The word “hacking” usually comes with some negative implications, but obviously not all hacking services are criminal acts.
As a matter of fact, ethical hackers take great pains to make your security systems stronger, more reliable, and less prone to attacks especially in the corporate world.
Did you know that in the United state of America alone, the ethical hacking field is now worth over $4 billion. Not just that, there’s an expected 21% annual growth in the industry. Why? The answer is simple. It’s becoming increasingly vital to invest in a business security system that protects against cybersecurity threats.
Ethical hacking can be described as an authorized attempt to intrude an organization’s network and systems to identify potential threats before cybercriminals or company competitors do.
Ethical hackers perform penetration testing to discover the anomalies and vulnerabilities that could disrupt the operations. They think and act like black hat hackers in order to find the bugs and patch the flaws without malicious intent.
So, if you have limited knowledge of ethical hacking and wish to kickstart your career as an ethical hacker, this article or guide can help broaden your horizon as it highlights the skill sets and requirements you need to have to become an ethical hacker or hiring a hacker.
While black-hat hackers work the dark side — using malware, ransomware phishing and a range of other tactics to pull off virtual break-ins and hacking heists — their white-hat counterparts use similar high-tech tactics to defend against an ongoing stampede of cybercrime. Ethical hacking is emerging as a viable career path for IT and security professionals in 2022.
The alarming rate of cyber flaws has pushed a lot of private organizations and government agencies to strengthen their defenses against malicious hackers in recent years.
Companies are now constantly hiring hackers to test their systems for security flaws, in fact google is one of a number of firms that asks hackers like Santillana — who are often referred to as ethical or white hat hackers — to try to find security flaws.
“We’re curious, we want to test our skills, we want to help these companies,” said Santillana. “I’ve found several bugs where you can completely compromise another user’s account.”
He works for a firm called Bugcrowd that connects companies, including Pinterest and Western Union, with hackers like himself. He said that the work is as much about the fun — the challenge of solving a problem — as it is about the money. Businesses pay cash rewards, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, to the first person to find a particular bug. They’re called bug bounties.
When Mobile payments company Square has a bug bounty program.
“So we do everything we can to secure our products and services but occasionally things fall through the cracks,” Square’s information security technical lead Dino Dai Zovi told CBS News. He said that Square would rather have good hackers help find these problems before malicious attackers do.
“So we aren’t just focusing all our efforts on locking the front door when there’s a wide open window we don’t know about.”
Dai Zovi acknowledged it’s a bit scary to invite strangers to hack you. But he said it has helped and, so far, they haven’t been burned.
Working with an ethical hacker can help reduce your losses in the event of a breach in two ways:
If you are breached, a hacker may be able to locate the vulnerability much faster, preventing an ongoing attack.
When you hire a hacker, you can request that he or she provide an employee fidelity/honesty bond or other insurance coverage that will reimburse you should your company experience losses as a result of their activities.
So while the idea of hiring a hacker might seem absurd at first, it’s quickly becoming a widely accepted security practice. Much like an undercover officer can root out criminals more quickly than uniformed agents, a hacker can identify vulnerabilities more effectively than a defender.