Ethical hacking, also known as “white hat security,” is hacking into computers and networks without malicious intent. An ethical hacker is authorized by a system’s owner to bypass the security measures of that system.
Ethical hackers discover which defenses are weak and in need of improved security. After identifying vulnerabilities to a system’s security, the IT department can put together a plan to patch, or overhaul security systems to better protect their organization.
By performing ethical hacking, you can prevent malicious hackers from penetrating a system. Identifying holes in security before an attacker does will help keep people’s information safe and operations running smoothly.
If you’re seeking a rewarding career in cyber and network security, a specialization in ethical hacking may be your calling. Let’s dive into the duties of ethical hacking, and why this career field is so important.
There are few careers and lifestyles that don’t have some digital aspect to them. While there are many benefits to digital tools and technology, they’re also accompanied by threats. From ransomware to viruses, individuals and organizations need strong security measures to safeguard their information.
Ethical hacking is essential to installing hack prevention methods. Without discovering where a system is vulnerable, that system can be defenseless to cybercrimes, such as data theft or national security breaches.
Any company or organization that uses technology and the internet can be a target for cybercrime. That’s why ethical hackers are needed across multiple industries and sectors, which include:
- Financial institutions
- Technology companies
- Government agencies
- Online businesses
- Political organizations
- Educational institutions
Ethical hackers can be part of the IT team at a company or work as freelance consultants.
To perform their job correctly, ethical hackers need a well-rounded education in cyber and network security or a computer-related field. You’ll need programming and scripting knowledge, networking and database skills, and proficiency in operating systems. You’ll also need various IT certifications, including the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification.
When you’re an ethical hacker, you’ll use your skills and knowledge to perform the following:
- Obtain authorization: To keep everything legal and safe, an ethical hacker must get an organization’s approval to hack their systems and perform a security assessment.
- Determine the project’s scope: Ethical hackers must assess the scope of the security assessment and be transparent about their processes. By providing the appropriate personnel with detailed plans to test the system, you ensure you’re within the organization’s legal guidelines and boundaries.
- Make timely reports: Once vulnerabilities are identified, ethical hackers report these weak areas to each organization and provide advice on how to strengthen defenses.
- Keep data confidential: As an ethical hacker, you may have to sign a non-disclosure agreement and agree to keep all data and information confidential.
If you’re ready to enter the exciting field of ethical hacking and cyber security, now’s the perfect time to start. At Cambridge, we offer various degrees in cyber and network security.