A Guide to Ethical Hacking and Why It’s Important for Cybersecurity

When you hear the word, ‘hacking’, you automatically think ‘cybercrime’ and all the negativity that goes with it. And quite rightly so. But did you know that there is actually an ethical form of hacking, and that it is more connected with cyber security than cybercrime? The fact is that cyber security and hacking are a well-known combination. Here’s the lowdown on ethical hacking, and why it’s so important when it comes to keeping us, our systems and our data safe in the cyber world.


Cyber security and ethical hacking is a strong weapon in the war against cybercrime. Skilled cyber security engineers are actually employed and authorised to test the resilience of computer systems using planned, approved and legal means.


An ethical hacker is employed to analyse a system or network for weaknesses that could potentially be used by malicious hackers to gain access and hold organisations to ransom, or bring systems to a standstill.


Why is ethical hacking an important cybersecurity strategy?


Ethical hacking is nowadays considered essential to protect computer systems and networks, and to uphold the reputation and productivity of an organisation. It is a tangible cybersecurity strategy that can prevent computer downtime, reinforce security protocols, and safeguard company information and customer data.


The work of an ethical hacker involves using their findings to work out methods of strengthening security defences so that systems, networks and applications can be better safeguarded against malicious attacks and data breaches. As the saying goes, ‘it takes a thief to catch a thief’, and that is precisely the theory behind cyber security and ethical hacking.


The different types of hackers


The practice of ethical hacking is known as ‘white hat’ hacking. In contrast, ‘black hat’ hacking involves unlawful security breaches using illegal techniques to compromise systems or destroy data.


‘Grey hat’ hackers do not ask for permission before accessing a system, however they are different to black hat hackers as they do not perform hacking for any third party or personal gain. There is no malicious intent, they simply do it ‘for fun’, often informing the system owner of the threats they identify. Grey hat hacking is still illegal, because it is not authorised.


White hat hackers follow the techniques and processes used by black hat hackers in order to determine system weaknesses. They replicate all the steps taken by the malicious hacker so that they can discover precisely how the attack took place. The process allows for flaws to be identified and fixed.


Whilst cyber security and hacking may not seem a likely partnership, it is clear to see why it works.


Looking to secure your systems and company data? Look to PC Docs.


There are various ways to protect your business against the threat of cyber-attacks, including cybersecurity hacking. But this will need to form part of an overall strategy, one that is designed specifically to work for your individual organisation.


Here at PC Docs, we offer a fully tailored IT security service. To learn how our expert, friendly team can help to protect your business from the growing risks of cybercrime and data breach, you are welcome to get in touch.


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