Discussions are often made on cyber security and ethical hacking. It is however necessary to understand what these terms refer to.
Understanding Cyber Security
Broadly speaking cyber security is the combination of various tools and methods that provides the users of the Internet with a safe and secure environment. An example is the resetting of passwords. When you try this the provider usually verifies your identity and allows you to proceed with resetting only when your authenticity is established. Reasons for using such a method are to prevent unscrupulous traders from hacking your account putting you at to disadvantage.
Use of Software for Cyber Security
The traditional practice among Internet users is installing software like anti-virus to ensure their cyber security.
- The software will block or remove known virus and malware from the system;
- If it feels that the site you are accessing is unsafe then it will warn you and proceed further only with your consent;
- It also scans the system preventing the corrupted files or infected files to further damage your system;
- All these activities help in getting cyber security.
How the Cyber Security Systems work
The usual practice in the industry is that the company providing security software maintains a risk register file. In this file, they maintain a record of all risks as well as their remedies so that the user does not suffer from a security breach of any kind. Thus the steps followed by security systems include –
- Identification of all the threats to the security of the users;
- Taking steps to remove them so that they cannot breach security; and
- If the threat is something not recorded in their index file then it warns the user that the file accessed may cause security breaches.
Since new viruses and other cyber threats arrive on regular basis this security software updates its database regularly.
Cyber Security Phases
Traditionally there are 4 phases of cyber security and its implementation.
- Identification of risks relating to system and data of web users;
- Detection of events leading to breach of security;
- Showing appropriate reaction to each of the threats detected; and
- Implementation of the right protective measures on threats detected.
Using Services of Cyber Security Expert
It is common practice in the industry to use the services of professional cyber security experts that can stand up to any challenge that comes their way. Whether it is a known threat or something new and unknown the expert will be well equipped to resolve all such issues. You have to be careful about selecting the expert because many promise most but delivers little. The expert engaged should be conversant with threats like the zero-day attacks and kill chain among others.
Understanding Ethical Hacking
When the IT experts invent some new security app they need to test it against all types of cyber threats to assess their effectiveness. The main objective of using the services of experts is to prevent hackers from breaking or bypassing the security system. Such a process of testing the security system to know its effectiveness against all types of security breaches is known in the industry as “ethical hacking”.
Ethical Hacking Features
The basic features of ethical hacking are as follows.
- It is part of a cyber security system;
- The system is used to detect vulnerabilities in the system and resolve them;
- It works pretty fast to regain control before the black hat hackers inflict further damages;
- Ethical hacking follows the system of testing as well as validating and recommending suggestions to address the issues; and
- It helps the experts to recommend appropriate remedial measures.
Benefits of Ethical Hacking
When the cyber security specialist that is also known as the “penetration testers” uses ethical hacking the following benefits will be availed by the clients.
- It is called ethical hacking because the hacker accesses the system only with permission of the owner;
- The hacking easily detect the weak points in the client system and resolve them;
- When the vulnerabilities are detected and resolved it also prevents data and information of the client from hackers;
- Ethical hacking also protects networks from being hacked; and
- All these make ethical hacking an integral part of an effective cyber security system protecting your data and personal information.
Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking Differences
While their objectives are similar there is still a basic difference between cyber security and ethical hacking.
- Security against cyber intrusions is a big subject and includes numerous wings like data security, firewall designing, and digital forensics among others.
- Ethical hacking is one of the parts of the broader subject of Internet security and here the hacking aims at protecting the system instead of damaging it; and
- While the ethical hackers use offensive methods of hacking the client site the experts dealing with online security use defensive techniques to protect the client site from black hat hacking.
Thus, the basic objective of the expert on Internet use is to design the site, software, and apps that store a huge amount of data of the user but do not give the black hat hackers from accessing and misusing the stored information.
Difference of Working Pattern
As already pointed out the working patterns of the ethical hackers and cyber security experts are also different. The cyber experts take care of strengthening the client’s security system in a way that such a client is not a victim of hacking and other cybercrimes. On the other hand, ethical hackers usually hack the system with the permission of the owners or as per the orders of the judges in courts or law enforcement agencies when such hacking becomes indispensable to protect justice for all. Some webmasters also allow hacking their systems to assess the strength of the current security system and modifications required to make it more secure.
Thus the focus of cyber security is on making the system more secure using various tools and methods. Focus on ethical hacking is on finding how vulnerable the client site is and how the hackers can bypass the existing security system so that effective protective measures can be taken by the owner or the expert professional working for such owner.