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Ethical Hacking: Defence Against the Cybersecurity Dark Arts

February 16,2022 by Sid

One of the collateral damages of digitisation is cybercrime – a dark and undesirable digital battlefield where organisations must sharpen their defences and wield necessary weapons to protect themselves from invasion. In the expansive universe of cybersecurity, ethical hacking and penetration testing are the two go-to specialised forces that do exactly that.

In this blog, let’s explore these two forces, how they’re related (and slightly different), the professionals that perform them and what their benefits are for organisations in their defence against the dark arts. You can also enquire to learn more about our ethical hacking course in Melbourne and Australia.

What is Ethical Hacking?

We’re all aware of criminal hacking – the aforementioned ‘dark arts’ of cybersecurity. Ethical hacking is where you beat fire with fire. The term ‘ethical’ is the differentiating factor between the two, where ethical hackers perform planned, simulated and approved attacks on an organisation’s IT systems to discover vulnerabilities and recommend ways to protect them against infiltration from criminal hackers.

Certified ethical hackers are the curious guys on the good side with the dirty skills. They learn ethical hacking so they can approach an organisation’s IT systems with the mindset of the enemies and use the findings for the benefit of the organisation.

Types of Hackers

There are three types of hackers, each assigned with a metaphorical coloured hat. White-hat hackers are ethical hackers, with pure intentions of hacking an organisation’s IT systems to inform them of any vulnerabilities. Black-hat hackers are the criminal hackers who perform cyberattacks for personal gain and motivations. Lastly, grey-hat hackers are those that stay in the grey – they sometimes hack for personal gain and sometimes to help organisations.

Certified ethical hackers, or white-hate hackers, can be trusted since their careers depend on their services and loyalty to the client. They will often have undergone a certified ethical hacker course that provides them with ethical hacking certification.

Watch: Kushantha G, our EC-Council Certified Expert, takes you through the intricate laneways of ‘Hacking’ (click on thumbnail):

Certified Ethical Hackers for Your Organisation

Certified ethical hackers need to bring three unique skills to the table for your organisation. They are as follows:

  • Certified skills and knowledge: Well-trained and certified skills to effectively uncover the vulnerabilities of your organisation’s IT system.
  • Creative and curious: A curious and creative mind is an important part of ethical hacking because certified ethical hackers must think beyond the ordinary and try different ways to breach networks to get the best findings.
  • Trustworthy: It’s important that certified ethical hackers execute their tasks according to the code of the CEH profession, and this includes handling company data responsibly and using ethical means when testing on employees during the process.
  • An excellent amalgamation of these skills in a CEH professional will give your organisation the following benefits:

    • Discover various kinds of vulnerabilities in software, hardware or policy
    • Dumpster diving to uncover helpful information against an attack
    • Expose external and internal threats to the IT system
    • Perform network traffic analysis
    • Educate your IT team/cybersecurity professionals on cybercrime 101s
    • Conduct penetration testing on specific parts of your system

    Find out how EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker v11 course is designed to produce world-class CEH professionals.

    Penetration Testing

    Penetration testing is a specific type of ethical hacking carried out by pen testing professionals and typically carried out more regularly than ethical hacking. The main motive of pen testing is to examine the strength and reliability of an organisation’s cyber security defences through specific on-site audits of a focused amount of information. There are 4 types of pen tests:

    1. External tests: This test assesses the weaknesses of an organisation’s system that someone external to the organisation can use to attack and cause financial and reputational damage.
    2. Internal tests: This test is designed to find internal vulnerabilities within the organisation, such as the practices of employees that can lead to creating room for cyberattacks or cyber phishing by hackers to obtain sensitive information from the employees.
    3. Web application tests: This test is conducted on websites to check for bugs and website testing requirements such as reliability, security and performance to ensure that they’re well prepared for cyberattacks.
    4. Wireless networks: This test is conducted on all devices such as laptops, tablets, IoT devices, etc. connected to the organisation’s Wi-Fi.

    Ethical Hacking or Pen Testing?

    Now that you know the correlation and slight difference between the two, it’s important to know which one (or both) your organisation needs to tick your cybersecurity objectives.

    Ethical hacking is a rigorous assessment of your IT security practices that’s carried out by experts who have completed ethical hacking courses, while pen testing is a streamlined focus on identifying specific parts of your systems for vulnerabilities. Pen testing is a subset of ethical hacking, with CEH’s diving deeper into the various possibilities of a cyberattack with ethical hacking. Simply put, both are extremely important for your organisation, and having excellent CEHs and pen testing professionals perform them will only benefit you.

    Interested in upskilling your employees with an ethical hacking course in Australia? Advanced Training offers an ethical hacking course online that can be accessed across Australia, including:

    • Melbourne, Victoria
    • Sydney, NSW
    • Canberra, ACT
    • Perth, Western Australia
    • Queensland
    • Tasmania
    • South Australia

    You can read more about how we train professionals in both these EC-Council certifications on our course pages for Certified Ethical Hackers v11 and Certified Penetration Testing Professional.

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