A common saying in cybersecurity goes something like this: “There are two types of systems – systems that have been hacked and systems that are waiting to be hacked.” Despite the efforts of the best cybersecurity experts, no system is unhackable. Given the right tools, motivation, and enough time, a hacker can always find their way around systems.
One reason why a lot of people don’t know they’ve been hacked is that the hacker leaves no noticeable evidence. Unfortunately, it’s the most common and dangerous form of hacking. Hackers often leave backdoors for themselves when they enter a system. The ignorance of the user(s) also gives them ample time to wreak havoc across the network.
Because of the covert nature of most hacking, it’s safe to assume that you’ve already been hacked, or are being hacked, at any point in time. Since you can’t completely prevent the hackers from coming in, your best bet is to find their footprints and block the routes they used in accessing your network. These tests for vulnerabilities and hacker footprints are referred to as penetration tests. Here are the best tools to use for investigating your computer in 2020:
- Kali Linux: Although it’s the most common digital forensics tool, it’s also one of the most effective. Although it’s technically an operating system, it’s highly optimized for penetration testing of computers. It contains over 600 tools that can be used to run various computer security audits.
The design is also very intuitive, and most tools can be accessed by just one click. It’s beneficial for managing system and network vulnerabilities.
Because Windows has a subsystem for Linux, Kali can run on Windows’ systems through the app. Kali Linux is entirely free to use.
- Otter: A product of Ukrainian cybersecurity firm, AIO Forensics, Otter is one of the most potent digital forensic tools for Windows-based systems.
This Windows forensics tool conducts checks on all programs running on your device, including recently opened documents. It also runs tests on connected devices, whether wireless, wired, or USB. At the end of the checks, it provides you with a scoring system for the malware analysis, and even gives you tips on possible cyberattack scenarios.
It’s priced at $250/year, which makes it ideal for organizations looking to conduct routine checks on their systems.
- Snort: While the first two tools focus on computer systems, Snort is a tool designed to help protect networks. It helps detect and prevent network intrusions.
It analyzes network flow to detect if an intrusion has been attempted by comparing it with data from a database of previously recorded attack profiles. Just like Kali, it’s free to use.
Completely proofing your system from hackers is impossible. However, one thing you want to avoid is a repeat hacking. While there are many more tools that can be used to safeguard your computer or network’s integrity, a combination of these three tools is quite formidable for keeping hackers at bay.
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