Ethical hacking, better known as “penetration testing,” involves purposeful “hacking” into a computer network by a qualified person for purposes of testing a system’s security. A certified penetration tester with the full knowledge of all parties involved typically does penetration tests under contract.
Business commerce, financial transactions, records, and communication are almost all web/cloud-based now. Malicious hackers (black hats) attempt to steal money, goods, or information. They can change records, exploit weaknesses, and otherwise wreak havoc on businesses, computer users, and society in general.
To defend against malicious hackers, qualified penetration testers (white hat hackers) are being employed to defend systems. In fact, according to Marketwatch.com, the demand for ethical hackers is increasing as cyber-attacks become more and more catastrophic to large corporations.
The problem that arises is this: Since ethical hackers are here to make sure that the unethical hackers can’t hack us, who watches over the white hats to keep them from becoming black hats?
A competent penetration tester has to closely follow hacking trends, study new exploits, read hacker forums, and skirt very near to the edges of the criminal hacker fraternity to stay competent at his or her job all while maintaining their integrity.
Are you interested in learning more about ethical hacking and considering earning your bachelor’s or master’s degree in cybersecurity? Check out the options that are available to you, and see how they can help you pursue your goals.