Ethical hacking: are these cybersecurity practices legal?

There are many factors that come into play to maintain computer security, whether at the home user or business level. One of them is what is known as ethical hacking. It is common for many to confuse this term with hacker, but it has nothing to do with it. An ethical hacker It is responsible for detecting vulnerabilities and helping to increase cybersecurity. If you’re new to this, you better look gor Cybersecurity for beginners lessons, there are plenty of good options available online. Now, is ethical hacking legal? Is it always? We are going to talk about it in this article.

To what extent is ethical hacking legal?

The quick answer is yes. ethical hacking is legal and we can also say that it is necessary. It is also known as a white hat hacker and is nothing more than a person with knowledge in computer security who seeks to test a system or device and be able to find a flaw or vulnerability that can be exploited by a hacker. Basically the objective is to anticipate and be able to help correct the problem.

Many companies hire ethical hackers to help them improve security. For example when creating a new application or any service they offer to customers. In this way they will be able to detect possible failures and take measures to correct them. This will allow that company to avoid a cyber attack in the future that puts the security of users at risk and that affects the reputation of that company.

However, there is a line that separates what is legal from what is illegal. Ethical hacking, understood as what we have explained, is totally legal. However, it ceases to be when the line is crossed in which laws are broken. For example, if a computer security expert steals data once he detects a vulnerability or if he has had to break some law to detect that flaw.

gray hat hacker

The latter we mentioned is known as a gray hat hacker. Basically the objective is the same as a white hat hacker: detect vulnerabilities and be able to notify them to correct them. For example, detect failures in an application, in a company network, etc.

Now, to get to that end you will use illegal methods. For example, it will enter a network without permission, although its real objective is not to compromise security but to warn of possible problems that may exist.

Therefore, in this case we would be facing a kind of hybrid between ethical hacker or white hat hacker and a computer hacker. The legality in this case would be aside and it could incur problems to reach the objective of detecting certain security threats that could affect a device or system.

In short, ethical hacking is totally legal. It is in fact something widely used by companies of all kinds and even computer security experts on a personal level who want to collaborate to achieve a safer and more reliable Internet for everyone. On the other hand, when the line of legality is crossed to achieve that objective, it is how a gray hat hacker is known and that is where things change.

The article Ethical Hacking: Are These Cybersecurity Practices Legal? was published in RedesZone.

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