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What’s The Difference: IT Professionals Versus Ethical Hackers

August 28, 2013 IADT General, Information Technology 0 Comments

IT Professionals Vs Ethical HackersDo you know the difference between an Information Technology professional and an ethical hacker?

Information Technology is a diverse industry that can allow you to pursue a variety of interests. You may have already realized this in your IT degree program courses. Classes such as Network Technologies and Network Security have introduced you to the various security responsibilities of the IT industry.

You might have been introduced to the idea of Ethical Hacking by one of your instructors as well. The idea of hacking in the work environment – in a professional and even ethical manner – might have even piqued your interest. So, we’ve outlined the difference between a general IT professional and an Ethical Hacker. Discover where you can go with IT here:

Information Technology

Are you interested in email, personal computers and the Internet? Are you intrigued by the Information Age? Do you enjoy troubleshooting computer problems?

Then you should consider pursuing a degree program in Information Technology. You could explore a variety of roles in the industry, such as:

  • Software Engineer
  • Application Programmer
  • Database Administrator
  • Technical Support Analyst
  • Software Support Engineer
  • Information Security Specialist

Depending on the position, you could be responsible for upgrading computer software, maintaining a corporation’s computer network, troubleshooting computer networks, maintaining servers, customizing software systems, building websites and building databases.

These positions are important for maintaining computer networks in a variety of industries – not just the Information Technology industry. IT professionals are responsible for helping corporations work successful with technology from day to day.

Ethical Hackers

Are you interested in viruses, DDoS attacks and buffer overflows? Do you have street smarts, people skills and a knack for manipulation? Are you a good problem-solver?

According to Eric Geier of PC World, these interests are characteristic of ethical hackers. An ethical hacker is an IT professional who attempts to hack their way past a company’s security system. Their job is to find the weak points in the system – exposing potential weak points for repair.

This job is important for preventing potential hacker attacks. Geier says, “Businesses and government-related organizations that are serious about their networks, applications and other computer systems with the ultimate goal of preventing data theft and fraud.”

However, ethical hackers must have a strong sense of morals and must never resort to “black hat” hacking. Black hat refers to illegal methods for intruding into someone’s network without their full permission. To prevent falling into black hat habits, ethical hackers follow these rules:

  • Always have written permission to probe the network and attempt to identify potential security risks
  • Respect the individual’s or company’s privacy and only look for security issues
  • Report all security vulnerabilities you detect
  • Do not leave anything open for yourself or for someone else to come into the system at a later time
  • Report all security vulnerabilities you locate in the software or hardware to the company’s software developer or hardware manufacturer

Studying Information Technology can offer you the chance to develop the technical skills you need to pursue opportunities such as ethical hacking. For more information, talk to an IT advisor today.


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