The Ethical Hacker's Guide to the Universe: The Top 5 Goals of a White Hat Hacker

The top five goals of any reliable, ethical hacker, also known as a 'white hat' hacker, include the following: finding vulnerabilities; improving security; maintaining functioning systems; catching potential errors; and correcting existing problems. Here is some more information about these five goals:

1. Finding Vulnerabilities- 


The ethical hacker's job is to find vulnerabilities in a system in order to tell people in charge what those potential security risks are so that unethical hackers (also known as 'black hats') can't use those vulnerabilities to their respective advantages. In order to find these vulnerabilities, ethical hackers must use their critical thinking skills, as well as their knowledge about computers, in order to tackle the root of the problem(s) at hand.

2. Improving Security- 


One of the most important jobs that an ethical hacker has is to improve security. This means that one must not only find loopholes, but alert those who are in positions of authority to do something about the problem, citing potential security risks to an organization or company.

3. Maintaining Functioning Systems- 


Ethical hackers must strive to maintain the systems that are working properly. Subsequent problems that arise during random security checks should be addressed as soon as possible and taken care of right away--because one doesn't want those issues to snowball into larger problems. Any issues that potentially could come up should be predicted well in advance, which brings us to the next point.

4. Catching Potential Errors-


Catching potential errors is one of the most important elements that an ethical hacker can manage. Looking for loopholes that black hats could use in order to wreak havoc on a system are what ethical, white hat hackers have to be on the lookout for all the time. It doesn't do an ethical hacker any good not to be kept on his toes, because he never knows from whence the next potential security threat could come.

5. Correcting Existing Problems- 


Not only is an ethical hacker in a position to catch potential errors, but it's also of premier importance that white hats also take care of any current problems with the system(s) they are working on with the highest immediacy. It's not enough to just find a technical issue or problem; one must also be attempting to resolve the issue or problem as quickly, efficiently, and effectively as possible. These issues cannot summarily dismissed, because a company's reputation could very well depend upon the ethical hacker who was in the right place at the right time to ensure proper corrections were made promptly.

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