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What is Offensive Cyber Security?

Offensive Cyber Security is a proactive measure of “ethical hacking” to determine where your digital vulnerabilities are before any real threats occur. An ethical hacker will intentionally launch a simulated cyber attack to exploit vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Offensive cyber security tactics test the robustness of an organization’s security policies, its regulatory compliance, its employees’ security awareness, and the organization’s ability to identify and respond to security issues and incidents such as unauthorized access, as they occur.

Large scale offensive testing may include elements of penetration testing, social engineering, vulnerability assessments, and red teaming.

Offensive cyber security is in comparison to Defensive Cyber Security. Defensive cybersecurity is all about blocking. This could come in the form of both anti-virus and malware applications.

Blocking threats consists of tools and actions. Defensive tools are designed to prevent or mitigate a cyber attack. Most commonly, these tools are antivirus software and firewalls. The defensive actions include regular maintenance such as installing updates, patching software issues and fixing any uncovered vulnerabilities.

The best cyber security strategies involve both offensive and defensive elements which work hand-in-hand.


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