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What is Ethical Hacking? A Guide for Beginners

Data plays an essential role in our lives. We produce and consume numerous amounts of data daily, and it can be used by various industries like banking, marketing, healthcare, etc. Therefore it becomes extremely crucial that we protect this sensitive information. This is where ethical hacking plays an important role and becomes useful. So, if you are wondering how to become hackers, or curious about this field, here’s a detailed guide about the same. 

Before we deep dive into how to become a hacker, let us first understand what is ethical hacking. Additionally, we will also discuss types of ethical hacking and how you can learn them. 

What is hacking?

Before we specifically talk about hacking, let’s look at one of the major concepts underlying the practice. In basic terms, hacking is the process of getting unauthorized access to data that is stored in a computer, laptop, or any other electronic device. 

Hackers or those practicing hacking access systems in a way that the holder or creator will not intend. Although typically, the image of hackers is portrayed negatively, it is a beneficial process as we shall see. 

What is ethical hacking?

It is a process where a professional legally and purposely tries to break into an organization’s computer’s system or device. By doing so, the hacker can highlight the vulnerabilities in their networks and systems. It is a complex and detailed process with many different aspects to consider. An ethical hacker also called a white hat hacker will look for multiple weaknesses in many different ways. They will also perform varied other tasks linked to general cyber security. They can be: 

  • Assessing vulnerabilities
  • Penetration testing 
  • Gathering intelligence about entry points
  • Scanning infrastructures to spot weaknesses 
  • Accessing systems/networks and exploiting vulnerabilities 
  • Hiding their access and evading detection 
  • Compiling reports and analysis for the attempts 

Why is ethical hacking important?

Now that we know what ethical hacking is, you might wonder why computer hacking is so important? Essentially, by testing and figuring out problems in an organization’s network and device, they can be quickly fixed before an unethical hacker takes advantage of them. 

Ethical hackers help organizations find out and eliminate threats to improve the overall IT security of the organization. So in today’s time, when all the data is stored across all kinds of networks, businesses and servers, it is crucial to protect it. Ethical (white hat) hackers help identify the exploits which can be potentially exploited by unethical (black hat) hackers. 

Types of ethical hacking

Web application hacking:

Web applications are shared over a network like an intranet or internet and are sometimes browser-based. Although convenient, they are prone to scripting attacks, and ethical hackers identify them. 

Web server hacking

Web servers run applications and operating systems that host pages and connect to backend databases. Each of these processes possesses potential weak points which hackers must test, identify and recommend solutions. 

System hacking

Accessing a secure network is one thing, but system hacking is a process in which the hacker gains access to individual computers on a network. Ethical hackers try to precisely do this while suggesting correct countermeasures. 

How to learn ethical hacking

If ethical hacking sounds interesting to you, you might be wondering how to learn ethical hacking. Fortunately, there are several methods available, depending on your experience, current skills, and ambitions. 

Take a course from a reputed institute

Whether you have some experience or are a complete beginner, an ethical hacking course from a well-known institute is a good way to start. 

Gain certifications

There are several free courses available online that can teach you the basics of ethical hacking and also provide certifications for the same. 

Final thoughts

We hope we have covered enough to help you decide on how to get started with ethical hacking. Ethical hacking is the next booming career in India. Kickstart your career towards ethical hacking today. 

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