Is Ethical hacking ethical?

Companies usually hire ethical hackers to perform penetration tests or by individual users for various purposes like data recovery, account recovery, counter hacking hacked phones, and so forth. However, many people are still wondering about the concept of ethical hacking and whether ethical hacking is ethical. It’s a legit question, as in many aspects, so-called ethical hackers are just similar to bad or black hat hackers out there. You can hire an ethical hacker for many of your hacking needs.

Ethical hackers or white hat hackers work on particular protocols. Only when hackers strictly follow the protocols can they be called ethical hackers. These include

Legal Operation

Ethical hackers can only have legal operations when providing services to their clients. It means that they would have to obtain proper licenses and certifications before performing security assessments on the client’s system. The licenses and certifications represent the skills, specialization, hacking domain to cover, expertise, and proficiency. Yes, even ethical hackers aren’t a homogeneous profession as there are diverse domains to cover. For example, some ethical hackers are experts in information security while others are proficient in scripting and operating systems.

You need a certified ethical hacker, and you can check whether the ethical hackers have a suitable background for your requirements. However, an ethical hacking company may have complete security, networking, operating system, and scripting. They may assign proper technicians to handle your case with upfront consultation and assessment.

Even if they can show you licenses or certifications, you still must check whether they’re valid and legit. When researching ethical hacking service providers, you can contact the license-issuer company or ethical hacking course institution to check whether the firm/hacker owns a license with them. Checking their background on business review sites or ethical hacking forums would provide you with a better overview of the ethical hacking firm.

Scope of Services

With relevant Certified Ethical Hacker training licenses, hackers can provide you with ethical hacking services typically for assessing the security measures of a company or organization. In most cases, organizations hire ethical hackers to perform penetration tests and vulnerability assessments. With the growing cyber threats and attacks out there, corporations or organizations may regularly ethical hacking services to ensure their security performance.
Ethical hackers must work in a specific manner when exploiting vulnerabilities, revealing all possible threats and how other hackers can breach the current security. Hackers can reveal some common vulnerabilities, including authentication issues, injection attacks, security leaks or misconfigurations, components exploited, sensitive data potential leaks, and exposure.

At this point, we can see the opposed position of ethical hackers to the evil hackers who hack into your system. Ethical hackers exploit vulnerabilities so that their clients can improve their security measures against them. Malicious hackers would exploit these vulnerabilities to steal your data or collapse your system. So, yes, ethical hacking methods employed to reveal vulnerabilities for the sake of security improvement are undoubtedly ethical.

Reputable, ethical hackers would typically disclose their scope of services or what types of hackers they are upfront. Due to the competitive market, you can easily find how reliable hackers are from their client’s perspectives. A consultation or pre-assessment session would provide a better overview of whether ethical hackers can help with your cases.

Vulnerabilities Report

Ethical hackers are strictly obliged to make reports for their clients only. They must report all vulnerabilities found throughout the assessment sessions. As previously mentioned, there are diverse types of vulnerabilities possessed in a system. Without assessment, an organization barely knows vulnerabilities and can’t anticipate attacks or improve its security measures. A vulnerability list is the main element of ethical hackers’ reports to their customers. The list will be the primary reference for the client to perform improvements and enhancements for their security.

Another element of the report is the remediation suggestions to overcome vulnerabilities found in the assessment. Hackers suggest solutions to solve the problems or to improve the current security system. Even potential vulnerabilities are covered in their answers so the clients can enhance their security measures. Ethical hackers would disclose information areas that they can and can’t resolve in this section. However, whether suggestions are taken or left or postponed is entirely up to the client.
Professional, ethical hackers usually provide their clients with detailed, consistent reports. When it comes to remediation, they will disclose comprehensive yet solid solutions. Trustworthy ethical hackers get a long-term partnership with clients from diverse businesses. Companies with close ties to customer data are regular customers to ethical hackers.

Work on A Non-Disclosure Agreement

Another sign that ethical hacking is ethical when parties conduct it on a non-disclosure agreement between the ethical hackers and their clients. Ethical hackers would have to comply with the company client’s terms and conditions, but they still need the contract to understand data sensitivity. The company provides access to its system and data when they hire an ethical hacker to perform penetration tests.

Truly ethical hackers likely have regular clients and ethical hacking jobs as feedback to their dedication and honest works. The reputation of an ethical hacking firm comes from its integrity and respect for a non-disclosure agreement. Each client may have different data sensitivity measures so that each non-disclosure agreement would be unique, and an ethical hacker should agree to it. At this point, ethical hackers have to embrace accountability, transparency, and integrity when they’re performing vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, or dealing with sensitive data.


Despite ruling how ethical hackers work for the company, the agreement also governs how ethical hackers must make reports for assessments and tests conducted on the client’s system. Ethical hackers must not only share words with any other parties other than the assessed client. These also include the solutions of remediation for any vulnerabilities found during the procedure. Clients may hire the same ethical hackers to enhance their security measures and resolve vulnerabilities or issues in their systems.