Almost every industry is undergoing a digital transformation these days. Data has become the new oil, and companies are collecting massive amounts of data to draw meaningful insights and make better decisions. While the benefits of gathering information and its analysis are many, the risk of cyberattacks also increases. A malicious hacker needs to identify just one vulnerability in the system and exploit it, causing huge financial loss to the company. To deal with such ill-intended hackers and defend the corporate networks, the practice of ethical hacking is followed.
Basically, ethical hacking refers to all the efforts taken to enhance various levels of security networks for computer systems and identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. Similar to malicious hackers, ethical hackers also intrude on the systems but with the permission of the owner. After finding all the loopholes, they take appropriate action and strengthen the defenses of the system. They use different ethical hacking techniques to deal with threats and malware after identifying the weak points of the system. Today, many advanced ethical hacking tools have been developed that one can use to safeguard their systems from cyberattacks.
This article introduces you to the top five ethical hacking tools that should be part of your organization.
The Netsparker online web vulnerability scanner helps ethical hackers automate a huge chunk of their tasks during penetration testing. It can identify and test hundreds of attack surfaces in a web application for various vulnerability variants within hours. It can assess web applications for loopholes like cross-site scripting, SQL injection, local file inclusion, and more. The tool’s web security scanner surpasses the request-response method used by open-source hacking tools and traditional black box scanners. There is a Netsparker hawk system that helps in conducting advanced security auditing and identifying more than the low-hanging types of security issues that are usually difficult to detect.
PortSwigger, a global leader in cybersecurity, has developed Burp Suite, which introduces new levels of automation to your scanning and testing activities so as to identify more vulnerabilities faster. A web security tester can use Burp Suite Pro to automate repetitive testing tasks and utilize its productivity features like project files and powerful search functions to improve reliability and efficiency. Beyond vulnerability discovery, Burp Suite simplifies the documentation and remediation process and generates reports that end-users will want to consume. There is a powerful API that you can use to create your own extensions and integrate them with existing tooling.
Angry IP Scanner
As mentioned on its official website, Angry IP Scanner is an open-source and cross-platform network scanner that scans IP addresses and ports and offers many other features. It is simple to use, designed to be fast and runs on Mac, Windows, Linux, and possibly other platforms as well. The tool offers a command-line interface, scans local networks and the internet, exports results into many formats, and is extensible with many data fetchers. The tool doesn’t require any installations; it can be freely copied and used anywhere. Additional features include NetBIOS information, web server detection, customizable openers, and favorite IP address ranges.
An open-source (GPL) web server scanner, Nikto is known to perform comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items. It covers over 6700 potentially dangerous programs, version-specific problems on over 270 servers, and checks for outdated versions of more than 1250 servers. Ethical hackers love using it because it tests a web server in the quickest time possible and checks for even server configuration items like HTTP server options, presence of multiple index files, and attempts to identify installed web servers and software. The tool can save reports in plain text, NBE, XML, or CSV formats and can be easily updated via the command line.
Nmap or Network Mapper is an open-source utility for network discovery and security auditing. If you are involved in tasks like network inventory, monitoring host or service uptime, or managing service upgrade schedules, then Nmap is a useful tool for you. It uses raw IP packets in innovative ways to identify what hosts are available on the network, what operating systems they are running, what services those hosts are offering, and what type of packet filters are in use. The Linux Journal, LinuxQuestions.org, Codetalker Digest, and Info World named Nmap as the security product of the year. The tool is flexible, portable, well documented, powerful, and easy to use.
Now that you know about the widely used ethical hacking tools, you can explore each one of them and find out its best features. Knowledge of these tools is quite helpful if you are seeking a career in ethical hacking. Information security professionals are in high demand, including ethical hackers, and command lucrative salaries across the world. The job is quite challenging, and if you have a hacking mindset, you can enhance your skills and take your career to new heights. A number of ethical hacking online courses are also available to help you learn all the basic concepts and practice the tools mentioned above.