An ethical hacker (also known as a white hat hacker) is the ultimate security professional. Ethical hackers know how to find and exploit vulnerabilities and weaknesses in various systems—just like a malicious hacker (or a black hat hacker). In fact, they both use the same skills; however, an ethical hacker uses those skills in a legitimate, lawful manner to try to find vulnerabilities and fix them before the bad guys can get there and try to break in.
An ethical hacker’s role is similar to that of a penetration tester, but it involves broader duties. They break into systems legally and ethically. This is the primary difference between ethical hackers and real hackers—the legality. According to the EC-Council, the ethical hacking definition is “an individual who is usually employed with an organization and who can be trusted to undertake an attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods and techniques as a malicious hacker.”
What is ethical hacking?
Apart from testing duties, ethical hackers are associated with other responsibilities. The main idea is to replicate a malicious hacker at work and instead of exploiting the vulnerabilities for malicious purposes, seek countermeasures to shore up the system’s defenses. An ethical hacker might employ all or some of these strategies to penetrate a system:
Scanning ports and seeking vulnerabilities: An ethical hacker uses port scanning tools like Nmap or Nessus to scan one’s own systems and find open ports. The vulnerabilities with each of the ports can be studied and remedial measures can be taken.
An ethical hacker will examine patch installations and make sure that they cannot be exploited.
The ethical hacker may engage in social engineering concepts like dumpster diving—rummaging through trash bins for passwords, charts, sticky notes, or anything with crucial information that can be used to generate an attack.
An ethical hacker may also employ other social engineering techniques like shoulder surfing to gain access to crucial information or play the kindness card to trick employees to part with their passwords.
An ethical hacker will attempt to evade IDS (Intrusion Detection systems), IPS (Intrusion Prevention systems), honeypots, and firewalls.
Sniffing networks, bypassing and cracking wireless encryption, and hijacking web servers and web applications.
Ethical hackers may also handle issues related to laptop theft and employee fraud.
Detecting how well the organization reacts to these and other tactics help test the strength of the security policy and security infrastructure. An ethical hacker attempts the same types of attacks as a malicious hacker would try—and then help organizations strengthen their defenses.
IT Security Consultation
With a rapid advancement in technology, there is an increased risk of hacking attacks. It is crucial to every organization (government or private) to have cybersecurity or IT security consultant to help prevent security threats. An IT security consultant takes up the dual role of an attacker and a victim and they locate and potentially exploit vulnerabilities.
Huge losses of time and money are caused each year due to cyber-attacks. They are usually aimed at government databases, financial institution networks or personal computers. For instance, when in the wrong hands, sensitive military information can be extremely dangerous. IT security consultants help in preventing attacks through their proficiency and awareness of databases, networks, hardware, firewalls and encryption. In order to prevent unauthorized access, data modification or data loss, they assess the existing infrastructures and systems for weaknesses.
IT security has become an important and demanding industry to work for with the increase in attacks every day. The IT security consultant embraces the role of a guide, advisor, and an all-round security guru. A security consultant focuses in computer security, building security or the manmade/natural disaster security. He/She may work for consulting firms or as self-employed contractors.
Gaining work experience in the intermediate level security jobs like Security Administrator, Security Specialist, Security Analyst, Security Engineer and Security Auditor provides enough scope to become a Security Consultant.
An IT security consultant should be proficient in performing the following tasks: Figuring the best way to protect computers, networks, software, data and information systems against any possible attacks
Performing vulnerability testing, risk analyses and security assessments
Researching security standards, security systems and authentication protocols
Preparing cost estimates and identifying integration issues for IT project managers
Planning, researching and designing robust security architectures for a new IT project
Testing security solutions using industry standard analysis criteria
Providing technical supervision for (and guidance to) a security team
Updating and upgrading security systems as needed
Web Security Auditing
It is of utmost importance to secure one’s web applications on a regular basis. A thorough assessment of the effectiveness of the security controls to protect one’s web applications is provided by the web security assessment service and it also identifies flaws that could be exploited by attackers.
There has been a significant improvement in the application security awareness among organizations over the years. If the Web applications are compromised, organizations might have financial losses and legal and regulatory liabilities. Thus, to build a healthy application security posture, organizations invest heavily on people, processes, tools and technology. Effective Web application security assessment includes collecting information, risk profiling, choosing the right security tools etc.
To determine risk and define suitable mitigation strategies that fit a company’s objectives, security risk assessments are crucial. The two components to security assessments are security review & gap analysis (security audits) and security tests. Security audits deliver a complete process for defining security risk strategies based upon objectives, security posture and status. Security tests diagnose actual vulnerabilities in specific areas of a security infrastructure. Some of the commonly used security tests are network vulnerability scanning tests and network penetration testing. Wireless security, VOIP security, Phishing tests, security configuration testing and physical security tests are some other security tests.
Information collection, the initial step in any Web application security assessment, gathers information about the target Web application. While planning for Web application security assessment, risk profiling and effort estimation happens to be a major step. An auditor’s capability to prioritize and balance the efforts, including all the required steps, determines the success of security assessment. It is necessary to perform application fingerprinting before trying actual exploits on the Web application. Auditors must be proficient in understanding the dynamics of Web application, user interface nature, data flow between various components, outlining priorities on pages/interfaces, core components, common vulnerabilities and exposures. Auditors familiarize with the application and consequently plan for Web application security assessment by means of application fingerprinting.
Audit services offer support to secure information systems, applications and network infrastructure; fulfil with regulatory requirements; shield valuable assets. IT audit and network security audit assist to identify threats to one’s network and data. Cyber security audit and external network security audit avert hackers from accessing an internal network. Web application security audit assesses one’s web applications and web sites for security weaknesses.
Auditors should take into account the scope and define objectives for Web application security assessment. The expanses of the Web application to be included or excluded from the risk assessment strategy are defined by the scope. The objectives provide an auditor a clear understanding of the kind of result expected from him and keeps him in control of the assessment, thus decreasing the chances of deviating from the actual plan. Creating a role-based access control matrix for the Web application aids an auditor to identify authorization related security issues. An important factor in determining the outcome of a Web application security assessment is zeroing down on the right security tools. Security tools help the auditor to save time and efforts.
Hacked Website Fixing
Every year, more than 50 million websites are hacked and there lies a greater probability for our website too being hacked. Cyber-attacks are now a global problem that one need to be ready for. Hackers are skilled in stealing sensitive information, hijacking one’s website and taking one’s website offline. To protect their computers and devices, the majority of businesses use Anti-Virus. But Anti-viruses often fail to provide full protection.
An anti-hacker website protection removes, destroys and eradicates even a minor possibility of security risks or traces from one’s website within hours. A website can be bulletproofed from malware, threats, ransomware and hackers by means of anti-hacker website protection.
Daily website scan automatically scans for malware from top to bottom and instantly eliminates it from one’s files. Google listing protection helps to fix one’s site and restore one’s Google listing if one’s site is hacked and has malware.
A cyber hacker can harm one’s business in ways that one can’t even think. Leaving one’s website unprotected provides enough space for cyber hackers to steal sensitive information (such as credit card details), insert malware, modify a website copy and obtain passwords.
Many websites provide services that fix a hacked website within 24 hours. To automatically fix threats, avert future attacks and accelerate one’s website speed, complete, cloud-based website protection can be used. Malware possesses the power to ruin one’s online reputation and business. Malware monitoring and protection services will shield one’s reputation and business. Google monitoring and threat removal service will make certain that one’s listing stays visible and restored if one is already hacked.