Is there something called Ethical Hacking or is it just one of the cyber jargon being used across the world? Before we get into the details, let us get accustomed to 2 jargon viz. White Hats and Black Hats.

In simple terms, White Hats hack with the owner’s consent, Black Hats do it without the owner’s consent. The intention is different in both cases.

In ethical hacking or white-hat hacking, a consensus is made between the hacker and the organization which cites what kind of testing would be done to find out the vulnerabilities, what is considered a breach of trust and so on. If there is any breach, the hacker(s) will be brought to book. Figure 1 depicts ethical hacking.

Figure 1: Ethical hacking

In hacking or illegal hacking, the black hats find out the loopholes within the organization and exploit them causing huge monetary loss and also bad reputation among its customers and businesses. Figure 2 depicts illegal hacking

Figure 2: Illegal hacking

Let us now understand what ethical hacking does

  • Protection against hacking
  •  Organization and their customers’ data are secured
  • Helps to decrease cyber attacks
  • Preemptive measures can be taken against security breaches
  • Raises security awareness in the organization and among its customers

Let us now get into few of the pros and cons of ethical hacking

Pros of Ethical Hacking

  •  Having a professional to explain and fix your security loopholes
  • It helps with preemptive measures against hacking
  • Building a robust network for your organization

Cons of Ethical Hacking

  • This can corrupt the organization’s data
  • The information gleaned can be misused, if the hacker hired is not trustworthy
  •  Hiring them is a significant cost to the organization
  • Your customer’s data can be put to risk if you are sharing their sensitive data without using a simulated version  

To conclude, there is nothing ethical about hacking. It is just that, hacking is an offense if it is done without the organization’s permission and is called ethical, if approved by the organization. Organizations feel ethical hackers as an asset for protecting their data. However, trusting the so-called ethical hackers with too much information about your organization’s loopholes could itself be a huge risk to your business, employees, and customers. So organizations should be wary of whom they hire as ethical hackers and possibly do a thorough proper background check. Apart from this, organizations should also protect their client’s privacy.

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