Penetration testing is one method that can be used to successfully break into a certain information system without causing any damage.
Both penetration testers and ethical hackers play an important role in the field of cybersecurity; yet, they approach their work in fundamentally different ways and have distinct primary goals in mind. Penetration testers, sometimes known as “pen testers,” are focused on replicating real-world cyberattacks in order to identify vulnerabilities inside a system or network. This is done by testing the system or network using a variety of exploits. Their mission is to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hostile hackers, with the end objective of giving enterprises with a transparent awareness of the security holes in their systems.
Ethical hackers, often known as “white hat hackers,” on the other hand, share a similar skill set with pen testers, but their major aim is to proactively discover and remedy vulnerabilities. This is in contrast to the primary mission of pen testers, which is to find security flaws. They work with the full cooperation of enterprises to improve the security of such organizations by detecting vulnerabilities and applying patches to those vulnerabilities before hostile actors can exploit those vulnerabilities. Despite the fact that the lines between these positions can sometimes become blurry, it is crucial for businesses that are looking to strengthen their cybersecurity defenses to recognize these distinctions.
The purpose of ethical hacking is to locate security holes and patch them before dishonest individuals may take advantage of them. A security professional who is known as a penetration tester will imitate an attack on a system in order to locate vulnerabilities in it.
Although penetration testing is a part of ethical hacking, ethical hackers have a wider range of interests than traditional hackers. While penetration testers are particularly interested in breaking into networks, ethical hackers will resort to any means necessary to break into a computer system. Access is required for only those systems that will be used for the penetration testing in order to proceed with the testing. However, in order to engage in hacking in an ethical manner, one needs access to a large variety of computer systems that are spread out over an IT infrastructure.
What Kind of Challenges Will You Face Working as an Ethical Hacker?
As soon as you have decided to pursue a career as an ethical hacker, you will devote every ounce of your technical and security expertise to attempting to penetrate the network security of the company or organization that has engaged you to perform this service.
Your findings, as well as any recommendations you have for enhancing the company’s network safety, will need to be analyzed in great detail and presented to the company. Because to this work, they are protected from the hacking actions of individuals who have illegitimate and criminal reasons for doing so. As an ethical hacker, you can expect to make an average annual salary of $71,000, along with incentive payments that frequently range between $15,000 and $20,000.
Where Can I Get Experience Working as an Ethical Hacker?
Ethical hackers need to familiarize themselves with vulnerability testing tools such as Metasploit, OpenVAS, and Nessus since these tools provide a valuable foundation for scanning and managing vulnerabilities.
Tools such as these can be found online. The next step in practicing ethical hacking is to carry out simulated manual attacks that are aimed on the target.
The best way to get from a fundamental understanding of vulnerabilities in a system or network to a more sophisticated level is to gain experience fixing vulnerabilities on susceptible computers provided by Hack The Box and Vulnhub.
Next, give bug bounty platforms a shot for simulating various real-world situations.
The next step is to go on to hacking actual environments. In the beginning, it can be difficult because the machines that ethical hackers practice on are deliberately susceptible, but legitimate websites use every technique that is available to improve their level of protection.
Beginning a career as an ethical hacker typically involves first working as a part of the security team of a firm, providing preventative security services. It is possible to rise through the ranks of the department as an ethical hacker if one is skilled and has a solid track record of performance:
Professionals in the fields of security administration, security software development, and security specialist and complete their certifications in It security examinations such as linux certification.
Understanding the threat landscape, climbing the corporate ladder, and gaining valuable work experience are all facilitated by having expertise in social engineering and physical penetration testing. A number of attacks begin with the gathering of intelligence through protracted efforts of social engineering.