The word “hacker” conjures the image of someone with ill intent toward individuals, websites, and company information systems. The prevailing theory is they look for ways to mine company data and destroy or change customer information. Those types of “bad guys” certainly exist — the cybersecurity industry calls them Black Hats, but in reality, they aren’t the only hackers lurking in cyberspace.
Enter the White Hat hacker, the good guy who uses his (or her) capabilities to damage your organization — but only hypothetically. Instead, the real purpose is to uncover security failings in your system in order to help you safeguard your business from the dangerous hackers.
Companies hire White Hats to stress test their information systems. They run deep scans of networks for malware, attempt to hack information systems using methods Black Hats would use, and even try to fool staff into clicking on links that lead to malware infestations.
White Hats are one of the reasons large organizations typically have less downtime and experience fewer issues with their websites. Most hackers know it will be harder to get into systems managed by large companies than those operated by small businesses that probably don’t have the resources to examine every possible security leak.
For that reason, it’s very important for any online business to make sure it takes strong preventative measures by installing quality anti-malware security, spyware removal tools, and firewall software defense. Customers need to feel secure that online service providers are protecting their data — or they will take their business elsewhere.