What Is The Difference Between A Hacker And A Cybersecurity Professional?

People often get confused with the terms hacker or ethical hacker and cyber security professional. Cybersecurity is a broad term in which various computer security mechanisms are included and hacking is one of them. Let’s now talk about what is the difference between a hacker and a cybersecurity professional and to get a better understanding make sure to read the article till the very end.

First, let us understand what we mean by ethical hacking and what is cyber security in detail, and then we will discuss the difference between the two.

What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is the method of identifying flaws in an application system or a company’s network that an attacker could exploit. You can use this process to prevent cyber attacks and security breaches by lawfully hacking into the systems and looking for weak points.

An ethical hacker uses the same five-step process of hacking to get into the system or network. The hacking process begins with looking for various ways to hack into the system then exploiting vulnerabilities, maintaining steady access to the system, and lastly clearing one’s track.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security is defending internet-connected systems such as software programs or hardware and data in them from getting damaged. It helps prevent hackers or cybercriminals from getting the data of the systems or networks. A report made by a risk-based firm in security shows that In the early nine months of 2019, data breaches compromised 7.9 billion records.

This figure is more than double that 112 percent more than the number of records exposed in the same period in 2018. This is why governments across the globe are responding to cyber threats with guidance to help organizations implement these effective cyber security practices.

Difference Between Cybersecurity Professional and Ethical Hacker

The first point in our comparison is the “function”. Ethical hacker helps us find different vulnerabilities in the system and helps to report against it. While cyber security professional helps protect the data and the system from malicious activities.

The second point is “the mode of action”. Ethical hackers focus on how to attack the system while the focus of cyber security professionals is how to protect the system. Ethical hacking is on the offensive side whereas cyber security is on the defensive side.

The third point is “the spectrum”. Ethical hacking is a subpart of cyber security while cyber security is a broad domain that includes a range of security techniques which includes ethical hacking.

The fourth point is “the purpose”. Ethical hackers perform different penetration tests to find vulnerabilities or exploit them, while the purpose of the cyber security professional is to detect problems and guard the system against these security breaches.

The final point is the “production environment”. Ethical hackers evaluate the systems of the organizations according to the security policies that are pre-existing in the organization. Whereas, Cyber security professionals audit all the security technologies that are already being used in these businesses and look for infringement.


Cybersecurity professionals focus on defense and ethical hackers on authorized testing for vulnerabilities. Both professions have many similarities and differences and in this blog, we have answered “What is the difference between a hacker and a cybersecurity professional?” 

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