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Difference between Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

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1. Penetration Testing :
Penetration testing is done for finding vulnerabilities, malicious content, flaws and risks. It is done to build up the organizations’ security system to defend the IT infrastructure. It is an office procedure that can be deemed helpful and not a harmful attempt. It belongs to a part of an ethical hacking process where it specifically focuses only on penetrating the information system. 

2. Ethical Hacking :
An ethical hacker role is quite similar to that of penetration tester, but it encompasses diversified responsibilities. It is comprehensive term that includes all techniques along with other related cyber attack methods. Ethical hacking covers all hacking techniques, and other associated computer attack techniques.

Difference between Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking :

Sr.noPenetration TestingEthical Hacking
1.The main motive is to find vulnerabilities within the target environment.The main motive is to encompass various attacks through different hacking techniques to find security flaws.
2.It focuses on the security of the specifics area defined for testing.It is a comprehensive terms and penetration testing is one of the function of ethical hacker.
3.This requires a prior experience in the ethical hacker to be a good penetration tester.This is a step towards penetration testing. One should know the methodologies, then they conduct a penates.
4.The penetration tester can work on a specific domain and networks. The knowledge requires is more specific at an expert level.An ethical hacker should be aware of technicalities of the software and hardware of digital devices connected to the network.
5.It requires less paper work as compared to Ethical hacking.It requires detailed paper works are required, including legal agreement etc.
6.It requires less time.It involves lot of time and effort compared to Penetration testing.
7.It access is required only to those systems on which the pen testing will be conducted.It access is required to a wide range of computer systems throughout an IT infrastructure.


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Last Updated : 19 Jan, 2021
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