Hacking isn’t always a malicious attempt to prey on your systems and data. Sometimes it can be used for good!
White hat hackers are ethical hackers who use their skills to improve security. They are often employed by organizations to test their security systems and identify vulnerabilities. They may also use their particular expertise to educate the public about cybersecurity risks and how to protect themselves.
How Can Hacking Be Used for Good?
Most of them, when we think about hackers and bad actors in general, we envision malicious thieves who use their skills to harm organizations or individuals. They may steal data, install malware, or disrupt operations. These traditional hackers are also called black hat hackers, and they tend to be motivated by financial gain, revenge or ideology.
In contract, white hat hackers operate completely legal. That’s because their focus is on understanding and strengthening security measures. White hat hackers are often respected members of the cybersecurity community, and may receive recognition for their work. Black hat hackers, meanwhile, definitely don’t want to get caught.
By using the same hacking techniques that cybercriminals rely on, thes experts can test security systems and identify vulnerabilities based on the capabilities of modern threat actors.
What Weapons do White Hat Hackers Wield?
So, how else do they protect your systems besides trying to hack in? They have a wide range of tools at their disposal, like penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and risk assessments.
Most importantly, the information they gather about your system’s cybersecurity, the better decisions you can make about how to strengthen its defenses.
The primary difference between white hat and black hat hacking is the intent and legality of their actions. White hat hackers operate legally and ethically to improve security, while black hat hackers engage in illegal and malicious activities for personal gain or harm.
White hat hackers use their skills to identify vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and potential security risks in systems, networks, and applications. They then report these findings to the responsible parties so that the issues can be fixed. Their goal is to make the internet a safer place, while black hat hackers use their skills for exploitation and harm.
Note that not all hackers fit neatly into these two categories. There are gray hat hackers who fall somewhere in between white hat and black hat hackers. Gray hat hackers may hack for personal reasons, such as to test their skills or to get free software. They do not, however, typically engage in activities that harm your data, like trying to steal files or exploit you with ransomware.
Would you trust a hacker to break into your system? It depends on what hat they’re wearing.