Is ethical hacking truly ethical?

by Aryan Dev

Recognizing the real intent of the general populace is a tricky task these days, and it is much harder to determine the objectives of every ethical hacker that accesses susceptible systems or networks. Technology is constantly developing, and we are witnessing innovations that are beneficial to the general public but, in the hands of criminals, may generate tremendous controversy, intruding on our fundamental right to privacy, dignity, and free will. The recurring difficulties are cybercrime, raising concerns about how simple it is to work on the inside to infiltrate attacks. Is ethical hacking finally supporting the cause of issue resolution? This article will look at what ethical hackers do and the ethical standards when breaking into the systems.

What exactly is an ethical hacker, and what do they do?

Ethical hackers identify and plug any vulnerabilities that may have been left unnoticed and protect them from vicious cyber thieves hunting for exposed data. Several free ethical hacking courses can help you get the basic knowledge about ethical hacking. Here are a few examples of what ethical hackers undertake to assist businesses in protecting themselves against criminal actors to help you get an introduction to cyber security:

Recognize security misconfigurations

In the absence of well-defined security architecture, security misconfigurations occur.

Companies must adhere to industry security standards and practices to limit the danger of exposing their network. Hackers can readily detect security flaws when these protocols are not followed, resulting in catastrophic data loss. This vulnerability is regarded as one of the most prevalent and deadly vulnerabilities. The most prevalent misconfigurations are unencrypted data, misconfigured web apps, unprotected devices, and default or weak username and password settings.

Conduct vulnerability scans

Organizations can use vulnerability scanning to determine if their networks and security systems match industry requirements. Vulnerability scanning technologies can identify vulnerabilities or disclose security flaws that might expose systems to a third-party attack.

Vulnerability scans can be done both within and outside the network parameter under consideration. An external scan examines a network’s exposure to third-party servers and applications directly accessible through the internet. Internal scans identify system weaknesses that hackers may attack across several systems if they obtain access to a local network.

Internal hacks are more prevalent since they are dependent on the strength of your internet’s configuration and security mechanisms. As a result, before implementing a vulnerability management application, it is critical to map out all of your networks and categorize them based on relevance.

This is best performed with a single platform that can discover and categorize vulnerabilities based on estimated risk criteria. SQL injection, missing data injections, a fault in your firewall security, and cross-site scripting are all instances of software vulnerabilities.

Prevent exposure of sensitive data

Credit card details, contact numbers, customer passwords, confidential health data, and other sensitive information are examples of sensitive data. Exposing sensitive information may result in considerable financial loss, such as a possible data breach and the associated implications.

For example, while storing credit card information in a database, security applications can use automated database encryption to encrypt the card number. However, it is decrypted when this data is obtained, allowing a SQL injection to extract credit card information.

Ethical hackers conduct penetration testing to detect such flaws, assess probable vulnerabilities, and document the attack technique. Businesses can defend from data exposure by employing SSL/TLS certificates, upgrading encryption algorithms, deactivating form caches, and encrypting data during and after a data transfer.

Check for broken authentication

Your website’s authentication may be hacked, providing attackers with a simple way to get passwords, session cookies, and other user account information that they can later use to assume a false identity.

According to research, about one-third of broken authentication vulnerabilities were caused by poor design and failed to effectively limit authentication attempts.

Ethical hackers can inspect for broken authentication systems and may recommend some security measures to protect your organization, such as: 

  • Managing the session duration of your website and logging out website visitors after a set period to lessen the occurrence of a hijack intrusion
  • Make investments in an IoT device certificate to secure authentication, encryption, and data integrity, as well as to safeguard your machine throughout its lifecycle.

Another preventive safety measure is to avoidt using session IDs in your URL, which can introduce your session’s cookies for an attacker to hack. To overcome this use a protected, high-quality VPN, which enables users to send and receive data from one server to another over a private network, while encrypting all shared data and preventing session management attacks.

A VPN is the primary layer of protection against clever cybercriminals. Prices are lower than ever, with long and inexpensive contracts, and there has never been the best time to get a VPN.

Responsibilities of an ethical hacker

To live true to their moniker, ethical hackers must first obtain permission from a company before lawfully hacking into the network infrastructure. Before conducting a vulnerability check, they must follow a tight code of conduct and discipline, as well as specific ethical requirements.

Some of the fundamental rules that ethical hackers must adhere to are as follows:

  • Hackers must undergo a stringent clearance process before executing any security evaluation of an organization’s network.
  • Identify possible weaknesses via the eyes of a hacker while simultaneously documenting the attack vector for the company to see.
  • Sign a non-disclosure agreement and keep all information private.
  • They should report any security violation immediately.
  • Remove any traces of vulnerability testing — since malevolent attackers frequently infiltrate the system via a blueprint of previously found flaws.


More enterprises will enter our developing digital world in the coming years, bringing with them new cybersecurity issues. With data breaches becoming increasingly common by the day and malevolent hackers discovering new methods to attack data systems, the notion of an ethical hacker appears more enticing than ever. Even if you’ve never heard the word or considered it for your company, it might become one of the most effective methods of identifying and addressing security issues. To know more about ethical hacking and cybersecurity, You can take free ethical hacking courses at Great Learning.

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