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Publication date: March 17, 2023

Ethical Hacking – The Unsung Hero of Cybersecurity

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Written by Angela Polania

Angela Polania, CPA, CISM, CISA, CRISC, HITRUST, CMMC RP. Angela is the Managing Principal at Elevate and board member, and treasurer at the CIO Council of South Florida.

The word “hacking” has long had a negative connotation, generally being used in the context of security breaches involving people with malicious intent. For many, the term “ethical hacking” may seem like an oxymoron, but this benevolent and invaluable cybersecurity practice can save your company from serious threats to your data, privacy, and finances.

Ethical hacking, also known as white-hat hacking or penetration testing, is the practice of testing computer systems and networks for security vulnerabilities in a lawful and legitimate manner. These security professionals simulate a malicious attack with the goal of identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities in a company’s system that could be exploited by real attackers. The main objective of ethical hacking is to discover and report security flaws and loopholes to the owners of the systems and networks so that they can be fixed before any real damage is done.

Ethical hacking experts follow four key protocol concepts:

(source: synopsys.com)

The primary benefit of penetration testing is that it helps organizations identify and address potential security weaknesses before they can be exploited by malicious actors. By identifying vulnerabilities in a system, an ethical hacker can help the organization improve its security posture and prevent data breaches, theft, and other malicious activities. This best practice also helps organizations comply with industry and government regulations, which require them to maintain a certain level of security and privacy for their customers and users.

Ethical hacking is also an important tool for cyber security research and development. By exploring different attack scenarios and testing security measures, ethical hackers can gain valuable insights into the latest threats and vulnerabilities in the digital landscape. This knowledge can then be used to develop new security technologies and strategies to protect against emerging threats.

Ethical hacking helps to promote a culture of security awareness and education. By highlighting the risks and vulnerabilities of computer systems and networks, penetration testing can raise awareness among individuals and organizations about the importance of security and the need to take proactive measures to protect against cyber threats. This kind of foresight is necessary to create a more security-conscious society that is better equipped to deal with the constantly evolving challenges of our digital world.

Don’t want for an attack to happen, book an appointment to schedule penetration testing services and get ahead of the threat!

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