One of the collateral damages of digitization is cybercrime – a dark and undesirable digital battlefield where organizations 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 specialized 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 organizations in their defence against the dark arts.
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 organization’s IT systems to discover vulnerabilities and recommend ways to protect them against infiltration from criminal hackers.
Ethical hackers are the curious guys on the good side with the dirty skills – they approach an organization’s IT systems with the mindset of the enemies and use the findings for the benefit of the organization.
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 organization’s IT systems for 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 organizations.
Certified Ethical Hackers or white-hate hackers can be trusted since their careers depend on their services and loyalty to the client.
Watch: Kushantha G, our EC-Council Certified Expert take you through the intricate laneways of ‘Hacking’ (click on thumbnail):
Certified Ethical Hackers for Your Organization
Certified Ethical Hackers need to bring three unique skills to the table for your organization, they are as follows:
An excellent amalgamation of these skills in a CEH professional will give your organization the following benefits:
Find out how Advanced Training’s Certified Ethical Hacker v11 course is designed to produce world-class CEH professionals
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 organization’s cyber security defences through specific on-site audits of focused amount of information. There are 4 types of pen tests:
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) does your organization need to tick your cybersecurity objectives.
Ethical hacking is rigorous assessment of your IT security practices 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 into deeper into the various possibilities of a cyberattack with ethical hacking. Simply put, both are extremely important for your organization and having excellent CEH’s and pen testing professionals perform them will only benefit you.