Ethical hacking and penetration testing are two different things, but the terms are often used interchangeably. Although these terms are very different, they enable companies to improve their cybersecurity and reduce the likelihood of a cyber attack. Carefully choosing the right testing methods is essential for companies to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
Penetration testing is just one of the many tools available to ethical hackers and cybersecurity specialists. The purpose of a penetration test is to detect weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the cybersecurity of a company. In itself, a penetration test mimics an attack by a cybercriminal to steal information from the server. However, this is done without damaging the server or files.
Penetration tests are performed to reveal vulnerabilities so that organizations can improve their security. This is a proactive way to build good cybersecurity and is designed to detect and fix problems before criminals can use it to steal your data. Penetration tests should be performed on a regular basis. The reason for this is that criminals are always finding new techniques to invade servers and bypass security. Penetration testing is essential for organizations running a new program or installing new systems. A penetration test then helps to reduce the risk of a cyber attack.
Ethical hacking or ethical hacking
The best defense is an attack – ethical hackers are hired by companies and organizations to find weaknesses in the systems and cybersecurity that bad hackers – called black hat hackers – can use to attack the company. Ethical hacking – also called white hat hacking, is an umbrella term used to describe all the hacking techniques used to expose security holes and vulnerabilities in the system. An ethical hacker can do anything from penetrating and scanning the network to testing the penetration and trying to hack into social media profiles or even trying to get hold of employees’ passwords via phishing or their phone.
The difference between penetration testing and ethical hacking
There are some big differences between penetration testing and ethical hacking. For example, if we look at the skills of the tester, we see that a penetration tester makes a cybersecurity assessment of a specific IT system. An ethical hacker assesses all systems and security vulnerabilities. In addition, an ethical hacker can perform penetration tests, but a penetration tester will not hack ethically. An ethical hacker will sometimes have to give you access to a number of systems within the IT infrastructure because the tests of an ethical hacker are much broader.
Penetration testers do not need certification as long as they have sufficient experience. However, ethical hackers often need very strict and difficult-to-reach certification and knowledge.
One final big difference is that a penetration test is often short and does not last very long, whereas an ethical hacker often works on a project for a longer period of time and provides deeper reporting. Ethical hackers are also required to sign legal papers before starting their tests, while this is not the case with penetration testers.
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