Insights into the Benefits of Ethical Hacking for Your Company

As technology advances, so do the techniques used by cybercriminals to compromise personal and corporate networks. There are a number of resources available which provide advice on how to best secure networks and mitigate the risk posed by hackers. However, an approach which may not always be considered is hiring ethical hackers to identify any vulnerabilities in a network by simulating the activities of malicious actors.

Organisations and governments rely on teams of ethical hackers to ensure the security of their systems. Ethical hackers differ from other hackers in that they have the permission of the network owner to break into the system, so they can evaluate its strength and recommend measures to improve security. This task is also referred to as penetration testing.

If your business relies on confidential information such as trade secrets, client data or research which may be damaging if lost, it may be worthwhile to consider hiring an ethical hacker. Ethical hackers will look for weaknesses in your system allowing you to patch them up and ensure the highest level of security.

Here, we detail why hiring an ethical hacker is a good idea, what kinds of issues may arise, and how to locate one.

So, What Exactly Is an Ethical Hacker?

Well-known hackers in the West are often referred to as “Black Hats”. These hackers typically operate for their own gain or for the benefit of a criminal group. They may be responsible for malicious viruses that can compromise a system and gain access to private information. In short, Black Hat hackers are often seen as the antagonists.

A “Gray Hat hacker” is an individual who uses comparable techniques for more benign purposes. To benefit financially, they may, for example, target businesses to identify any security vulnerabilities within their systems. It is conceivable that they would act as a White Hat hacker during the day and a member of a “hacktivist” group such as Anonymous in the evening.

White Hat hackers, otherwise known as ‘pen testers’, are highly qualified professionals who can help test your network’s security defences. They have the appropriate credentials to ensure their work is of the highest quality, and are dedicated to providing the best possible service to their clients. To find a White Hat hacker, it is recommended to get in touch with a penetration testing company.

Here’s a movie that goes into further detail on what differentiates “black hat,” “grey hat,” and “white hat” hackers:

The Pros of Honest Hacking

The true value of ethical hacking lies in its ability to help mitigate potential threats, such as phishing emails, stolen devices, DDoS attacks, and unsecured networks.

Ethical hacking can be beneficial in improving network security, detecting potential threats and educating internal security personnel on the methods utilised by hackers.

The benefits of ethical hacking are only effective when an organisation takes preventative measures beforehand. If a company decides to hire an ethical hacker after a cyberattack has taken place, it will unfortunately be too late to stop any further damage. Nevertheless, it is still important to seek advice in order to prevent similar issues occurring in the future. Ultimately, it is ideal to have no incidents in the first place, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks.

Hacking With Good Intentions

The negative associations with the term ‘hacker’ often lead to questions about the security of employing one. It is important to have a more discerning view of ‘hacking’ in order to ensure the safety of your network. Essentially, the term refers to accessing an unauthorised part of a computer system. Whether a hacker is considered ethical or not depends on their intentions and the permissions they have.

It is understandable to be concerned about the possibility of someone gaining unauthorised access to sensitive information or critical systems. To ensure that this does not happen, it is important to vet any penetration testing organisation or individual that you are considering working with. Although there is no legal requirement to be licenced to practice ethical hacking at present, accreditations are available from bodies such as the EC-Council and the Sans Institute.

There is always the potential for something to go wrong. The risk of not taking the necessary measures to protect your systems is typically greater than the risk of engaging the services of an ethical hacker.

Improve Your Cyber Defences by Using Ethical Hacking.

Cybercrime can be costly for organisations, both in terms of time, money and damage to their brand. This is why it is essential to take every possible precaution to protect company information. Although many preventative measures may be in place to secure the network, the only way to be sure of its impenetrability is to incorporate ethical hacking into the security strategy.

It is important to remember that even the most rigorous testing and corrections of security flaws cannot provide absolute safety. The security of a business is largely dependent on its employees, who must be trained in basic cyber security skills, such as creating strong passwords, updating software on their devices, and being able to identify malicious emails. By reinforcing these measures with further network hardening, as well as obtaining the approval of an ethical hacker, a company can make its systems almost impenetrable.

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