Rarely does the word "hacker" bring up feelings of security, but what if you had a hacker on your side? Think of the expertise hackers must have… not only to break into a network, but to navigate it in order to find and steal valuable information.
It may sound crazy, but hiring someone to hack your network can actually make it more secure than ever. All you have to do is seek out a white hat hacker.
What is a white hat hacker?
Bear with us while we geek out here for a second, but think of hackers like the Jedi and the Sith from Star Wars. Both have an intimate knowledge of the Force and can utilize that power and the skills that come with it in extraordinary ways. However, it's what they do with that power that sets them apart. For example, the Jedi Master Yoda uses his power to establish peace and justice in the galaxy, while the Sith Lord Darth Vader uses his power to terrorize and oppress.
The same principle applies to hackers. Hackers in the traditional sense—people who illegally break into companies' networks to exploit businesses and people—are known as "black hat hackers."
Conversely, hackers who use their abilities to help companies and individuals are called "white hat hackers."
The use of white hat hackers has been common practice since the 1970s, when the United States Air Force put its Multics operating systems to the test by employing hackers to break into their system and look for any consequential vulnerabilities. While these tests confirmed Multics to be a top-of-the-line operating system for its time, the exercise found numerous critical vulnerabilities that were deemed to be of the public interest.
How can they make my network more secure?
Since their initial use in the '70s, companies and government agencies have made white hat hacking a cybersecurity standard. To this day, the government recognizes the importance of white hat hacking by offering certifications such as the CNS 4011.
White hat hackers have made themselves a valuable commodity by building new attack techniques much like their black hat counterparts. Using these techniques, they can root out any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by someone with malicious intentions.
One method white hat hackers utilize is called penetration testing. This is a simulated attack on a company's network—manually or through the use of a computer program—during which the hacker will find a way in, scan the network, steal as much data as possible, and then leave without a trace. The hacker will note how they achieved each goal. In other words, they'll point out each fault in the network and pass those vulnerabilities along to the network administrator.
White hat hackers can also use other attack methods, such as social engineering tactics like phishing, during which they will email a company's staff in an attempt to gather passwords or any other sensitive data.
The bottom line is, white hat hackers can and will find the holes in your security you and your staff may not be able to see.
Where do I find them?
That's where Pearl Technology comes in. Our IT security team offers numerous services including penetration testing and phishing exercises designed to root out the gaps in your network security. And then, we will help you fix them.
Visit pearltechnology.com to learn more about how white hat hackers can help your organization.