Difference Between Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security

January 5, 2022, Learn eTutorial

Cyber security and Ethical hacking are two names that make much confusion for a beginner. Both of them are aiming for a common goal that is to protect the systems and networks of an organization from cyber-attacks and cybercriminals. Both cyber security and ethical hacking are working for increasing the security of the organization, there is some difference between them.

Cyber security is a huge area that has different subsets or sub-areas to specialize and ethical hacking is one of those subsets or sub-area of cyber security. Let us check in detail how they are different even they have a common purpose.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security can be defined as a stream of technology that deals with methods and tools that are for maintaining the security of systems, network devices, and networks from illegal access, stealing or modification of sensitive data and even destruction of the system or a device or network that caused by the cybercriminals. 

Cyber security teaches the methods and tools for keeping the network, systems, devices, and data safe and untouched from cyber-attacks.
As technology is increasing day by day, the internet and cyberspace are reaching millions of new users every year and the need for protection from cyber-attacks is increasing rapidly. The cause of such an increase in cyber-attacks is the revenue and the huge number of tools readily available in the internet for doing malicious activities. 

Depending on where we use the security, we can divide cyber security into different categories such as

  1. Network security
  2. Data security
  3. Application security
  4. Information security
  5. Mobile security
  6. Cloud security
  7. Endpoint security

A cyber security professional is a person who is responsible for doing all the security measures in an organization to protect that organization's assets and data from cybercriminals. A cyber security professional must have high skills, be self-motivated, and knowledgeable in various network aspects, and be able to deal with almost all kinds of threats from the internet like Malware, Scareware, Spyware, Ransomware, Viruses, Worms, and many more.

Definition of the Ethical hacking

Ethical jacking is a subset of the domain cyber security which is mainly doing penetration testing for understanding the vulnerabilities and risk areas that an external attacker can find in the system or network. 

We can define Ethical hacking as a process of searching and finding all the vulnerabilities and risks in a network and preventing such loopholes that an attacker uses to penetrate into the organization's network or system.

Hacking is considered a criminal activity in almost all regions of the globe, but Ethical hacking is legal and even government seeks the help of highly skilled ethical hackers in some situations. Ethical hackers are doing almost the same as the hackers but they do not use their skills for any illegal activities or they never harm anyone with their skills. Ethical hackers are also known as White hat hackers, whereas the other hackers are called black hat hackers.
Let us detail the role of an ethical hacker with an example, suppose a client has a website that uses some sensitive information from the users. In such situations, clients will seek the help of an ethical hacker to check their website and they will identify the weak spots that a real hacker can use to penetrate and it’s called penetration testing. It will help the website owner to close such weak spots.

Difference between Cyber security and ethical hacking

Cyber Security Ethical hacking
It is a wide area that is concentrated on the continuous protection of data and devices that connected to the network from all threats and vulnerabilities It is a subset of cyber security, which deals with identifying the security vulnerabilities using penetration testing.
The main aim is to protect the system and data The main aim is to attack a system by penetrating tests to find vulnerabilities.
Cyber security is a continuous process of defense activity Ethical hacking is a one-time process that is offensive
Cyber security experts will not break into a system or network devices; they never do penetration testing. Their aim is only to protect the system from attackers. Ethical hackers penetrate into systems for finding the loopholes in the security and help the organizations to close them.
Career options in cyber security include security expert, security analyst, SOC engineer, CISO, etc In ethical hacking, there is only two major career options as a penetration tester and security manager
Cybersecurity includes the maintenance of the security of the organization to make sure it is perfect. Ethical hacking includes regular testing of the security of an organization to know any vulnerability in the system.
Cybersecurity is behind in providing access control by making access privileges in the organization Ethical hacking is behind in creating reports on how hacking was done and how many chances are there for hacking

Roles of a Cyber security expert

We understand the difference between cyber security and ethical hacking. Now we are going to check the responsibilities of a cyber-security expert and ethical hacker. The exact roles of both will differ according to the organization, but we can say some general responsibilities of both security experts and ethical hackers. 

As we said, cyber-security is responsible for maintaining the security of the organization. It is a defense game that provides monitoring of the network and makes strategies according to the attacks. Let us see some of the roles of cyber-security experts below

  1. The main role of a cyber security expert is to maintain security and check any errors in the security systems
  2. The help to make the security system updated and efficient
  3. A security expert should check for every security system update available and must install them without delay
  4. He should keep all the systems and network devices on monitoring for any malicious activity that is from inside or outside
  5. He must be the responsible person of the organization to provide access rights to each person in the organization
  6. He should make reports on the security measures and must be responsible if any malicious activity occurs
  7. He must provide improvement reports with his suggestions to update the security if needed

Roles of an Ethical Hacker

Ethical hacking is a subset of cyber-security that specializes in penetration testing for finding vulnerabilities that a hacker can use to enter into organization security. Role of an ethical hacker are

  1. The ethical hacker should do a penetration test and check the security performance.
  2. He is responsible for searching and finding the weak parts in the security that may lead to a security breach
  3. He is responsible for checking all the security breaches and giving reports for improving the security of the organization
  4. He is responsible for doing pen tests on the networks devices and systems to check is there any chance to violate the security
  5. He has to provide complete reports about the risks and possible points that lead to security breaches and what he did to resolve them.
  6. He has to communicate with a security expert about the possible attacks, how that attack impacts the organization.
  7. He has to use all the hack tools and methods on the security system to give solutions for the impact of hacking.