by a potential criminal.
A candidate can apply for Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) to become a certified ethical hacker. Moreover, any other professional certifications for cybersecurity can make a candidate a good choice for getting selected as an ethical hacker.
According to CyberGhost, ethical hacking is a crucial step in ensuring cybersecurity. The scope for ethical hackers is increasing daily, and this field has a lot of potential. With the knowledge of a criminal hacker but the ethics of a professional that wants to utilise their skill set for good, ethical hacking is the latest security upgrade that is a must for all large organisations and government bodies.