Consumers now live in a world where nearly all information is stored digitally. Because of this, cyber security is a real cause for concern. Being hacked is truly a nightmare situation, and many consumers and firms are taking measures to protect themselves. The Australian government has come to the conclusion that to protect its citizens against hackers, it needs them.
The Australian Signals Directorate has begun to recruit employees to enhance its cyber security capabilities. They plan on hiring up to 900 Australian Defence Force positions and 800 public service positions, some of the roles being cyber operators, penetration testers, software developers, and vulnerability researchers.
White hat hacking, or ethical hacking, is not an entirely new concept. Many companies hire third-party security researchers that study their security from a third-party perspective. For the Australian government, they will essentially attempt to penetrate the government's systems to test their vulnerability. This will enable the government to understand how a real hacker looking to steal information might succeed and what types of additional defences to implement.
Utilising ethical hackers is a way to introduce an offencive strategy into a company's cyber security. This means attacking one's own system, not another company's. This allows a company to first check the security of its own system while preparing its team to stop adversaries attempting to hack the system. Focusing purely on defence may not be enough. By having both defence and offence, a company can have a well-rounded strategy to cyber security.
In order to continue to successfully combat hacking and other cyber security concerns, companies will need to be proactive, investing in people with the knowledge and insight to protect sensitive information. More importantly, they will need creative and innovative people who can think ahead of the curve. Even with the rate at which technology changes, hackers manage to find ways to enter highly secure systems. An effective security team will work ahead of the hackers, continuously anticipating possible threats and needs.