When it comes to protecting data and information, integrating appropriate programs, technologies, and failsafes is important. However, an essential role in assuring security and defending against cyber attacks is that of the ethical hacker.
What Is An Ethical Hacker?
The term “hacker” likely summons a negative image of an individual or group maliciously bypassing existing security measures in order to access, download, release, or manipulate private information. However, in the realm of cybersecurity, the ethical hacker does not act on selfish interests. Instead, they use their hacking experience to protect networks and educate employees on how to detect, defend, and counter cyber attacks.
What Does An Ethical Hacker Do For Businesses?
The ethical hacker still very much uses their skills to hack into protected networks, but the difference between ethical hackers and generic hackers is that those of the ethical variety do so for a specific purpose: identifying weak points in existing security systems and determining how these weak points can be improved.
In order for any hacking to be considered “ethical,” the task and approach must abide by a few criteria including:
- Written or expressed permission to conduct the hacking exercise.
- Agreement to inform software developer, host company, and manufacturer of any and all security risks discovered when hacking.
There are additional criteria the ethical hacker must meet, but in general, ethical hackers must understand the nature of their work and the expectations that they reveal any issues they uncover in order to improve the strength of a company’s cybersecurity.
Why Are Ethical Hackers Necessary?
The Internet has expanded to an unprecedented degree, and with advancements in technology that have enabled the wireless transmission of data and targeted GSP tracking, among other revolutionary features. Because of the amount of data being shared each day, privacy and security have become primary concerns for individuals and corporations alike.
In addition to the actual hacking conducted by ethical hackers, they are also commonly expected to train employees on best practices to ensure the company has sufficient security measures in place. Training employees also helps eliminate the risk of careless mistakes that could lead to the contraction of a computer virus and/or a breach of security.
The role of ethical hacker is small, but its necessity is growing. By replicating methods used by malicious hackers, ethical hackers are able to identify and strengthen weaknesses, educate employees, and ultimately protect the sanctity of a company’s private information.