HOW DOES ETHICAL HACKING WORK?
When you say the word hacking, most people think about a dark figure typing away on his or her computer as streams of green tinted code flash across the screen until it finally hits the jackpot. In reality, that is not exactly how all, or any, of hacking works. In fact, hacking has become quite a gray area in contemporary society, particularly with the rise of ethical or white hat hacking.
Many companies and businesses today are capitalizing on the utility of ethical hacking to make their networks as secure and protected from cyber criminals with actual malicious intent as possible. When you hire an ethical hire to analyze and secure your system, they go through a typical cycle. Here, we will take a look at how ethical hacking usually works:
Vulnerability Assessment is one of the services of ethical hackers that you can avail. In this process, the professional hackers use a variety of tools to scan your network and identify any vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malicious cyber criminals. Once the weaknesses have been detected and pinpointed, you can also leverage their help to fix them as it is important to address these holes as quickly as possible before they become known to a black hat hacker. The ethical hacker will usually stay in close contact with your team and inform them of the progress of the assessment as it carries on. They will also require input from your end prior to the assessment pertaining to your digital network.
Another ethical hacking technique is penetration testing, and the one most of the general public is familiar with. This technique is employed when a host of software, tools, and approaches are used to test the integrity of the defense system of a given device, network, or website. Penetration testing is different from vulnerability assessment in the sense that it not only scans for vulnerabilities, but also creates a real life scenario where someone is trying to exploit it. As such, penetration testing gives you a more thorough and accurate picture of the state of your network security. You can go either of two ways with penetration testing: either give the hacker detailed information regarding the system being tested for a White Box Test, or allow them to proceed with very little system information for a Black Box Test.
Red teaming is similar to what is done during penetration testing, except it is much more aggressive and takes place over a longer period of time to better simulate a real life hacking attempt. The red team will typically comprise a group of skilled professional ethical hackers who will use a number of tools and software to exploit the vulnerabilities in your system while keeping you largely unaware of their approaches. They even employ the use of social engineering techniques such as phishing to cover all of the bases. By keeping you blind regarding the details and timings of the tests, read teaming truly tests the ability of your network to resist and withstand cyber attacks.