What is Hacking?
Hacking is identifying weakness in computer systems or networks to exploit its weaknesses to gain access. Example of Hacking: Using password cracking algorithm to gain access to a system
Computers have become mandatory to run a successful businesses. It is not enough to have isolated computers systems; they need to be networked to facilitate communication with external businesses. This exposes them to the outside world and hacking. Hacking means using computers to commit fraudulent acts such as fraud, privacy invasion, stealing corporate/personal data, etc. Cyber crimes cost many organizations millions of dollars every year. Businesses need to protect themselves against such attacks.
Types of Hackers
1. Ethical Hacker (White hat): A hacker who gains access to systems with a view to fix the identified weaknesses. They may also perform penetrationTesting and vulnerability assessments.
2.Cracker (Black hat): A hacker who gains unauthorized access to computer systems for personal gain. The intent is usually to steal corporate data, violate privacy rights, transfer funds from bank accounts etc.
3. Grey hat: A hacker who is in between ethical and black hat hackers. He/she breaks into computer systems without authority with a view to identify weaknesses and reveal them to the system owner.
What is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical Hacking is identifying weakness in computer systems and/or computer networks and coming with countermeasures that protect the weaknesses. Ethical hackers must abide by the following rules.
Get written permission from the owner of the computer system and/or computer network before hacking.Protect the privacy of the organization been hacked.Transparently report all the identified weaknesses in the computer system to the organization.Inform hardware and software vendors of the identified weaknesses.
Why Ethical Hacking?
Information is one of the most valuable assets of an organization. Keeping information secure can protect an organization’s image and save an organization a lot of money.Hacking can lead to loss of business for organizations that deal in finance such as PayPal. Ethical hacking puts them a step ahead of the cyber criminals who would otherwise lead to loss of business.
Legality of Ethical Hacking
Ethical Hacking is legal if the hacker abides by the rules stipulated in the above section on the definition of ethical hacking. The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council)provides a certification program that tests individual’s skills. Those who pass the examination are awarded with certificates. The certificates are supposed to be renewed after some time.