We wrote a piece last week about the brilliant Bharat Bhise HNA analyst and industry expert who has dedicated his career to being at the forefront of cybersecurity. In the piece we touched on the work that Bharat has done with ethical hacking and that prompted quite the response from you all. It seems that the term ethical hacking is a new one on many of you and despite what you may believe, this is not an oxymoron, there really are ethical hackers out there.
To answer your concerns and queries we wanted to go a little deeper into what exactly an ethical hacker is, and why they play such an important role in cybersecurity.
You may have it in your mind that all hackers are people who breaches security systems, gets around software and leaves viruses, backdoors and destruction in their wake. In terms of ethical hacking, this is half right. Ethical hackers do look to breach systems and get around software but they do not do it for nefarious purposes. In fact an ethical hacker is someone who is actually hired by a security software company or a private business and they are then paid to try and hack into their systems. Think of it like a bank asking a well experienced and highly successful bank robber whether or not they can steal the money without anyone noticing, if they do, the security needs to be changed.
The Benefits of Ethical Hacking
For many years software companies would develop these security suites and roll them out to the customers, they would then be notified of every time that their system had been breached and then they would perform updates on the software. The problem with this was that many people failed to update their software which left them at risk. In hiring an ethical hacker it gives the security companies a better chance of ironing out creases and plugging holes which may exist in their software, before they even launch the product. Because the ethical hackers have the same resources and equipment as criminal hackers, they have a great chance of being able to breach these systems if there are indeed security gaps. If they cannot hack into the system then the product is deemed secure. In many cases companies will hire multiple hackers to try and break through.
Importance of Ethical Hacking
Ethical hackers allow the companies to be more sure than every before that their product does everything that it says it does. This gives comfort to the consumer and it protects the reputation of the software company. Furthermore this ensures that businesses don’t have to be hacked for the company to realize that they have problems with the product, which of course helps the business to remain secure and save money.
Ethical hacking is proof that hackers aren’t all bad guys and that they can do a lot of good with their skills.