To succeed in the war against cybercrimes and hacking, companies and organizations have opted to think like hackers. Hackers will probe your systems to find any security vulnerabilities.
Currently, most companies and organizations have sought the services of experts in ethical hacking to counter the hackers.
Ethical hacking is a discipline that is extremely important in the field of cybersecurity. It is comprised of a well-defined set of critical phases that enable security professionals to proactively detect and eliminate vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and applications.
Within the scope of this discussion, we will investigate the five primary stages of ethical hacking, each of which plays an important part in guaranteeing the safety and resilience of digital assets and essential data.
A systematic and ethical strategy to protect against the ever-changing panorama of cyber threats is represented by these steps, which range from reconnaissance to verification.
Table of Contents
This article outlines the phases that ethical hacking uses to perform the process.
1.How Can You Become a Certified Ethical Hacker?
In conclusion, ethical hacking’s primary phases are a systematic approach to digital security. Ethical hackers with license and purpose identify vulnerabilities, assess risks, and strengthen an organization’s cybersecurity.
Ethics hacking, from reconnaissance to documentation, helps detect vulnerabilities before hostile actors can exploit them, making it essential in today’s digital world.
By following these clear procedures, ethical hackers help firms safeguard their assets, maintain stakeholder trust, and adapt to emerging cyber threats.
2. What is Ethical Hacking and How is it Different From Hacking?
Ethical hacking, often known as “white-hat hacking” or “penetration testing,” involves purposefully probing and testing computer systems, networks, and applications with authorization to find vulnerabilities and security holes.
Ethical hacking helps firms boost their cybersecurity by proactively finding and fixing potential vulnerabilities before criminal hackers do. Ethical hackers simulate hacks and offer security advice.
However, hacking without the “ethical” prefix usually refers to hostile attempts by unauthorized parties to obtain access to computer systems or networks. Malicious hackers steal data, disrupt business, or inflict harm, typically illegally.
Unlawful hacking undermines privacy, security, and the law. In an increasingly linked world, ethical hacking protects digital assets and data by defending systems rather than exploiting them.
3.What is The Future of Ethical Hacking?
In an increasingly digitized and networked world, ethical hacking will remain crucial. As technology advances, cybercriminals’ threats grow.
By detecting and fixing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, ethical hackers will help organizations avoid these threats.
The attack surface is growing due to IoT devices, cloud computing, and complicated networks, making ethical hacking even more important for protecting sensitive data and critical infrastructure.
Both ethical hackers and cybercriminals are using AI and machine learning to improve their talents.
This technological arms race highlights the necessity for trained and certified ethical hackers who can adapt to new threats.
The future of ethical hacking will certainly include more specialists, new methods, and proactive cybersecurity to preserve digital assets and privacy.
4. Why do Organizations Recruit Ethical Hackers?
Organizations use ethical hackers for several reasons. Ethical hackers are skilled at finding vulnerabilities and security holes in an organization’s digital infrastructure.
Their cyberattack simulations help firms to prevent and fix vulnerabilities before hackers do. Second, ethical hackers demonstrate strong cybersecurity procedures to secure regulatory compliance and stakeholder trust.
They also help improve incident response, reduce data breaches, and reduce cyberattack-related financial losses.
Companies know that ethical hackers are vital to their cybersecurity strategy in a continuously changing threat landscape, protecting valuable digital assets and sensitive data.
5 Key Phases of Ethical Hacking
Phase 1: Reconnaissance
We also refer to it as the information-gathering phase, during which the hackers gather any necessary information about a target before executing the attack.
For example, hackers collect information like old passwords, names, and positions of important employees in the company or organization.
The hackers use the footprint technique to collect this data. More data the hackers collect includes; specific IP addresses and TCP services. The collection of these data may be done by interacting with the targets directly or indirectly by using public websites.
Phase 2: Scanning
At this phase, the hackers seek additional information like computer names, user accounts, and IP addresses to help them perpetuate their actions.
The hacker uses various tools like port scanners, sweepers, network mappers, and vulnerability scanners to scan data.
Multiple scans are used to make this phase successful. Firstly, the pre-attack, where the networks are scanned based on the information the hacker gathered during the information gathering stage.
The hacker may also use port scanning, which involves port scanners to check for the target’s weaknesses. Lastly, the hacker collects information about the OS details, routers, servers, live machines, and firewalls.
Phase 3: Gaining access
After this phase of ethical hackers get all the information they need, the next step is to design a network map and decide how to attack the target.
There are various ways to attack, including phishing, brute force attacks, and session hijacking.
After gaining access to the system, the hacker can increase his ‘level’ to administrator posts. Thus he can install an application he may need to hide or modify data.
Phase 4: Maintaining the Access
After hackers gain access, they will aim to ensure they keep access for future attacks or exploitation.
An ethical hacker will maintain access until he finishes the tasks he was supposed to accomplish.
During this phase, hackers create new administrator accounts to keep access to the network.
With access to the IT account, hackers begin to make appointments and send emails and instant messages to available contacts.
Phase 5: Clearing tracks
All of the evidence will always be cleaned up by hackers who are both experienced and crafty. This will avoid any traces that could point to his whereabouts.
This is because they will take away all of the evidence.
It is of the utmost importance to clear all of the routes, which includes erasing all of the cookies and caches, removing all of the messages and emails that were sent out, closing any open points, altering logs, and making sure that all of the applications that the hacker used during this process are no longer present.
Clearing every one of the pathways is essential.
Currently, with developing technology, cyber crimes have been rampant.
To summarize, the key steps of ethical hacking constitute a disciplined and systematic approach to the process of safeguarding digital environments.
Ethical hackers, equipped with authorization and a purpose, navigate these steps to discover vulnerabilities, evaluate risks, and eventually strengthen the cybersecurity defenses of a business.
Phases of Ethical hacking is an essential activity in the modern digital landscape because it helps detect vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by hostile actors.
This is accomplished through the initial reconnaissance as well as the rigorous recording of results produced by ethical hackers.
Ethical hackers give organizations the ability to proactively defend their assets, as well as to maintain the trust of their stakeholders and remain resilient in the face of evolving cyber threats, by following these clearly defined measures.