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What Is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is a practice carried out by an ethical computer hacker or cybersecurity expert referred to as a “white hat.” Ethical hacking involves a white hat utilizing programming skills to identify weak spots and vulnerabilities in a computer system. Ethical computer hackers often work for enterprises and government agencies to find vulnerabilities and secure them against cybercriminals before they try to break in.

Ethical “white hat” hackers use the same skills as criminal “black hat” hackers, but their intent is different. Black hats exploit weak spots of a network for personal gain or other criminal objectives. White hats determine weak spots to combat cybercrime and reinforce networks by improving their cybersecurity.

Is Ethical Hacking Legal?

Ethical hacking is legal because an ethical hacker entry into a network is approved by the enterprise that operates that network. All the actions they take to identify cybersecurity weaknesses are not only consented to; they are done to increase protection against actual cyber-attacks. Anonymous criminals hack into computer systems, while certified cybersecurity professionals perform ethical hacking.

The Roles and Responsibilities of an Ethical Hacker

Ethical hackers are similar to penetration testers, but the role of an ethical hacker is broader and involves a greater range of duties. Like penetration testers, ethical hackers break into systems legally and ethically. However, ethical hackers are also responsible for fixing the vulnerabilities they identify. Responsibilities of ethical hackers include:

  • Find open ports and implement corrective measures to prevent potential attacks
  • Evade intrusion prevention systems, intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and honeypots to ensure they are effective and reinforced when necessary
  • Search digital trash bins and other deep corners of a network to find any passwords or other sensitive information that could be used to attack an organization
  • Identify and fix sniffing networks, cracked wireless encryption, hijacked web servers, and hijacked web application
  • Ensure patch installations are up to date
  • Help handle issues related to online employee fraud and digital information theft

How to Become an Ethical Hacker?

Due to the sensitive nature of their jobs, employers typically want ethical hackers that are certified and proven experts in their field. The first step to become an ethical hacker or any kind of cybersecurity professional is to complete a cybersecurity technician program. After completing the course, graduates can obtain specialized certifications such as CompTIA Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

At FVI School of Technology, ethical hacking is part of the curriculum taught at our tech school in South Florida. To learn more about our cybersecurity programs and continuing education courses, contact us or call 305-783-3599!