Ethical Hacking: What is it and how is it useful for cybersecurity?

Ethical Hacking: What is it and how is it useful for cybersecurity?

In this article we are going to get to know what ethical hacking is and how important it is for many companies and the figure of CISOs and technical security teams.

Because.... being able to ensure the protection of all systems and business networks has become a key requirement for all the management staff of any business, especially because of the vulnerabilities that can occur if applied in a real intrusion exercise that jeopardizes the security of all data, sensitive information, wifi networks and even access to the home automation of an establishment.  So, let's find out what can ethical hacking do to prevent them?

What is Ethical Hacking and how useful is it?

The ethical hacking exercise is defined as those practices performed by professionals or also called ethical security hackers, with the aim of helping companies to identify vulnerabilities that may jeopardize the protection of their systems, data and information to be exploited by malicious hackers.

These services are designed to put you in the shoes of a hacker and be able to detect through different tests and penetration tests the effectiveness of the systems in order to test their effectiveness and know all possible security gaps.

Once each of the tests is completed, those responsible for its realization must generate a full report of each of the actions taken to provide solutions to improve the cybersecurity of the organization in question. The purpose of Ethical Hacking is not to destroy the security network but to provide the best solutions to ensure cyber defense.

What does an ethical hacking exercise consist of? Let's get to know its phases:

  1. Reconnaissance (Research and information gathering)
  2. Scanning (Vulnerability identification)
  3. Gaining access (Exploiting vulnerabilities)
  4. Maintaining access (Deploying backdoors and gaining administrative privileges of the system)
  5. Evidence removal (Removing traces of system intrusion)

Types of Hacker that exist

  • White Hat hackers refer to all those professionals who carry out good practices with the aim of improving corporate security and continuously detecting breaches in it.  This type of profile is based on the search for knowledge and their modus operandi is the detection of vulnerabilities.

  • Black hat hackers refer to cybercriminals or crackers whose purpose is to infect systems with malware, steal data, paralyze services or obtain financial gains through different actions aimed at violating the security networks of an entity.

  • Grey Hat hackers are a hybrid between white hack and black hack techniques, i.e. they are somewhere between good and evil. We are talking about a profile that has no qualms about carrying out an illegal activity with the aim of completing a certain action and receiving a consideration, however, sometimes it has a lawful character and with good intentions or, on the contrary, they intend to hack an organization for the benefit of the attackers.

Why do companies hire Ethical Hacking services?

Under the premise that the hiring of these professionals is done with the purpose of testing the security of the systems, here are some useful reasons:

  • Computer security consulting: Each ethical hacking exercise includes the preparation of a very detailed report that points out all the weaknesses and associated recommendations for the prevention of vulnerabilities through the use of protocols, tools and solutions to ensure their security.
  • Strengthening of systems:  Ethical hacking experts aim to perform attacks in a controlled manner on a system to list all the vulnerabilities detected.
  • Raise awareness among all employees: With ethical hacking techniques, it is possible to implement different actions aimed at generating incidents at departmental level in order to identify failures that could jeopardize corporate security or legal incidents.
  • Economic savings: Economic savings can be decisive for an organization with the implementation of effective security systems.

In conclusion, it should be noted that ethical hacking is an indispensable resource for the early detection of compromising security flaws for a company, but in addition to this, once we bet on this type of action we should:

  • Complete a Cybersecurity Consultancy to know a status of the strengths and weaknesses of our security.
  • Perform intrusion tests on a regular basis.
  • Permanent 24X7 monitoring such as that offered by a SOC service
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