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Ethical hacking vs penetration testing: what’s the difference?

Penetration Testing - Ethical Hacking

Penetration testing is very closely related to ethical hacking, which is why the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two.

Permeability test

Penetration testing is a definite term and only focuses on the detection of vulnerabilities, risks and the target environment in order to ensure the security and control of the system. Or, in other words, penetration testing is aimed at an organization's defenses, consisting of all computer systems and its infrastructure.

Ethical hacking

On the other hand, ethical hacking is a broad term that encompasses all hacking methods and other related computer attack methods. Thus, along with discovering security vulnerabilities and vulnerabilities and securing the target system, it goes beyond compromising the system, but with permission to protect security for a future target. Hence, we can that this is an umbrella term and penetration testing is one of the features of ethical hacking.

The following are the main differences between penetration testing and ethical hacking, which are listed in the following table:

Permeability testEthical hacking
The narrow term focuses on penetration testing only to ensure the security of a security system.One of its features is comprehensive analysis and penetration testing.
The tester, in fact, must have a comprehensive knowledge of everything that is necessary in order to have knowledge of only the specific area in which he is testing the pen.An ethical hacker, in fact, needs to have a comprehensive knowledge of programming as well as hardware.
A tester does not have to be a good speaker.An ethical hacker essentially needs to be an expert at writing reports.
Any tester with some penetration testing inputs can do the pen test.He needs to be an expert on the subject who has the mandatory certification of ethical hacking to be effective.
Paper works less efficiently than ethical hacking.Detailed paperwork required including legal agreement, etc.
This type of testing takes less time to complete.Ethical hacking takes a lot of time and effort when compared to penetration testing.
Generally, availability of the entire computer system and its infrastructure is not required; availability is required only for the part for which the tester is testing the pen.According to the situation, the full range of availability of all computer systems and its infrastructure is usually required.

As intrusion protection techniques are used to defend against threats, potential attackers are also rapidly becoming more sophisticated and inventing new vulnerabilities in current applications. Therefore, a single type of single penetration testing is not enough to protect your security on the systems under test.

In some cases, a new security loophole was discovered and a successful attack occurred immediately after penetration testing, according to the report. However, this does not mean that penetration testing is useless. This means that it is true that with careful penetration testing there is no guarantee that a successful attack will fail, but the test will certainly significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.

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