What is Ethical Hacking and its importance to Organizations

The world is in a cyber-concerned era, where business’s sustainability without cybersecurity measures is just a dream about to become a nightmare. The exponential risk of security threats with advanced breaching tactics is demanding businesses to think out-of-the-box when implementing security measures. Although there are different practices to ensure cybersecurity, ethical hacking is also becoming a preferred approach to find weak spots in the organization’s network and then taking measures to fix those loopholes. This article will help you clear out your views about ethical hacking and its importance in the present time.

Ethical Hacking – Explained Easy

Ethical hacking (or penetration testing) is an authorized hacking practice to attempt to bypass the defensive security measures of a system in order to attempt to discover potential threats and vulnerabilities in the network. Contrary to malicious hacking, ethical hacking is a known, legal, planned, and approved hacking practice.

Organizations hire ethical hackers to test their system’s defenses and identify vulnerable points that could be exploited by malicious attackers. Some of the common checks involved in this process include:

  • Unauthorized and insecure access
  • Sensitive data exposure
  • Identifying unknown online assets
  • Broken authentication
  • Vulnerable components linked with the network

The checks are not just limited to the above ones. Based on the company’s security infrastructure, ethical hackers can conduct various other checks. In short, ethical hackers identify security loopholes and let companies improve their security footprint to better withstand attacks.

Is Ethical Hacking essential for every Business?

Most businesses today have a dedicated cybersecurity team that takes care of all the security measures. But there are always chances that they miss out on some loopholes or are not skilled enough to address the trending security threats. This is where ethical hacking comes to the rescue.

Following are some of the key reasons why businesses should hire ethical hackers to enhance their security defense wall:

  • Ethical hackers think like malicious attackers. They know what loopholes malicious attackers are looking for in a network, so they test out the systems in place and search the network for such loopholes to find vulnerabilities.
  • Network security is a challenging activity because a company’s network is built with computers, IoT devices, smartphones, remote workers, etc. Ethical hackers think as an attacker, thereby they conduct a comprehensive security check across the network.
  • Despite investing thousands of dollars in cybersecurity and end-user protection, there are always chances of the existence of weak security spots. Ethical hackers look at cybersecurity differently and their experience makes them identify such vulnerable spots easily.
  • Network testing and retesting is one of the main cyber defense activities. Since ethical hackers have in-depth knowledge about this kind of testing, they can conduct such testing more accurately.
  • Ethical hackers are a fruitful asset when launching a new business. They can assist in setting up strong security measures from the beginning of the business.
  • Since companies often utilize services of other platforms and third-parties to support their services and products, the security vulnerabilities from such third-party platforms are also potential threats. For example, last year’s SolarWinds attack made its 18,000 customers vulnerable to breaches. Ethical hackers can test out for such vulnerability chances beforehand by conducting rigorous hacking practices and then assessing how your security measures respond to a similar situation.

Once ethical hackers are done with testing, they provide a comprehensive report detailing their observations and recommending the security measures against the vulnerabilities they detected.

Wrapping Up

Since security threats have seen unprecedented growth within the past couple of years, the need for ethical hackers and their importance in the business world has also increased greatly. Therefore, organizations that opt for smartly driven security measures involving the practice of ethical hacking, have a better chance to defend themselves against security threats and keep their reputation intact.