The rise of IT security and ethical hackers is largely due to the advances in technology and the growing number of threats in the computer world.
Last year was an eye-opening year for cybercrime and for many it has been seen as a wake-up call to implement good security measures and practices. With a number of high profile security breaches making national headlines, organisations are now more than ever doing all they can to prevent such attacks.
To combat the likes of malicious cyber attacks you may have heard the term ‘ethical hacker’ more frequently. So what does an ethical hacker actually do? We have put together a basic guide on ethical hacking and some of the benefits that an ethical hacker can bring to a business.
What is ethical hacking?
Ethical hacking (also known as penetration testing) refers to the exploitation of an IT system with the permission of its owner. Its aim is to determine the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a system, which may include loss of data, financial loss, reputational loss, business disruption to name a few.
What are the benefits of ethical hacking?
The purpose of ethical hacking is to improve the security of the network or systems by fixing the vulnerabilities found during testing.
Ethical hackers may use the same methods and tools used by the malicious hackers but with the permission of the authorised person for the purpose of improving the security and defending the systems from future attacks by malicious users.
Could your business benefit from having an ethical hacker on board?
Ethical hackers are expected to report all the vulnerabilities and weakness found during the process to the business management. These are weaknesses that may not have been found otherwise. These could include any or all of the following:
- Preventing malicious hackers from gaining access to your IT infrastructure. This can reduce risk and increases protection.
- Preventing possible security breaches that otherwise may have detrimental effects. Secure systems are less likely to suffer security breaches than ones that are less secure.
- Reputation protection. Many businesses often suffer long-term reputational damage from data or security breaches that become public. It is better to discover weaknesses yourself, before they become public.
- Ethical hacking can create security awareness at all levels in a business. If you can discover your own problems before a hacker, you’ll be in a stronger place to keep both your data and money safe and secure.
For some businesses, hiring an ethical hacker could make good business sense – for example, if your business is particularly sensitive to its reputation. As many organisations fail to recover from cyber attacks, many specialist cyber security firms now offer ethical hacking as a service to help businesses to defend themselves. If you do want your business to be completely protected from cyber criminals, ethical hacking could be your best option.
If you would like any more information on cyber security, data protection or ethical hacking please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call. We are always happy to help! – 0161 464 6101.