Ethical hacking is something which I only learned about last year during a talk which the brilliant Bharat Bhise HNA gave at a tech conference I attended. Bharat is an expert in cybersecurity and whilst his talk covered a range of issues, ethical lacking was the one which really stuck in my mind. Cybersecurity is big business and more and more companies are being made aware of the direct threats which they face, and the importance of ensuring that they have a robust and impenetrable security system which protects their network and their computer systems. Ethical hacking plays a key role in this, and here is why it is so necessary.
What is Ethical Hacking?
To put it simply ethical hackers are tasked with trying to break into a security system, they are paid by a company or by a cybersecurity company, to test the strength of their security measures. Think of it like you have installed a new state-of-the-art security system in your home to keep out thieves, and you pay some people who are good at breaking into houses to see if they can get past your new system.
Over the last 20 years law enforcement has caught a great number of hackers for illegal activities and instead of punishing many of these hackers with prison time, they have sought to enlist their services and recruit them to work off their sentence, through performing ethical hacks. The reason why these men and women are the best people for the job, is because they were once on the other side of things and they know exactly what to look for in a flawed system.
Chasing the Tail
The world of cybersecurity is very reactive and they only know that there are holes in their system after an attack. Each new piece of security software or system is like throwing down the gauntlet to hackers, who will find ways around it and then the cycle begins again. Through the use of ethical hackers however cybersecurity companies can get beyond the curve and discover flaws before it becomes a problem. Now even if an ethical hacker cannot get through a system this is not to say that there aren’t cybercriminals out there who can, but it certainly slows down the progress and makes the life of the hacker much more difficult.
Cyberattacks can cost businesses a huge amount of money, it can ruin their reputation and it can leave them offline for a number of days, which of course can be significantly damaging to the company’s day to day activities. This is why there is such a demand for high quality cybersecurity which cannot be breached, and it is also why there is such a need for ethical hackers who can work to ensure that each system is as strong as possible, and without flaws.
A necessary role in an ever changing world.