How To Get Started With Advanced Ethical Hacking
How easy is it to access your business?
Do you know?
Do you want the first person to chance their luck on your business, to be one of the bad guys? Or do you want to take hacking into your own hands, and use it for good?
When you learn more about advanced ethical hacking, you could use your new knowledge to either work on ethical hacking yourself or hire the correct ethical hacker for the job.
Either way, you want to have knowledge of ethical hacking so that you remove the risk of the bad guy getting to your business first.
This blog will help you understand how to get started with advanced ethical hacking.
Understanding The Basics
Ethical hacking is where a professional (either in your business or outsourced) tries to exploit any vulnerabilities or weaknesses in your systems so that they can be patched before any bad guys try.
Unlike malicious hackers who engage in unauthorized activities with malicious intent, ethical hackers operate with the explicit permission of the system owner or organization.
These professionals are also sometimes known as ‘Penetration Testers’ or ‘Pen Testers’.
The Legal and Ethical Aspects
Legal and ethical aspects play a crucial role in ethical hacking to ensure that the ‘hack’ is conducted responsibly and within the bounds of the law.
Here is a brief introduction to the legal and ethical aspects of ethical hacking:
1. Authorisation: you should only perform ethical hacking with express permission from the organisation or owner.
2. Laws and regulations: you should know and adhere to any relevant laws, regulations and frameworks that you are covered by.
3. Pre-determined scope of engagement: the targets, systems, networks or applications should be clearly determined and defined before the hack.
4. Confidentiality: if you come across any sensitive information during the hack, you should keep everything confidential.
5. Do no harm: you should make sure you do not harm the business or systems during your ‘hack’. You only need to identify any vulnerabilities, not change them.
6. Responsible disclosure: when any vulnerabilities are identified, you should follow the responsible disclosure procedures.
7. Professionalism: you and your work should maintain a professional standard throughout.
If you ensure all your work is kept within the legal and ethical bounds, you can ensure ethical hacking. This is one of the most important things to consider when get started with advanced ethical hacking. You must keep everything legal and ethical.
However, you will likely have to use the same methods and methodologies a typical ‘malicious hacker’ would use to enter the systems.
Common Hacking Methodologies
Common hacking methodologies refer to the approaches and techniques used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to systems or exploit vulnerabilities.
The most common hacking methodology is:
1. Reconnaissance: this is where you gather information about the target system or organisation to collect data which can identify any potential vulnerabilities.
2. Scanning: once you have gathered information, you can scan systems to identify any entry points.
3. Enumeration: where you probe a target system to gather information about user accounts, network shares and system configurations. This helps to understand the internal structure of the system.
4. Vulnerability analysis: this is where you determine the severity and impact of hacking each vulnerability. What is the easiest route in? A vulnerability analysis will show you all.
5. Exploitation: this is where you utilise what you found out during scanning and enumeration to gain access to systems. Did you manage to exploit any of the systems?
Typically, an ethical hacker will utilise this methodology in order to stay on the ethical side of hacking. However, this does change depending on what the pre-determined scope of engagement was.
Building The Foundation
If you want to start ethically hacking, or you want to hire the right ethical hacker, you need to build your foundations of knowledge.
How much of a technical background do you have already? As an IT Manager or IT professional, I’m sure you will have some technical expertise. But here are some more ways you can build your foundations for ethical hacking.
Learn Relevant Programming Languages
Learning programming languages can greatly benefit individuals pursuing a career in ethical hacking. Proficiency in these languages enables ethical hackers to understand, analyze, and develop tools for assessing and securing systems.
Here are the top programming languages to learn for ethical hacking.
1. Python: Python is a widely used programming language within cybersecurity. It offers frameworks which simplify tasks related to ethical hacking (e.g. exploit development).
2. Bash/ Shell scripting: Bash and Shell will allow ethical hackers to streamline repetitive tasks, perform system-level operations, and manipulate data efficiently.
3. C/ C++: C and C++ is a low-level programming language which provides a deeper understanding of memory magnet, hardware interactions and exploits. All of this will make life as an ethical hacker easier.
5. Structured Query Language (SQL): SQL is used for interacting with databases and is important to identify and exploit any database vulnerabilities.
6. Ruby: Ruby is commonly used for scripting, web application testing, and developing exploit frameworks like Metasploit. It is useful for ethical hackers.
Increase Networking and Operating System Knowledge
Networking and operating system knowledge form a crucial foundation for individuals pursuing a career in ethical hacking.
Understanding networking protocols, network architecture, and how systems communicate is essential for identifying vulnerabilities and conducting effective penetration testing. Moreover, having a strong understanding of operating systems, allows ethical hackers to navigate through system configurations, file structures, and permissions.
Making it easier for you to work.
Using network and operating system knowledge enables ethical hackers to exploit weaknesses, analyze logs, and assess the security posture of various operating systems.
By building a solid foundation in networking and operating systems, aspiring ethical hackers can enhance their ability to identify and mitigate security risks effectively.
However, you can have all the knowledge in the world about programming languages, and network and operating systems but not have enough time to do them all. That’s why you need to partner with different ethical hacking tools to make your life easier.
Some of the tools and resources we recommend are below (we are not affiliated with any of the following tools).
When it comes to Ethical Hacking, you can’t do it all yourself. Here are some of the best tools to help you:
1. Acunetix: an automated tool that detects and reports web application vulnerabilities.
2. Intruder: a fully automated scanner that looks for cybersecurity weaknesses in your digital systems. It also explains the risks it finds, and provides solutions.
3. Metasploit: this is software for penetration testing.
4. John the Ripper: John the Ripper is a popular password-cracking tool used to test the strength of passwords. Ethical hackers can use this to assess the effectiveness of password policies.
5. NetStumbler: is useful for verifying network configurations, finding locations with poor network coverage and detecting the cause of wireless interference or unauthorised access.
6. Maltego: is a tool for link analysis and data mining. To help you with analysis, it also displays data in graphs.
To get started with advanced ethical hacking, you need to make sure that you are keeping updated with all the trends. Hacking and cybersecurity evolve so quickly that even if you do a course on cybersecurity, within just a few years, the information you learned may be out of date.
If you want to be an ethical hacker, you need to know what is happening in the ‘hacking’ space at all times.
Some of the ways you can do this are:
- Set up ‘Google News’ updates on ethical hacking and hacking.
- Keep up to date with The Dark Web.
- Follow cybersecurity pages on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Find the best cybersecurity forums.
- Subscribe to cybersecurity journals like ‘The Journal of Cybersecurity‘.
- Keep up to date with new ethical hacking and cybersecurity courses that we upload.
If you want to stay up-to-date with ethical hacking, you need to keep continuously learning.
One of the best ways you can do this is to sign up to multiple courses about cybersecurity and ethical hacking.
Reading about cybersecurity can get dull after a while as the type of information written is usually complex and hard to read. But when you add courses to your learning belt, your learning about cybersecurity and ethical hacking will be more fun.
With courses, you’ll get an interesting video that is made with keeping your attention in mind, and a test at the end to keep you on your toes.
Meaning, you’ll actively try to remember what you learned in the courses!
Advanced Ethical Hacking Courses
Ethical hacking courses and cybersecurity training programs are designed to provide comprehensive education, practical hands-on experience, and industry-relevant insights.
The field of cybersecurity is dynamic, with new vulnerabilities, attack vectors, and defensive strategies constantly emerging. To ensure that you have the most relevant and current information, you need to choose ethical hacking courses and cybersecurity programs that are regularly refreshed and updated.
These courses should go beyond the basics, delving into advanced ethical hacking techniques, threat modelling, incident response, secure coding practices, and more.
By enrolling in such courses, you’ll gain access to cutting-edge content that reflects the rapidly changing landscape of cybersecurity and gain an in-depth insight into ethical hacking.
However, when it comes to ethical hacking, it can be difficult to find the right courses.
There are not a lot of ethical hacking courses out there that fit your skills and knowledge. So, which one is the right fit for you?
The Best Ethical Hacking Courses
1. Jera IT: Offers online 5-day courses multiple times throughout the year. Learn in real-time from a real person and ask questions on the go – but don’t worry if you don’t pass the first time. Jera offer a guarantee that if you don’t pass the first time, you’ll get a second attempt for free!
2. Udemy: Offers multiple ethical hacking courses for a wide range of expertise. If you’re a beginner, they may have the right course for you!
3. Coursesonline: Offers an online ethical hacking course where you can become an ethical hacker. To be approved for this course, you need a minimum of 2 years experience in Information Security jobs.
4. Metasploit Unleashed: Offers a free self-paced ethical hacking course for advanced cybersecurity personnel.
The Right Fit For You
Here at Jera, we offer many courses where you can learn all about ethical hacking and cybersecurity. We also ensure that all of our courses get refreshed to keep up with the latest trends on a regular basis.
If you are looking to get started with advanced ethical hacking or start your ethical hacking journey – Jera have the right course for you.
If you want to try our cybersecurity and ethical hacking courses today, contact us now.
The importance of advanced ethical hacking skills cannot be overstated in today’s digital landscape.
Ethical hackers play a crucial role in identifying vulnerabilities, securing systems, and protecting organizations from malicious attacks. As the field of cybersecurity continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it is crucial for you to embrace continuous learning and stay connected with industry developments.
The best way how to get started with advanced ethical hacking is to: build strong foundations in programming languages and networks & operating systems, learn and utilise the best tools out there, and stay up to date with the latest trends (by either reading it or joining in with online courses).
Whether you are looking to get started with advanced ethical hacking yourself, or hire the right person for ethical hacking, trust Jera.