What Is Ethical Hacking and How Can It Protect My IT Infrastructure?
Ethical hacking provides a detailed overview of a company’s security status. An ethical hacker or hacking team doesn’t have any exposure to the organization’s IT framework other than what they can accumulate or investigate.
Organizations are always concerned about hackers who might break their security systems and hack into their information and sensitive data. Ethical hacking can eliminate such worries and provide specific solutions for individual issues. Ethical hackers examine systems for shortcomings, test all the entry points for security breaches, and develop a planned strategy to overcome weak security links in the organization.
Once this process is complete, the security group sends its complete report to the organization with detailed information about the vulnerabilities and loopholes found by them, as well as guidelines on the most effective methods to overcome security gaps.
The ethical hacking team follows the same set of procedures and techniques a hacker would implement to breach security in order to find vulnerabilities and loopholes without actually harming the target systems or stealing the sensitive data of the organization. This helps the organization to make its security systems stronger and less vulnerable to attacks, identify the necessary training required for its employees, adjust security policies, and fine tune its security tools like firewalls and intrusion prevention system (IPS) devices.
While evaluating the security of a system, ethical hackers look for answers to questions like:
- What things are being secured by the organization?
- What things can an intruder view on the system, if the security is compromised?
- What will the intruder do with the hacked data and information?
As soon as the responses to questions like these are resolved, a security plan is prepared by the ethical hackers which will contain the list of all systems that need to be tested, required steps to test the systems, and any restrictions that need to be imposed while actually testing the systems.
There are many tests performed in the entire process, such as:
- Remote system testing: This test is done to test the hacking being performed over the Internet. The essential defenses that should pass in this test are security components like firewalls, routers, and web servers.
- Local system testing: This test is done to test the internal local network of the organization which is only accessible to authorized employees via the Intranet. The essential defenses that should pass in this test are Intranet firewalls, internal webservers, the internal email system, and server security.
- External system testing: This test is done to test the organization’s external servers which are visible to the public, including firewalls, DNS servers, and email services. The goal of this testing is to see whether outside hackers can break the system and get in, and also how much access can they gain by doing so.
All the vulnerabilities which are found in these tests are clarified, and the required steps to counter them are outlined to the organization. It’s is a good idea for an organization to test its systems with the help of ethical hacking to achieve excellent security, which can leave the organization with less risk of being compromised.