They say that you need a thief to catch a thief. The person who is best equipped to catch them is someone who understands their habits, mindset, tactics, and tools. The same could be said of hackers. The only way to stop a bad hacker is to have a good hacker on your side. These “good hackers” are commonly referred to as White Hat Hackers. So, what are White Hat Hackers and why do we need them?
What is a White Hat Hacker?
Like any other kind of hacker, a white hat hacker attempts to break into systems. The difference is that they are testing the security of these systems. They are working to improve the overall cybersecurity instead of breaking it. They understand how a malicious hacker will attempt to compromise a system, and they find the same vulnerabilities that other hackers will.
The key difference between white and black hat hackers is that the white hats are employed by the companies to find any gaps in the security of their systems by attempting to hack it. They stand to make quite a bit of money for their troubles too. These ethical hackers fill a variety of roles within an organization including being information security analysts, cybersecurity analysts, IT security engineers, and more.
Why are White Hat Hackers Important?
According to a report by Statista, nearly 4.3 billion people are connected to the internet. This number is only going to continue to grow. The current estimates suggest that as much as 90% of the world’s population could be online by the year 2030.
The world is becoming ever more reliant on the internet. This increase in internet use has given cybercriminals an endless amount of opportunity to violate privacy and commit cybercrimes. They’re already hard at work, with financial losses resulting from cybercrime set to hit $6 trillion by 2021.
This should give you a good idea of how vital white hat hackers are. With more websites, more networks, and more people accessing the internet, there’s a greater need for people who can protect all of that. Every element of the internet needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure that hackers can’t get through, or at least have a hard time doing so.
White hat hackers protect us from the bad guys and they work hard to ensure that systems are as secure as possible. They may know as much about hacking as black hat hackers, but they use those skills for good. There’s no such thing as a malicious tool. It’s how you use the tool that matters. Whenever someone finds a way to stop a computer virus or undo the damage caused by a hacker, it’s almost always a white-hat hacker on the other side of the law.