What is Ethical Hacking and What are its Types?

It is the process of identifying and exploiting of cyber security vulnerabilities in the IT ecosystem for bona fide and non-malicious purposes. Ethical hackers aka white hat hackers are security professionals who are hired for conducting these tests, mirroring the tactics, techniques and procedures or TTPs.

Benefits of Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking is meant for assisting the companies to unleash the security exposures across systems, networks, and apps. It also offers guidance to make sure that these exposures are addressed pronto and effectively. A stringent ethical hacking assists in:

  1. Testing the defenses against the top notch attacker tools and techniques
  2. Mitigating the vulnerabilities before exploitation can take place in wrongful ways
  3. Offering independent guarantees of current cyber security controls
  4. Prioritizing the future security investments
  5. Enhancing the cyber risk awareness of the employees
  6. Showcasing a secure commitment to the investors, customers, and partners.
  7. Supporting the GDPR, PCI, DPA, and NIS compliance.

Types of Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking entails a broad range of types of assessments that can vary on the basis of focus, duration, depth, and secrecy. Engagements are customized according to the company’s certain operational, budgetary, and compliance needs. For example, assessments can be commissioned in order to test an entire network or certain systems, apps and susceptibility to certain attack cases.

  1. Internal/External Network Penetration Testing

Here the internal and external network infrastructure is assessed in order to be tested on premise and cloud networks, system hosts, firewalls, and devices like switches and routers.

  1. Wireless Penetration Testing

Here, WLAN or wireless local area network and/or wireless protocols are tested in order to seek rogue access points, loopholes in encryption and WPA vulnerabilities.

  1. Web Application Testing

Here websites and web applications are tested to seek issues leading to weaknesses in design, coding, and development practices.

  1. Mobile Application Testing

Here, mobile apps are tested on a range of OS to seek issues associated with authentication, authorization, data leakage, and session handling.

  1. Build and Configuration Review

Here the network builds and configurations are reviewed so as to identify misconfigurations taking place on web and app servers, firewalls, and routers.

  1. Social Engineering Testing

Employees’ responses are recorded with the help of a simulated social engineering assessment for complex phishing, spear phishing etc.

  1. Red Team Operations

A cyberattack simulation is hosted over prolonged period of time that tests the effectiveness of technology, staff, and processes to detect and respond to a targeted attack.

David Curry

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