The world is going through a cybercrime pandemic as more and more people are getting affected by online scams and identity theft. Cybercriminal activities have rapidly increased in recent years. With the number of internet users expanding at an exponential rate, it has become easier for cybercriminals to blend in with the crowd.
This is why ethical hackers are very important in today’s day and age. Ethical hackers are essentially people who can use the same techniques as cyber criminals, but they do not use them to steal information. However, the term ethical hacker has been shrouded in controversy. So who are ethical hackers? Why are they controversial, and why do we need them?
According to CyberGhost ethical hackers are considered controversial because the term simply has the word hacker in it. Many people believe that hacking is still hacking, no matter the purpose or reasons for doing it, and adding the word “ethical” does not change the fact they infiltrate systems. Moreover, the term is highly subjective, and many feel that trusting an ethical hacker can jeopardize them since they can choose to become cybercriminals anytime.
The negative meanings attached to the term hacker make it difficult for people not to judge ethical hackers. Additionally, the ability of an ethical hacker can seem scary to an internet user as well. Many also state that ethical hackers steal and create loopholes within secure systems, so they do the same things as cybercriminals.
Another reason the term ethical hacker is controversial is that other than cybercriminals and ethical hackers, there are also activist hackers. They do not operate with malicious intent. However, they do illegal activities to expose certain crimes and corrupt systems. Despite these acts, activist hackers are not very trusted by internet users as well, so hacktivists referring to themselves as ethical hackers have started to paint ethical hackers in a bad light as well.
If we take a deeper look into the various types of hacking, there are three major types of hacking styles. The various hacking styles, namely Black Hat, White Hat, and Gray Hat hacking are divided based on the intent of hacking.
Black Hat Hackers primarily operate with malicious intent. Black Hat Hackers can also be referred to as cybercriminals or mainstream hackers who work towards damaging or stealing data. Black Hat Hackers also make money by selling user data and other private information on the dark web.
Gray Hat hackers are people who do not essentially steal user information and harm people, but they do not have a strict code of conduct for themselves. Gray Hat Hackers can also be termed hacktivists. These people will not shy away from doing illegal work if it results in a good or positive outcome. However, due to a lack of strict rules, Gray Hat hackers tend to operate anonymously, just like Black Hat hackers, and are usually considered damaging.
White Hat Hacking refers to Ethical Hacking. White Hat Hackers primarily have a strict ethical code of conduct that they simply do not breach. These hackers primarily work in hacking to research certain hacking techniques and find loopholes and bugs within various websites and programs. Ethical Hackers are essentially a way to counter the action of Black Hat hackers, and they can also help users protect their devices and other data from cybercriminals.
Cybercrime has become a huge threat to the security of major systems and programs all over the globe. Additionally, as more and more people are providing their personal information on the Internet, it is becoming easier for hackers to access user data. An average internet user is not very aware of the ways their data can be stolen. That is why ethical hackers are needed to strengthen Internet systems and create a more secure space for Internet users.
If we were to take a look at the numbers, the overall cybercrime rate has increased whopping 600% during the pandemic. Even though the pandemic has de-escalated, the number of cybercrimes is only increasing at an exponential rate. It is a given since cybercrime is pretty lucrative as a business. Based on certain reports, the cybercrime industry has become more profitable than the illegal drug industry on a global level.
Based on these facts, ethical hackers need to do some cleaning up. Normal internet users can’t bait hackers or trap them. However, ethical hackers are very heavily capable of handling such issues, and they can not only catch hackers but they can also help internet users in resolving any data breaches by protecting their devices accordingly.
Despite all the controversy, it is also a fact that ethical hackers are needed at the moment. It can not be denied that cybercriminal activities have increased in recent years. More and more people are getting trapped in various online scams as well as the number of data breaches has also increased. Additionally, businesses are also getting affected by cybercriminal activities and not just regular people.
The reason why ethical hackers are so heavily needed at the moment is due to the sudden increase in cybercrime. Not only are hackers capable of stealing user data, but a lot of this private information is also sold on the Internet later for huge prices. This is why users must know whether their system is secure from external attacks or not. Ethical hackers go through different phases of ethical hacking to find security flaws. They are specially trained to find loopholes and weaknesses within the security of a device or software to suggest ways to strengthen it.
Ethical hackers are not only hired by large companies to find bugs and faults in their software code, but many antivirus services also use ethical hacking personnel to determine the security level of their code and software. This ensures that normal Internet users can get the most security on their devices to freely browse the Internet.
Ethical hackers might be controversial due to their ability to infiltrate files and systems easily. However, they are heavily required in today’s time and age to ensure the security of software on the Internet. Large corporations also need ethical hackers so they can provide a secure service to their customers without worrying about a database breach.