What Can We Learn From a Hack?

Posted by Sabrina Sturm Fri, 03 May 2013 06:50:00 GMT

Hackers have allegedly attacked everything from U.S. media, financial institutions, social media websites and more. The aftermath of a hack can be a serious headache for your company’s IT team as it poses a threat to your information, customers and reputation. The term “hacker” has a negative connotation as it brings thoughts of unscrupulous people who force their way into your systems and gain access to your data. However, hackers can also open our eyes and help us erect stronger barriers for our systems.

Take a look at the top 3 reasons of why a hacking may benefit us:

     1.  A Threat Can Help You Understand the Value of Your Data

Many companies store extremely sensitive data from their customers without even realizing it.  When hackers gain unauthorized access to this data, it poses a huge concern that the company did not expect. Furthermore, when the privacy of customers is compromised, there is also a huge reputational risk at stake. 

     2.  A Hack Can Provide Insight on the Holes in Your System

Even the most comprehensive and advanced security team can overlook a risk or vulnerability in an IT system. Although a hacking incident is never good, it can also provide insight on what parts of your system are vulnerable and how it can affect your organization on a day-to-day basis.

     3.  A Hack Can Help You Maintain an Advanced Security Mindset 

At times, IT security professionals focus solely on keeping hackers out and maintaining secure systems. Constantly having to react to threats as they occur causes these professionals to develop reactionary mindset, rather than a mindset that anticipates a hacker’s next move. A hacking experience can help IT professionals divert their mindsets to understand how hackers think. 

Instead of teaming against hackers, there are also advantages to hiring a hacker as a part of your IT security plan. Not all hackers are criminals, as some hackers penetrate network security in an attempt to educate users. For example, a “white hat” hacker refers to an ethical computer hacker or one that specializes in computer security and penetration testing. A company that maintains a website and internal network can benefit from the experiences developed by a white hat hacker. 

Has your company ever experienced a hack? What did your team learn from it? Has your company had a security threat that influenced the hiring of an ethical hacker to test the security of your systems? Please share in the comments below.

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