Ethical White Hat Hacking Protects Your Business

Mike Allen
March 10, 2015

"Your business' computer systems contain a treasure trove of valuable information just waiting to be taken by criminals. Networks are also a target for those who want to cause disruption to your website, communications, and applications. This can be financially costly, as well as damage your reputation when customers perceive that their data is not safe with your organization. One of the ways to prevent trouble is to use ethical white hat hacking techniques to find holes in your computer security systems.

WHAT IS WHITE HAT HACKING?

White hat techniques are defined as the ethical and legal use of techniques to achieve a goal. White hat hacking occurs when a person or a team attempt to break in or bypass security systems on a computer network, to see how criminals could gain access. When employed, an ethical hacker has permission from the employing company to probe the network and identify security risks. The hackers also commonly sign non-disclosure forms and promise to respect the privacy of the business. Any information of potential security gaps is then passed onto the owners of the organization who can take action to prevent real hacking incidents from happening. Some businesses worry that ethical white hat hacking would leave organizations open to potential real hacking but white hat hackers will close off the system to prevent this.

What Are The Advantages Of Ethical Hacking?

The main advantages of ethical hacking are pretty obvious; it helps your developers identify gaps in your network's security and plug them so criminals cannot exploit them. However, there are also other benefits:
Tight security means your computers are protected from software that might slow down production and limit workers' capacity.
Prevents financial loss from data being stolen.
It is more cost effective to fix a security gap before it has been exploited.
It prevents embarrassing news articles about your computer systems being compromised.

The Disadvantages Of Ethical Hacking

There is a darker side to the industry and one that can be dangerous for your organization. Here are the drawbacks of ethical hacking for your organization:
Ethical hacking opens your organization up to malicious activities. You have to fully trust your ethical hacker.
It allows private information to be seen (financial, banking, customer details).
A massive security breach could be created that allows criminal hackers to exploit.

However, it is not often that these problems are experienced by businesses and the benefits more than outweigh the risks for you organization.

How Much Can An Ethical Hacker Cost?

Employing an ethical hacker is not cheap. The average wage in the US is $74,000 and this doesn't include the bonuses that many other organizations will pay out for finding errors. However, considering that hackers have been known to steal millions from banks, this investment can potentially save a company from financial ruin. At the same time it can also save your organization from embarrassment. Sony certainly felt embarrassed after having two hacking incidents in 2014. Social media sites are also highly criticized when hackers steal username and password information.

Ethical hacking is the process in which you hire someone to try and break into your business' computer system. From there they report any security vulnerabilities to your developers so they can create a patch to solve the security issues. Ethical hacking is very important and it can save your business money, time and worry in both the short and long term."



    Mike Allen

    "Your business' computer systems contain a treasure trove of valuable information just waiting to be taken by criminals. Networks are also a target for those who want to cause disruption to your website, communications, and applications. This can be financially costly, as well as damage your reputation when customers perceive ...

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