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The Need for Ethical Hackers

The Need for Ethical Hackers

Ethical Hacking Today’s society is solely based and dependent on computer based systems. With the advent of computer technology, we have acquired many good things like online banking, online commerce, emails etc. Along with the advancements in technology comes the relentless pursuit to prevent criminal hacking. Criminal hacking affects big business as well as the individual. The modern ethical hacker is a person who attempts to penetrate a secured computer system in effort to learn how to further protect or repair weaknesses in a company’s already secure system. According to the Sixth Annual Enterprise IT Security Survey released Monday, 67% of large companies with 5,000 or more employees reported one successful intrusion or more this year, as opposed to 41% in 2009. ” (Messmer) Hacking is to deliberately acquire data without permission from another’s computer, computer system or network. Not every hacker has a malicious intent; this is where the ethical hacker comes into view. The hacker seems to come from every age group and all walks of life. They are no longer just the computer geek type.

In my opinion, there are more malignant hackers than ethical hackers in today’s society. The maliciousness of hacking is going to become worse in future generations. The main issue is with mass production and production schedules. Everyone wants to be the first to have their new super high tech software hit the newsstands. With this come the many vulnerabilities that a speedy or badly written software produces. (Zetter and Gowan) This definitely creates some serious software security issues businesses and the individual consumer.

Our government provides strict penalties for the virulent hacker; however, this does not satiate the need to break into a computer system and steal personal information, vandalize web pages or perform DOA’s (denial of service attacks). The reality is that the hacker can steal your password or account numbers from your personal computer or they could just as easily hack into a company’s mainframe and pillage countless files of vital customer information. (Britt) So why wouldn’t a company pay a reformed hacker to attempt to crack into their super secure systems.

Seems ethical enough, we do want our personal information to be locked up tighter that Fort Knox. Protecting our sensitive information is a perpetually evolving progression and not just a once only occasion. Software changes along with networks and network users, so the ethical hacker must always be on the frontline of defense. A skilled ethical hacker must keep abreast of both the white hats (good hackers or ethical hackers) and the black hats (bad hackers or crackers). They must keep themselves emerged consistently in both worlds if he is to outwit the black hats.

An ethical hacker must always consider the risks, exposures and threats to companies’ data bases. They should prioritize the security of a company’s data files to protect their most vulnerable assets, being the customer information. Technology alone is not the company’s best line of defense; companies that rely on this alone seem to be the least protected. By far, the black hats can make more money with their malicious software than they ever could by working a legally in this industry. For most the lure of big money far outweighs the impending consequences.

Profit driven cybercrime is a billion dollar industry, with thousands if not millions of companies falling victim. In conclusion, the worms and viruses of the past have given rise to insidious identity theft, phishing, spamming and DOS abuse. What seems to be the defining point for these new generation tools is that they are designed to generate revenue. These incipient attacks are no longer on a large scale. The black hat hacker keeps his attacks small to evade detection by the ethical hacker (white hat) and law enforcement.

Through my research I have found that most of today’s black hat hackers that are detected are fledgling attackers. The modern hacking industry has become extremely sophisticated with teams of hackers now preforming individual tasks. For the reasons stated it is crucial that the modern day ethical hacker deserves a place in our computer society. Cybercrime isn’t just about prosecuting cyber criminals it is also an immensely growing international security threat.