With hacking on the rise – could hiring a hacker benefit you?




The rise in cyberattacks is an ever-growing problem and during the pandemic attacks have increased to epidemic levels, with hackers reported to be attacking networks approximately every 39 seconds.

During the first wave of the pandemic the quantity of data compromised in security breaches broke all previous records across all sectors affecting both large and small companies and individuals, resulting in the ‘exposure of 36 billion records in the first half of 2020.’ (RiskBased)

 

27% of COVID-19 cyberattacks target banks or healthcare organizations and COVID-19 is credited for a 238% rise in cyberattacks on banks in 2020. (Fintech News)

 

Cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and with the growth in homeworking, our reliance on technology and digital services and the increased data security vulnerabilities that this exposes, the risk to individuals, companies and organisations has never been greater.

Hacking for Good!

While, rightly, organisations and individuals are raging a constant war against the hackers to protect their data against cyber-attacks, is it time to stop and consider taking a different approach; what if, instead of battling to keep the hackers out, we invite them in?

 

“Cyber attackers are smarter than ever; you need to think like one to get ahead” – Dan Baker

 

Not all hackers are out to attack your organisation and steal your data. ‘Ethical or White Hat hackers’ are individuals hired by an organisation that use the same tools and resources as a criminal hacker to help identify weaknesses in the company’s secure network, website or app, highlighting areas of concern and allowing solutions to be realised before any data breach can occur.

 

The average time to identify a breach in 2020 was 207 days. (IBM)

 

Of course, allowing an individual from outside your organisation to access your secure systems sounds like a huge risk, but countless businesses are starting to use this strategy in order to expose any vulnerabilities and close any ‘gaps’ to allow them to strengthen their security, and protect their data.

An ‘ethical hack’ is a carefully planned undertaking with the hacker entering into a legal agreement with the company or organisation which stipulates which systems and applications the hacker is allowed to compromise, a strict timeframe for testing and includes a signed NDA to protect private or sensitive company information. The organisation is also liable for ensuring that the hackers do not have access to any customer confidential data that the customer hasn’t given consent to.

Entering into an agreement with an Ethical Hacker and allowing them to undertake security testing on your systems could enable the hacker to expose your company’s security vulnerabilities, advise you if your systems are effective, identify any updates that should be undertaken and highlight any areas that could be exploited and open to attack.

They could also offer insight into the hacking techniques that might be used to infiltrate your systems and help you anticipate and prepare for a potential cyberattack.

After all, perhaps the best way to beat a hacker is to think like one!

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