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Cybersecurity vs Ethical Hacking: What is the Difference? 

The terms cybersecurity and ethical hacking are two different things in the world of computing and internet security. Both have become some of the most sort after careers in the tech industry. 

Due to the interrelation between cybersecurity and ethical hacking, people tend to mix them up. 

Cybersecurity is a broad domain of online digital security while ethical hacking is just a part of it. 

These are two major emerging fields in the tech world. So, it is important to understand their differences. If you have in-depth knowledge in cyber security training and placement, you will probably understand the concept of cybersecurity. But do you understand ethical hacking? 

In this guide, we will dive deep into the differences between cybersecurity and ethical hacking. 

Major Differences Between Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking

Here are some of the major differences between cybersecurity and ethical hacking;

Cybersecurity vs Ethical Hacking: Difference in their “Approach”

The main objective of cybersecurity is to protect a system or network from cyber threats by taking all the necessary preventive and protective measures. However, the main objective of ethical hacking is to protect a system by hacking into the system in order to identify faults. You can get certified as a skilled cybersecurity expert with the cyber security analyst online course program. 

As you can see, their objective is the same but their approach is entirely different. 

Cybersecurity vs Ethical Hacking: Difference in their “Process” 

Based on teachings from the cyber security analyst online course; the process of cybersecurity involves protecting systems, networks, and computers against illegal access and hostile threats. Cyber security protects user data, software programs, networks, and devices from cyber-attack. 

Whereas, the process of ethical hacking involves testing and validating systems to detect flaws. This will help an organization prepare and defend against possible attacks in the future. 

Cybersecurity vs Ethical Hacking: Difference in their “Roles” 

The main roles of cybersecurity include; 

  • Implementing efficient technologies that will improve the security of systems
  • Performing regular audits that will identify inefficiencies in systems 
  • Keeping the system security updated by performing regular maintenance
  • Working with IT teams in order to protect the integrity of data networks 
  • Analyzing the security system and providing useful suggestions  

The main roles of ethical hacking include; 

  • Evaluating the performance of a system by testing it for security breaches
  • Performing regular pen tests on the system to check for possible violation 
  • Generating reports after finding out vulnerabilities in the security system 
  • Suggesting solutions to enhance security systems based on hacking results 
  • Using the hacking technique to provide a solution for weaknesses in systems 

Cybersecurity vs Ethical Hacking: Difference in their “Technique” 

Cybersecurity involves identifying issues that can affect a system and ensuring such issues are prevented from occurring. Whereas, ethical hacking involves exploiting the weaknesses found in systems to ensure all weaknesses are identified. You can learn more about the techniques of both system security approaches by enrolling in cyber security training and placement.  

Cybersecurity vs Ethical Hacking: Difference in their “Concept” 

The concept of cybersecurity is based on recognizing and resolving security issues in systems in order to protect their data. However, the concept of ethical hacking is based on finding several vulnerabilities, and weaknesses in a system in order to report them to those in charge. 

The basic concept of both cybersecurity and ethical hacking is to help find a possible fix. You will understand the concepts better with a cyber security analyst online course program. 

The differences between cybersecurity and ethical hacking are tabulated for easy understanding. 

            Cybersecurity             Ethical Hacking
MEASURESIt uses defensive measures It uses offensive measures
FOCUSIt focuses on how to protect the systemIt focuses on how to attack the system 
TASK Regular maintenance is carried out Regular testing is carried out 
RESPONSIBILITYIt develops system access privileges It makes reports on the hacking method 
IDENTIFICATIONThey are referred to as security expertsThey are referred to as ‘white hackers’


Since the objectives of cybersecurity and ethical hacking are the same, people use these terms interchangeably. However, you need to understand that all cybersecurity experts are not ethical hackers but all ethical hackers are cyber security experts. Cybersecurity is the broader term. 

Due to a constant increase in global cyber threats, every organization needs to put measures in place to protect itself from cyber-attacks. Some of the measures to rely on include cybersecurity and ethical hacking. Furthermore, every organization that wants to apply a cybersecurity approach will need the services of skilled cybersecurity experts.

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