plural noun: hackers
1. a person who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data.
At Holograph we pay a hacker to while away their hours purposefully trying to break us. Why? I hear you cry. Because security is at the top of our priorities!
According to a report from Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of cybercrime could reach a staggering annual figure of £4.9 trillion by 2021. Let me repeat that for impact. 4.9 TRILLION! With the average fine of around £4.25 million only set to rise with GDPR now in full swing, Cybersecurity has never been more important.
It’s not just the big boys suffering breaches and fines either. The 2018 Government Cyber Security Breaches survey found that 43% of small organisations in the UK reported a security breach and 72% of larger organisations.
So if hacking is what we’re all trying to avoid, why would we want to pay someone to do it to us? Ever heard the expression ‘it takes a thief to catch a thief’? Not all hackers are bad guys. There are ‘white hat’ or ‘ethical hackers’ out there who dedicate their time to identifying and defending security flaws not exploiting them.
Although white hat hacking may be a pretty new thing, it has already proved its worth to some HUGE organisations. Facebook handed out its largest ever single bonus of £32000 to an ethical hacker and has paid out more than £4 million since it started its bug bounty scheme in 2011.
An ethical hacker employed by you will find holes in your network, allowing you to fix them before a black hat equivalent can find and exploit them. If it’s good enough for IBM then its good enough for you!
There are plenty of benefits to having an ethical hacker on your team. For example, not everybody possesses the mindset that is required when analysing a system for vulnerabilities. A developer will look at how they can make a system work better for a user, or deliver against a complex requirement schedule, whereas a hacker will work out how they can abuse the functionality to gain access to information that they shouldn’t have access to.
With the interest level of all things cybersecurity constantly on the rise, there’s no room for ignorance, fear or naivety. Burying our heads in the sand and hoping for the best is a recipe for disaster.
Employing a hacker can be tricky. Hiring anyone has its minefield of difficulties but a hacker…. How do you know you can trust them not to exploit any holes they find? How can they prove their skill to you? How can you test them? Would you even understand their responses? Luckily for us at Holograph HQ, we’re a tech company with a team full of nerdy cyber geniuses at our disposal but what if you’re not?
Worry not. There are specialist companies out there who can help. Bugcrowd and Hackerone are two of the big players in this field, professionally connecting businesses with white hat hackers. A quick scroll through google will throw you plenty to play with.
If this is not appealing to you then please consider the alternative, hire a company like Holograph to provide an outsourced service - contact us now or risk getting hacked!