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  • Writer's pictureMichael Paulyn

Ultimate Guide to What is Ethical Hacking

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

When most people hear "hacking," their minds instantly go to some data breach or complete network cyberattack. But there are good hackers; some businesses even use them to keep their businesses safe and fight against possible attacks.

This blog discusses how ethical hacking differs and why business leaders should watch out.

What is Hacking?

Simply put, hacking is gaining the ability to access a digital device, computer system, or network without having authorized permission. However, hacking isn't all bad, and there are some excellent purposes for various circumstances.

For example, say you leave your front door unlocked or open a window. In this case, you're now utterly vulnerable to someone breaking in and robbing you blind. The same goes for when we're talking about your mobile phone, tablet, computer, and network; if these items need to be correctly left secure, anyone could come in and have complete access.

Let's talk about malicious hacking, something most of us are familiar with when it comes to hacking. As of 2018, the US Council of Economic Advisers estimates that malicious or 'black hat' hacking caused losses amassing over $109 billion in 2016.

A typical business has a 27.9% chance of surviving within the next two years if they experience a data breach. These cyberattacks cause significant data breaches to cost about $3.86 million; from a study by the Ponemon Institute, it's no wonder survival rates post-attack are so low.

When it comes to ethical hacking, it is the best tool many businesses possess that can help prepare business leaders against any potential attacks. The following section will discuss ethical hacking and how firms use it everywhere to fight cyberattacks.

What is Ethical Hacking?

When the term' ethical hacker' is thrown around, it means a "white hat" hacker who works on finding any security vulnerabilities on devices, computer systems, or networks. Think of an ethical hacker as someone doing a practice fire drill. They're working on ensuring the system is safe before the actual fire happens and data is forever lost.

You might be thinking, but really, what's the difference? It doesn't sound any different.

The most significant difference is that the company pays this ethical hacker to do this. It's a trial attack if you will find all the weak points. Whereas a 'black hat" hacker works on exploiting these weaknesses, in that case, the company has no idea they're about to be attacked.

Hungry for more? Join me each week, where I'll break down complex topics and dissect the latest news within the cybersecurity industry and blockchain ecosystem, simplifying the world of tech.

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