6 Reasons Why Your Organization Needs an Ethical Hacker

The world is now more dependent on the digital marketplace. With this, organizations are concerned about the privacy of their data and network security. There are evident reports and online data to support the increase in the cybersecurity skill gap. [1] The staff shortage is leading to a rise in malicious, but sophisticated, cyberattacks. Organizations are trying to take every possible precaution, but it seems impossible for them to keep up with the perpetrators. The best-recommended way to deal with such a scenario would be to hire a white hat hacker to find and fix vulnerabilities in the network or system.

The listed instances of the previous year will help you to understand the gravity of a cyber threat.

TicketFly—TicketFly is a ticket distribution company owned by Eventbrite in San Francisco. The company confirmed data breach in June 2018, of approximately 27 million accounts, where data, including user names, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses, were illegally accessed.

The breach started when a hacker using the handle “IsHaKdZ” replaced the homepage of the company with the letter “V” used in 2005’s thriller flick “V for Vendetta.” The hacker also left a message stating “Your Security Down im Not Sorry. Next time I will publish database ‘backstage.’” The breach primarily affected the venues relying on digital ticketing across the nation.

British Airways—For over 2 weeks in the year 2018 (from August 21 to September 5), there has been a data theft from the website and mobile application of British Airways. The hackers stole personal and financial data of customers who booked or made changes in their previous bookings at the time of hack. Their official website revealed that the compromised data included names, billing addresses, email addresses, and all bank card details used during the mentioned dates. This theft affected almost 380,000 transactions. British Airways blamed a sophisticated group of hackers for the incident without revealing any further information. [2]

MyFitnessPal—MyFitnessPal is a mobile application and website acquired by Under Armour in 2015. The American sports giant announced in February 2018 that around 150 million user accounts had been compromised in the wake of a data breach. The hacked data included usernames, passwords, and email addresses of the account holders.

Reasons to Hire an Ethical Hacker for Your Organization

There are multiple reasons for your organization to hire an ethical hacker, but mostly so if you consider your data to be critical and you are not ready to compromise the security of your network or system.

1. Defensive Strategy with Offensive Approach

Ethical hacking can be defined as securing your system or network by duplicating the intent and actions of a malicious hacker. An employed ethical hacker finds vulnerabilities and weaknesses of your existing entities with the intention of fixing them.

This basic definition of ethical hacking depicts how the offensive actions of an ethical hacker are used to build defensive strategies to protect a company’s critical data and entities.

2. Limits Your Liability

Having an ethical hacker in your organization not only strengthens your data security but it also limits your organization’s liability when under a cyberattack. Though in case of a breach, hack, or data leakage, the organization will be liable, as per the regulations mentioned under GDPR, HIPAA, etc. Hiring a certified ethical hacker to perform the task shows your commitment to the system/network security. With a professional at work, you will face less pushback from your clients and be protected from a compromise of critical data at the time of an attack.

3. Handle Sophisticated Attacks

With the growing force of the dark web and malicious hackers, present-day cyberattacks are more sophisticated in nature than before. Now, it is difficult to detect the notorious activities of a hacker in the absence of an intelligent intrusion detection system. Well, an ethical hacker can help your organization to define detection rules which can eliminate the chances of various cyberattacks. Other than that, there are times when it has been reported that the cyberattacks remained unnoticed for several years. In such a critical cyber environment, it is better to have someone with the same thought of a malicious hacker but with a different intention—to protect and secure your sensitive data and resources.

4. Protect the Credibility of Your Organization

It has been noticed in the past that a security breach can harm your credibility in the market. 2015’s Facebook data breach resulted in the company’s share price dropped nearly 7% on the third day after Facebook confirmed the breach. Even the market value of the company witnessed a decline after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. That’s where a certified ethical hacker comes into the picture. With an onboard ethical hacker, you will be less susceptible to such data breaches. [3]

5. Reduction in Losses

A 2017 cybersecurity report by Norton states that 978 million people from 20 different countries were victims of cybercrime in the same year. It also mentions that the victims globally lost $172 billion. [4] Another report by Hewlett Packard and Ponemon Institute dating back to 2015 affirmed that cyberattacks cost the average American firm $15.4 million every year. [5] These losses can be reduced by hiring an ethical hacker, which is possible in two cases:

  • Case 1: A hired ethical hacker will be familiar with your system and network which makes it easy for him/her to prevent the ongoing attack in much lesser time than any other professional.
  • Case 2: You can have an employee fidelity bond with the hired professional or insurance coverage to reimburse the losses faced by the company because of the hired ethical hacker’s activities. [6]

6. Easy Cloud Transition

These days virtualization and IT sourcing are the common trends. But with these trends, the simultaneous transition to the cloud offers numerous ways for malicious hackers to misuse the newly vulnerable entry points. In such a scenario, an ethical hacker can help you to keep your network secure and protected during cloud transition. [7]

Now, if you are someone with an interest to learn ethical hacking, then EC-Council can help you be “The One.” Join the Certified Ethical Hacker program to become a certified ethical hacker.

Becoming an Ethical Hacker on your checklist?

Make sure you choose the right pathway for your career progression!


[1] https://www.csoonline.com/article/3247708/security/research-suggests-cybersecurity-skills-shortage-is-getting-worse.html
[2] https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/incident/data-theft/latest-information
[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/20/facebooks-scandals-in-2018-effect-on-stock.html
[4] https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/about/2017-ncsir-global-results-en.pdf
[5] https://money.cnn.com/2015/10/08/technology/cybercrime-cost-business/
[6] https://blog.itpro.tv/5-reasons-companies-hire-certified-ethical-hackers/
[7] https://www.mercurysolutions.co/blog/why-should-companies-hire-certified-ethical-hackers

Editor's Note:
Reviewed by DaMon Ross, SVP, Head of Cybersecurity at SunTrust and Georg Grabner, Managing Partner at IonIT B.V.
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