What is Ethical Hacking? | Ethical Hacking

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What is ethical hacking?

Ethical hacking (or penetration testing) is the exploitation of an IT system with the permission of its owner to determine its vulnerabilities and weak points. It is an effective way of testing and validating an organisation’s cyber security position.

The results of ethical hacking are typically used to recommend preventive and corrective countermeasures that mitigate the risk of a cyber attack.

To find out more about the vital information you need to deal with the threats presented by hacking and crimeware, and how to safeguard your online information from criminal hackers, read our bestselling An Introduction to Hacking and Crimeware – A Pocket Guide.

Is ethical hacking legal?

Yes. An ethical hacker is someone who is trusted to attempt to penetrate an organisation’s networks and computer systems. They have the same knowledge and tools as a criminal hacker, but their work is conducted in a lawful manner.

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If your organisation has complex security objectives in place and needs more detailed exploration, our technical services team can provide additional expertise. Call us on +44 (0)333 800 7000 or request a call back using the form below.

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Attacking and defending

Protecting systems and networks requires a broad understanding of attack strategies and in-depth knowledge of criminal hackers’ tactics, tools and motivations. Effective ethical hacking is based on knowledge of the system network, equipment, user interaction, policies, procedures, physical security and business culture. The rise of social engineering attacks demands that every tester is also aware of the organisation and habits of its IT users (staff).


The EC-Council (International Council of E-Commerce Consultants) is a member-based organisation that certifies individuals in e-business and information security skills. It developed the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) programme, as well as many other certification schemes offered in more than 87 countries globally.

IT Governance is an EC-Council ATC (Accredited Training Centre), providing the best instructor-led exam preparation experience possible for the CEH qualification.

Certified Ethical Hacker qualification

Launched in 2003 by the EC-Council, the CEH qualification is globally recognised as the credential of choice for those looking to develop a senior career as an ethical hacker or penetration tester.

Its purposes are to:

  1. Establish and govern minimum standards for qualifying professional information security specialists in ethical hacking measures;
  2. Inform the public that credentialed individuals meet or exceed the minimum requirements; and
  3. Reinforce ethical hacking as a unique and self-regulating profession.

How to become a Certified Ethical Hacker

To achieve the CEH qualification:

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Course

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Training Course

This fully accredited, practitioner-led ethical hacking course equips you with the skills to plan and perform ethical hacking (penetration testing) at an advanced level.

Taught by an information security professional, you can achieve an industry-recognised qualification in just five days.

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How to become a Master Certified Ethical Hacker

To achieve Master CEH status, you need to pass both the CEH Training Course and CEH Practical exam.

Think of the CEH Training Course like the theory test when learning to drive. You take the course and sit the included multiple-choice exam to test your knowledge. We then give you six months of access to iLabs to put your experience into practice. Once you’ve honed your practical skills, you can sit the six-hour CEH Practical exam.

Achieving both these qualifications makes you a CEH Master.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Training Course and CEH Practical Exam

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Training Course and CEH Practical Exam – combination package

Get into the mindset of a criminal hacker with the five-day CEH Training Course, which will teach you ethical hacking skills and improve your knowledge of risks and vulnerabilities.

Achieve the internationally recognised CEH certification and the CEH Practical qualification. The exam voucher is included in the course, but the exam is taken in your own time.

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