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What is Ethical Hacking?
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What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking involves an authorised attempt to gain unauthorised access to an application, general data, or computer system.

Ethical hackers are required by organisations to present a maturity scorecard, which highlights their vulnerabilities, overall risks, and provide suggestions for improvements that can be made to increase their security.

Ethical Hackers work across most industries and have become an essential role for many businesses around the world recently, with the increase in cyber crime and attacks on businesses of all sizes.

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Different types of Ethical Hacking

Any system, website, process, or device can be hacked. To better understand how a potential hack can occur (and how large the damage could be), Ethical Hackers must think like a malicious hacker and know the techniques and tools they are likely to use.

Typically, there are five different types of Ethical Hacking, including:

Web Application Hacking – The exploitation of applications via HTTP. This is achieved by manipulating the application through its graphical web interface and tampering the URI or HTTP elements not contained in the URI.

System Hacking – The way a hacker will access computers on a network. Main methods include spyware installation, password cracking, privilege escalation, and keylogging.

Web Server Hacking - Hackers attack a web server to steal passwords, business information, and credential information, by using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, social engineering attacks, SYN flood, sniffing attacks, and more.

Hacking Wireless Networks - Also known as the cracking of wireless networks, a hackers’ goal here is to defeat the security of a wireless network. Wireless networks communicate through radio waves, so it’s straightforward for a hacker to ‘sniff’ the network from nearby. Typically, a hacker will use network sniffing to find the SSID and then hack the wireless network.

Social Engineering – A wide range of malicious activities carried out through different human interactions. These processes use psychological manipulation to trick users into making security mistakes or hand over some of their sensitive information.

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The importance of Ethical Hacking

With the general increase in cybercrime, ethical hacking has become essential to businesses of all sizes because it helps to ensure that their data and the data of their clients is kept safe. It works as a safeguard from hackers, who aim to take sensitive data to use as collateral for blackmailing, to expose information to the public, or leak sensitive information to smear an organisation or individual working there.

We have outlined the top 10 most costly data breaches to date, with the highest exceeding £2 billion, reinforcing just how important Cyber Security is, and how essential the role of an Ethical Hacker is for businesses today.

  •    The Home Depot – $56 Million
  •    Sony Pictures Entertainment – $100 Million
  •    Anthem – $100 Million
  •    Heartland Payment Systems – $140 Million
  •    TJ Maxx – $162 Million
  •    Target – $162 Million
  •    Sony PlayStation – $171 Million
  •    Hannaford Bros – $252 Million
  •    Veterans Administration – $500 Million
  •    Epsilon – $4 Billion

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Benefits of Ethical Hacking

The main benefit that comes from having someone responsible for your Ethical Hacking, is the protection of your data and prevention of data being misused or stolen by malicious attackers.

Other benefits include:

  •    Discovering vulnerabilities from an attacker’s Point of view, to fix weak areas of your security.
  •    Gaining trust from your investors and customers by ensuring the security of their data.
  •    Implementing a secure network to prevents security breaches.

How to start a career in Ethical Hacking

Having a good understanding of networking and security is really a minimum requirement for those looking to move into Cyber Security as a career.

Individuals with IT experience looking to make the change to become an Ethical Hacker, would benefit from undertaking specific Ethical Hacking courses to earn an Ethical Hacking certification, such as the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). 

For those who are new to IT, we have developed a range of professional IT & Cyber Security packages aimed at novices. These packages will help you gain the skills and certificates necessary to progress further into Cyber Security.  

These Cyber Security packages include: 

Cyber Security Fundamentals – New to IT with no previous experience.

Cyber Security Professional with Recruitment Support – Some IT knowledge but you require more specific network or security knowledge and certificates to get into IT job roles.

Cyber Security Specialist with Recruitment Support – Previous IT experience and some fundamental IT qualifications (such as CompTIA IT Fundamentals+, or CompTIA A+ Certificate), with the goal of now becoming an Ethical Hacker.

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Ready to get started? Contact our Cyber Security Course Consultants on +44 (0) 20 3198 7700 or fill out a contact form, and we will get back in touch to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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