Ever-growing cybercriminal activities have boosted the need for reliable cybersecurity professionals worldwide. As the demand keeps increasing, more enthusiasts are finding ways to join the forces to stop cybercrime and protect the data of businesses and organizations.
In the cybersecurity profession, performing the job requires knowledge of multiple tools. From finding vulnerabilities in networks and websites to gathering information and password cracking, there are various tools that cybersecurity analysts utilize in their day-to-day activities.
10 Best Tools for Cybersecurity Analysts
The ever-evolving industry of cybersecurity is challenging to keep up with at best. Here are the 10 most essential tools for a cybersecurity analyst.
Nmap is undoubtedly one of the most popular tools in the cybersecurity community. This robust network scanning application helps a professional gain detailed information about a target network. Nmap finds open ports and services in the target system that ethical hackers can exploit and help their clients mitigate. The tool is easy-to-use, flexible, and scalable. You can start from simple ping scans to comprehensive inspections that provide detailed information about ports and services.
Wireshark is an open-source network analyzer that helps inspect data in real-time over a live network transmission. This tool is a favorite of network administrators as it dissects data packets into frames and segments to provide a detailed overview of the underlying information. It supports diverse network protocols and media types and reinforces your packet sniffing efforts.
Metasploit is a complete exploitation framework you will encounter multiple times in your penetration testing journey. The framework uses the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) database to find vulnerabilities in a network. You can send payloads to a system from a simple command line interface. This easy-to-learn tool supports various functionalities, including scanning, enumeration, scripting, exploitation, and creating reverse shells.
Burp Suite is an industry-standard security testing software for web applications that aims to provide an all-in-one toolset for cybersecurity professionals. This tool by PortSwigger is a favorite of security researchers and bug bounty hunters because its easy-to-use app supports all phases of the web application testing lifecycle. The software can help you intercept digital communication and perform man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks faster and more efficiently.
Aircrack-ng is a complete array of tools used to capture, monitor, attack, and debug all types of wireless traffic using advanced algorithms. It can help you crack WPA keys, inject packets, and decrypt WPA standard encryption conveniently.
Ncat, the successor of the venerable Netcat, is a versatile network utility tool that can view and record data on TCP and UDP networks. Often referred to as the swiss-army-knife in networking, Ncat is designed to work with Nmap to complete various tasks. As a professional, you can utilize Ncat for backdoors, honeypots, simple chat servers, port-scanning, port-listening, file transferring, and even extensible scripting to automate redundant tasks.
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John the Ripper
Password cracking is an integral part of cybersecurity analysis as passwords are the widely used standard of authentication throughout the globe. John the Ripper is a simple yet powerful password cracking suite that supports custom wordlists and dictionary attacks for ultra-fast password breaking. It can also work against encryption methods like MD5 and SHA.
Web server scanning can reveal harmful files, misconfigurations, and outdated software within a server infrastructure. Nikto is an extensive web server scanner that helps you scan large servers fast and bypass intrusion detection systems (IDSs) with anti-IDS plugins. Nikto is a handy open-source tool for general web server security audits, so consider including it in your toolset.
Information gathering is the first step in any ethical hacking endeavor. As far as social engineering inside an organization is concerned, Maltego can be a splendid starting point for gaining knowledge. The tool utilizes graph-based data mining, network analysis, and visualization tools to provide a big picture view of the target domains, networks, people, etc. The community edition is free and a must-have for any cybersecurity analyst. After all, one Maltego transform can save you lots of time.
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In the modern era, every entity, from individuals to corporate firms, banks, and even government agencies, uses some form of digital infrastructure to store their information. Therefore, cyberattacks remain a potential threat element to all.
As a result, protecting networks and websites becomes indispensable, where an experienced cybersecurity analyst must take the responsibility of securing systems by finding and mitigating loopholes. A man is only as good as his tools, as professionals in this field will surely agree.