What Is Ethical Hacking and How Does It Work?

Ethical hacking is an unauthorized practice used to detect potential data breaches and threats in a system, application, or organization’s infrastructure.

Companies use these practices on their own system to identify the weak points that can work in favor of malicious hackers or cybercriminals. The activities performed by the Cyber ​​Security engineers are entirely legal, approved, and planned.

Ethical or white-hat hackers aim to investigate the network for weak points that malicious hackers can destroy or exploit. They analyze and collect the information to find out ways to strengthen security.

How does Ethical Hacking work?

Ethical hacker aims to investigate the system using the same hacking skills that cyber attackers use to hack. Following are the five phases involved in this process:

  • Recognition: The first step involves gathering information about the target system. It could be about the organization or its people associated with the target. This step intends to engineer a hack according to the security measures implemented on the target.
  • Scanning: Mostly, hacking is done via network access. Most devices are connected through a common Wi-Fi or WLAN network. Hackers take advantage of this and focus on gaining unauthorized access to the targeted network host. This process reveals the network topology and vulnerability.
  • Gaining Access: After the above step gathering stages, hacking starts. It involves bypassing the security measures or breaking into the target system by cracking the password.
  • Maintaining Access: After gaining access, cybercriminals make sure that they keep access to the target system. They create a backdoor for this that they use for exploiting or hacking the system in the future.
  • Clearing Tracks: It is necessary to remove the traces of your incursion after hacking. It involves removing any logs, executables or backdoors that may lead to tracking the hacker.

What Can a Person / Company Do To Stay Safe From Hacking?

Following are some ways that can help companies safeguard their devices or network from hacking:

  • Use a Firewall: Firewalls are the software that creates a barrier between your information and the outside world. They alert you when there are any attempts to intrude and prevent any unauthorized access. Depending on the broadband router, you can buy a hardware firewall from companies like Fortinet or Cisco. They also have a built-in firewall that protects your network.
  • Use a VPN: A VPN encrypts all the activities that you do online. They will bounce your IP around different locations, making it difficult for hackers to know your real IP address. Cybercriminals will have no idea what you are browsing when you are using the fastest VPN, and they will not be able to intercept or redirect you to fake sites.
  • Use Complex Passwords: This is the most vital method to prevent network intrusions. A complex password makes sure that the hacker has a hard time invading your system. Try to use a password that is complex and longer. It should have at least fifteen characters with a combination of numbers, characters, and special symbols. Also, try not to use the same password on several websites and keep changing them as often as possible.
  • Hide Admin Pages: You should discourage search engines from indexing your admin pages using the robots_txt file. It will be easier for hackers to find them if they are indexed on Google.
  • Update Everything: Software companies only release an update when it is necessary. Sometimes, it even involves a lot of money. When a person does not install updates, they might become exposed to a security vulnerability. Hackers can scan uncountable websites in a matter of a few hours seeking websites that allow them to break in. So, one should try to update as soon as one can.
  • Tighten Network Security: This is particularly important for organizations’ devices that can provide an easy access route to your website servers. To achieve this, you must ensure that the logins expire shortly after inactivity. Also, devices plugged into your network must be scanned for malware every time they connect.

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