In the IT world, “hacking” is a word that comes with negative connotations. It conjures up the idea of cybercriminals who want to steal sensitive data by breaking into systems and networks. But what if you knew that there are hackers out there on your side? They don’t break the law. And they only ‘target’ you when you ask them to. This is what’s known as ethical hacking – and you could be surprised about how much it can help your organisation.
Ethical Hacking Explained
All sorts of organisations use ethical hackers to equip themselves against cybersecurity risks better. Even sensitive government departments turn to these cyber specialists for their skills and expertise. Ultimately, the name suggests, hackers are recruited to do everything they can to break into your organisation’s systems and networks.
The aim is for organisations to find out where their weak points are. If your ethical hacker can break-in, so too can unethical hackers. By exposing vulnerabilities in your system, you have a much clearer understanding of the risks to your organisation. And, of course, you can take the necessary steps to shut those loopholes and entry points to fend off any potential cyber attack.
The Skills of an Ethical Hacker
The increasing demand for ethical hackers is that you can now enrol on university degree courses dedicated to the practice. After all, ethical hacking can be a lucrative route for those who enjoy IT and coding. But the UK is one nation facing a skills shortage in this field. And this means that available ethical hackers are becoming hot property.
Ethical hackers must have an in-depth knowledge of IT systems and programming languages to do their jobs. Working experience in cybersecurity is also a must to know what you’re doing. There are also plenty of organisations that certify ethical hackers. This includes the popular Certificated Ethical Hacker exams, which are run by the EC Council.
Data Security Pain Points to Consider
The cost of a data breach or cyber attack can be eye-watering. And there are numerous ways in which businesses can be at risk. Email phishing scams are a familiar tactic used to solicit details by impersonating a reputable sender. The theft of devices (such as laptops) is also a huge issue for organisations, especially – if a device doesn’t have a password to protect the saved files.
An unsecured connection or unauthorised users gaining access to your network is also a problem that can have serious consequences. A VPN service can be highly effective at helping to protect your business. It provides an encrypted connection so that no other can find a way – securing and safeguarding your sensitive data, files, and documents.
Online security is an area in which your business can’t afford to take chances. You can take steps yourself. But sometimes, it takes the skills of an ethical hacker to show just how well (or poorly) you’re protected. And it could make a huge difference to your organization’s long-term success and stability – no matter the size or sector.