Ethical Hackers, Digital Transformation, and Your OrganizationAs organizations worldwide continue implementing cloud-based technologies, developing mobile applications, and capturing more sensitive information, these organizations' digital resources, assets, and infrastructure become more vulnerable. Digital transformation refers to many activities carried out across multiple platforms and often involving copious internal and external third-party resources to muster. Digitalization looks different depending on an industry's or organization's focus. While expert-level customers might have higher budgets and information technology expertise to lean on, they are also desirable targets for criminals. That's mainly because of the massive value of the data they work with and what is possible should it be compromised via a data breach, malware attack, or other forms of cyber exploitation. You might hear ethical hackers referred to as white hat hackers. They are individuals and teams with information security expertise matched with a desire to help create robust digital security protocols instead of destroying and compromising existing systems and safeguards. White hat hackers play significant roles in safeguarding both major enterprise-level customers and smaller and medium-sized organizations finding themselves under attack. Today, we need ethical hackers more than ever. There is a tremendous range of professional opportunities available for individuals looking to enter an exciting and fulfilling career, helping to secure the cyber resources driving the growth of our modern world. White hat hackers offer unique skills that allow information security researchers to develop more robust cybersecurity practices by testing their concepts against the penetration techniques employed by true professionals. In this way, ethical hackers enable leading organizations to build greater cyber resilience by ensuring that their systems are not vulnerable to the intrusion of outside entities, organizations, hacking syndicates, and enterprising criminals. One of the most vital skill sets ethical hackers, and white hats offer to global organizations and government is conducting penetration tests. Penetration testing is a cybersecurity service provision area directing individuals and teams of hackers to penetrate cyber defenses forcefully. This strategy identifies vulnerabilities, squash bugs, and lowers the possibility that advanced and persistent threat actors' latest malware and crimeware-as-a-service offerings can exploit systems. Penetration testing, once not as common outside of financial service providers, defense contractors, and government agencies, has become a key source of information technology spending at small, medium-sized, and enterprise-level organizations worldwide. Besides conducting penetration tests, white hackers are frequently hired to:
- Scan ports to identify security flaws: Ethical hackers are often called upon to use techniques such as ping scans, TCP half-open scans/SYN scans, TCP connection scans, and UDP connection scans.
- Ensure patch updates install correctly: White hacking teams are often required to analyze different software versions and make sure patch updates have been applied correctly.
- Use social engineering practices: Frequently associated with compromising personal data and other sources of sensitive information, social engineering practices can provide insights into how malicious cyber threat actors gained access to a particular file set, resource, platform, or tool.
- Apply advanced evasive maneuvers and digital camouflage: White hats have many methods for avoiding firewalls and other intrusion detection and intrusion protection systems deployed against cyber exploitation attempts.
- Develop advanced research-based information security expertise: Ethical hackers are often on the front lines of advancing thought leadership in information security, data science, computer science, and many other associated fields of study and industry.