Hackers have gained a reputation for being outlaws of the digital frontier. Within the realm of pop culture, they are portrayed as the antiheroes who fight against tyrannical corporations. William Gibson’s cyberpunk sagas, role-playing games such as Shadowrun, and the mid-90’s film, Hackers – are prime examples. Moreover, groundbreaking cyberculture magazines such as Mondo 2000 and Wired covered the hacking scene during the 80’s and 90’s.
But as cool and countercultural as hackers seem, we can’t ignore the real dangers they present to businesses everywhere. Unfortunately, many hackers aren’t only interested in attacking shady corporations, but also small businesses and startups. This means that all your Internet-facing systems are potential targets, regardless of the size and status of your company.
Now, you may be wondering if hiring a hacker will reap benefits for your organization. Below, we’ll cover several scenarios where this would make sense.
A Hacker Can Help Tighten Up Your Online Security
Your company may only have a simple website that has a minimal database on the back-end, and a few links to your social media accounts. You’re likely using an open-source CMS such as WordPress, a MySQL database, and a few social media widgets. This is the typical online presence for most SMMEs and one that’s very easy to hack.
Both WordPress and MySQL are incredibly powerful technologies, but due to their popularity, many hackers know their inner workings intimately. Furthermore, many small business owners don’t have dedicated IT personnel, the time, or the skills to maintain their websites. Without regular maintenance, which includes updating both WordPress and MySQL, strengthening passwords, and improving cPanel security, hackers can easily exploit your website’s vulnerabilities.
Hiring a hacker to find and quash these vulnerabilities is a smart move, as long as you’re cautious. It’s preferable to hire a white hat or “ethical hacker” who has a track record as a security specialist over a black or grey hat hacker. Ensure that you’re dealing with a reputable individual or company that operates under a legal framework.
Help Improve Your Website’s SEO
Another area where a white hat hacker can help out is by improving your website’s SEO. It’s no secret that ranking highly on Google’s search engine can drive plenty of traffic to business websites. However, this is easier said than done, and many large corporations spend huge amounts of money to attain a high ranking. But this approach isn’t feasible for most companies, and that’s why it makes sense to look at more economical options.
A white hat hacker that closely follows Google’s webmaster guidelines can improve your SEO significantly. But it’s important not to deviate from these guidelines, or attempt any black hat techniques. Doing so will risk your website’s integrity and may cause Google to ban it from their search engine.
Cracking Passwords And Encrypting Data
Another scenario where you’d need the assistance of an ethical hacker is to crack passwords. You or staff members may have forgotten or lost passwords that prevent you from accessing mission-critical applications and systems. And to make matters worse, there are no alternative ways to enter these systems without having someone on the team that’s well-versed in password cracking techniques.
But regaining access to your data is only one piece of the puzzle. You should also encrypt company data, especially if it contains confidential information, financial data, and trade secrets. Any experienced programmer or hacker will have an understanding of encryption and know how to apply it to this data.
For better or worse, hackers have a permanent presence in the digital landscape. They’ve been here long before the Internet became a reality, and will likely remain till its end. Hiring a white hat hacker that’s reputable and keeps to the letter of the law can be invaluable to your company. They can provide important services such as tightening your online security, improve SEO, crack passwords, and encrypt data. Contact us today to learn how C.Soluxions can assist with your digital and contingency workforce.
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