Cybersecurity expert Bharat Bhise HNA is one of the leading minds in the field of cybersecurity and I had the great pleasure of seeing him give a keynote speech last month at a tech conference. Among other things he focused the speech on what ethical hacking means for the security industry and how these men and women can be the key to ensuring that we are doing all that we can to protect ourselves from cyber attacks. I tweeted about this at the time and it seems that there are a great many people out there who think that all hacking is bad, but in the case of ethical hacking, this is far from true. Let’s take a look then at what these people do, and why their work is so important.
What is an Ethical Hacker?
What could be the best way to ensure that a bank is fully secured against the risk of being robbed? Surely the best answer would be to get a bank robber on board and get them to test out as many different security types as possible until they couldn’t break in. This is just what ethical hackers are, only without the criminal record, at least in the main. Ethical hackers are employed by cybersecurity firms and private businesses and they are paid to try and hack into their systems, if they are able to do it, things have to change.
Cat and Mouse
The battle between cybersecurity companies and cyberattackers is a constant game of cat and mouse, and it can be difficult for security companies to continuously fend of threats. As soon as a new security software suite is created the gauntlet is thrown down to the hacking community to try and break it, eventually they will and the security company must react and update their software to close up the gaps. For many years this was the case but with the emergence of ethical hacking they can ensure that there are as few holes in their security as possible before it is released.
Why Is This Important?
The reason why ethical hacking is so important is because it means that software developers don’t have to wait until one of their clients gets hacked before realizing that there is an issue. Not only does this protect the reputation of the security company but it also ensures that the businesses who use their suites are at significantly less risk once they install the software. Ethical hackers are given all the tools that a criminal hacker would have at their disposal and they will be given the time and the resources to do whatever they need to in order to breach the system. This is all done in the development stage of the software which means that any issues or holes can be plugged before the product is rolled out.
As you can see, not all forms of hacking are necessarily bad.