When you hear the word hacker, what is the first thought that pops into your mind? Does it have negative connotations?
We thought so.
Even the pronunciation of the word can be so forceful, further stimulating the prejudice so deeply ingrained in our subconscious.
Do You Need Protection?
Absolutely! We are not implying that all hackers are ethical, and there is no need to worry. You should certainly consider cyber insurance for your business, and planning contingencies should a cyber attack occur. Regardless of your company size, anyone using the internet is susceptible to being hacked.
We want to encourage you to consider how ethical hacking can enhance your contingencies.
What Is Ethical Hacking?
Before a smartphone is on the market, it goes through rigorous testing, such as assessing the quality of the lucrative water resistance feature. In this scenario, testers are trying to break the product. Quality assurance ensures that a product (or feature) does what it is meant to do and, most importantly, doesn’t do something it wasn’t designed to do.
Now let us take this example and apply it to hacking. An ethical hacker – ingeniously dubbed a White Hat Hacker – completes tasks similarly to penetration testing. They are analyzing potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses in programs, websites, and other applications accessed online.
Essentially the role of an ethical hacker is to impersonate a larcenist hacker attempting to break into systems. While cyber insurance protects you from the consequences of a cyberattack, hiring an expert hacker implements preventative measures.
How Can the Expertise of a Hacker Be Utilized?
There is an endless list of benefits a business can reap from utilizing a hacker, but we would like to highlight our three favorites.
Testing File Management Security
A financial website employed the services of an experienced hacker of web applications. The company supplied only its URL, and the outcomes of the tests were frightening. Merely adjusting the URL, the testing was able to locate a file storing client information and credit card details.
Beginning as a hobby, two MIT alumni created a scanning software to detect vulnerabilities in websites. The software initialized when the pair were prompted to enter personal information. As an act of good faith, they would notify the site administrators and assist in resolving the issues. Thousands of businesses now utilize the software which has detected over 450,000 vulnerabilities.
Bug Bounty Programs
Zomato, an Indian based restaurant guide, was hacked by a White Hat Hacker, with the intent to raise awareness of the site vulnerabilities. The launch of a bug bounty program was the anticipated outcome. The bug bounty utilizes incentive schemes to reward people who report bugs. Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have launched such bug bounties. The industry has seen similar programs launched by government bodies.
Final Thoughts from Tim Berners-Lee
A significant area of concern is how the internet, as we know it today, is exploited for ill intent. While ethical hacking is a contingency plan, and cyber insurance is excellent protection, they play a part in only minimizing issues – not removing all potential threats. Ensure you keep up to date with the industry’s newest technology it preventing a cyber attack.