Difference between Ethical Hacker and Forensic Investigator

The protection of sensitive customer data is of the utmost significance in the context of today's information-driven economy. Everyone who works for a company shares some degree of responsibility for guarding the company's sensitive information against unauthorized access by outside parties such as hackers. As the practice of social engineering has become more widespread, there has been an accompanying rise in the likelihood that any company or business would be the target of an attack on its information and data systems.

Everyone who works for the firm must ensure that he maintains the company's data securely and leave no loose ends to keep unauthorized individuals from accessing the company's data. Multiple studies have pointed to a lack of security knowledge and training as the leading cause of data breaches. To ensure their data is secure, the vast majority of organizations in today's world rely on the expertise of either ethical hackers or computer forensic investigators.

Who is an Ethical Hacker?

These audits are carried out by security experts known as ethical hackers or "white hats." Ethical hackers have another name: "grey hats." The preventative measures they take within an organization help enhance its defenses. On the other hand, ethical hacking differs from damaging hacking carried out with the company's consent or the owner of the IT asset being hacked.

Ethical hacking is legal for finding and resolving security weaknesses in a software, system, or organization's infrastructure for various possible security concerns. It is done to discover new vulnerabilities and potential security problems. Finding flaws in a computer system or computer network that are susceptible to being exploited or destroyed by an unethical hacker can also be an objective of an ethical hacker. Attacks can be resisted or prevented by beefing up the protection around the perimeter.

For cyber security engineers to evaluate the system's defenses, the system's or network's owner must permit those operations. As a result, in contrast to malicious hacking, this process is purposeful, authorized, and, most crucially, legal.

The primary goal of ethical hackers is to uncover weaknesses in computer systems that other, more malicious hackers may later use to cause damage or take advantage of. Data is collected and analyzed so that a user can enhance the security system, the network, and the application. When this is done, the security footprint may be improved, making it possible for it to withstand better or deflect any assaults that are launched against it.

A firm may decide to retain the services of an ethical hacker to examine its computer systems and networks for potential vulnerabilities and to recommend preventative measures.

Who is Forensic Investigator?

An investigator who uses scientific methods to establish evidence for use in legal processes is known as a forensic investigator. Investigators who specialize in forensics are often referred to as forensic scientists. Forensic investigators can examine physical and digital evidence to establish their cases. Under the umbrella term "evidence," you can find these two categories.

The findings that a forensic investigator uncovers are intended to be utilized in various legal actions, including civil and criminal ones. It is because forensic investigators are trained to collect evidence that can be used as evidence in a variety of cases. A Forensic Detective can work for the government (for example, in law enforcement) or a private company in his capacity.

Forensic Links

Fingerprinting and footprint matching are two common examples of forensic science. Suppose Forensic Investigator finds a fingerprint or shoe print at the crime scene. In that case, they can use that evidence to pinpoint the perpetrator and prove them guilty. As an expert witness, the Forensic Investigator can explain how they could link the patterns to the person at the center of the case. The Forensic Investigator may even use chemical or genetic evidence to prove a link. Forensic Investigators can use physical science to establish links between people in thousands of ways which can lead them to punishment.

Analytical Techniques

Forensics can be used to verify not only physical evidence but also digital evidence. A digital forensics investigator can use a person's digital footprints to piece together their online relationships. And users' own devices may contain digital proof as well. It is particularly relevant considering the prevalence of identity fraud and other computer-related crimes committed using personal devices.

Difference Between Ethical Hacker and Forensic Investigator

The primary goal of any computer forensics investigator or ethical hacker is to safeguard the data from falling into the hands of criminals, regardless of whether the target is a private company or a government organization. The likelihood of a computer system being compromised is the primary concern of ethical hackers, after which they work to patch any vulnerabilities they find in the system.

On the other hand, hackers with malicious intentions search for and exploit every possible vulnerability in a system from which they can benefit. Computer hacking forensic investigators are given tasks to determine what led to the breach and gather evidence that one can use to prosecute the responsible in a competent court. This is in addition to determining what led to the violation in the first place. Both forensic investigators and ethical hackers are making strides toward becoming more skilled in their respective fields. Forensic investigators are especially making headway in this direction. However, ethical hackers are also close behind in this race.


The ethical hacker and the computer forensics investigator have the same overarching goal: to ensure the security of a company's or government agency's most sensitive information by identifying and eliminating any traces of hacking. Their work style is similar, but they may have different skills and qualifications. While malicious hackers explore vulnerabilities in a system, ethical hackers focus solely on the likelihood of a hack and then work to patch any holes they find. In contrast, computer hacking forensic investigators not only identify the causes of penetration but also collect evidence to prosecute the hackers in court and prove the crime with proof.

Updated on: 26-Dec-2022


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started