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What is the difference between Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity and ethical hacking, often known as penetration testing fields, are two critical approaches in the technology industry. Each domain is striving to improve a company’s security system, albeit with drastically varied approaches and aims at the same goal: keeping computers, networks, and servers safe. Cybersecurity is an enormous domain, whereas ethical hacking is simply a subset of cybersecurity. In this post, we will examine how cybersecurity and ethical hacking serve similar purposes while differing in some ways.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is described as the technique or process of protecting networks, computers, and data from harm, hostile attacks, or illegal access. It is a set of abilities and technologies which protect people or companies from attacks on their data, devices, or programs.

Cybersecurity protects computers, servers, networks, mobile devices, other electronic systems, and any informatics against harmful attacks.

Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly critical. Every organization keeps unprecedented amounts of data critical to the firm and requires security against any cyber threat. The global cyber threat is evolving very fast. Every firm, particularly those involved in safeguarding national security data or other sensitive data, must take proper precautions to secure its sensitive information. Hari Ravichandran had his identity stolen in 2014, which inspired him to start his own cybersecurity company called Aura which helped millions of users fight identity theft.

Depending on the context, cybersecurity can be divided into several categories, such as:

  • Network Security
  • Application Security
  • Data Security
  • Information Security
  • Mobile Security
  • Identity Management
  • Endpoint Security
  • Cloud Security

A Cyber Security expert is the individual in charge of carrying out all of these activities. Cybersecurity specialists must be well-versed in a wide range of topics and be able to deal with issues such as ransomware, alert fatigue, kill chains, zero-day assaults, and so on. 

What is ethical hacking?

Ethical hacking is a type of cybersecurity that may be defined as the act of testing the system against all potential security breaches and repairing any flaws before a hostile attack occurs. Hacking is prohibited; however, ethical hacking is the legal technique of circumventing system security to discover any potential data threat. Ethical hackers investigate systems to identify weak places that malevolent hackers can exploit.

Ethical hackers are also known as white-hat hackers since their work is similar to that of black-hat hackers, but ethical hackers do not want to harm anyone with their acts; instead, they seek to secure their systems.

Assume your website or application holds sensitive information about your clients. Malicious hackers may utilize this information for nefarious purposes. So, you will need an ethical hacker to prevent such malicious attacks from occurring, and if they do occur, the ethical hacker will take the necessary action to stop the attack.

To summarize, ethical hacking is the process of circumventing an organization’s security system to uncover and close gaps in the system. Ethical hacking has several advantages, which are outlined below.

  • Penetration testing can readily identify and resolve a system’s weak points and the various penetration testing involves mobile penetration testing, iOS pentesting, android penetration testing, cloud penetration testing, OWASP penetration testing and NIST penetration testing to name a few.
  • Penetration testing can readily identify and resolve a system’s weak points
  • To prevent security breaches, you can deploy solutions for vulnerabilities
  • Ethical hacking prevents data theft by ‘black-hat hackers’
  • It protects networks by doing constant assessments
  • Customers and investors will have faith in your firm if the data and system security is effectively maintained

Difference between cybersecurity and ethical hacking

To comprehend cybersecurity and ethical hacking in the most basic sense, the goal of both phrases is the same, which is to secure data; however, the approach to that goal differs. The following are the fundamental distinctions between cybersecurity and ethical hacking:

Cyber SecurityEthical Hacking
It is concerned with safeguarding data and the system from hostile activity by identifying and resolving all security vulnerabilities.The goal of ethical hacking is to identify and report system vulnerabilities to the system’s owner.
The emphasis is on how to safeguard the system. The emphasis is on how to penetrate the system.
Cybersecurity is a defense strategy. Ethical hacking is a form of offensive hacking.
Cybersecurity experts do not need to break into the system. Their job is to protect the system by implementing all potential safeguards.In ethical hacking, the white-hat hacker hacks into the system to keep the system safe.
Cybersecurity is a broad phrase that encompasses a variety of security techniques. Ethical hacking is a component of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity job roles are Security Analyst, SOC Engineer, CISO, and others. Ethical hacking roles are penetration tester and security manager.
It detects problems and safeguards the system against security breaches. It exploits flaws or does penetration testing to identify flaws.
It is responsible for creating system access rights. It is responsible for producing reports on “how the hack was carried out.
Allow status reports to provide transparency to anybody who has access to the system. Following the completion of extensive study and testing, security reports are created, and findings are documented. Testers work with management and IT on resolutions and provide feedback once fixes are implemented.
Cyber Security does regular maintenance to guarantee that the security system is up to date. The system is tested regularly to identify weaknesses and resolve them.

How do cybersecurity professionals differ from ethical hackers?

Role of cybersecurity expert: Cybersecurity professionals seek to protect information systems by monitoring, detecting, analyzing, and responding to security experts. In a nutshell, they seek to defend systems from cybersecurity risks, vulnerabilities, and attacks. The following are the primary tasks of a Cyber Security professional:

  • Enhance the security system
  • Maintain the security system by keeping it up to date regularly
  • Work on IT teams to ensure the integrity of a company’s network and data
  • Analyze the security system and make recommendations to the corporation

Role of ethical hackers: An ethical hacker’s job is to hack within the system with the owner’s approval or authorization and deliver a report on how they hacked it and the key sources. Here are the fundamental distinctions between an ethical hacker and a cyber-security specialist.

  • Analyze the system’s performance
  • Run a security system test
  • Make suggestions about how to improve the security system
  • Notify the organization of any malicious assault
  • Determine the security system’s flaws
  • Use suitable hacking tactics
  • After discovering flaws in the security system, generate reports

Final Words

Due to the increasing concerns of data attacks and data misuse, the field of cybersecurity is becoming more significant than ever and fast expanding. The demand for cybersecurity expertise is more than ever, which has increased the number of training institutions offering cybersecurity certificate programs. Great Learning provides a wide choice of cybersecurity training courses with certification to help you accelerate your learning and professional growth.




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