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Ethical hacking: why should you learn it?

Ana Nastase
15 Apr, 2022
3 m read

Ethical hacking: what is it?

According to research, “learning ethical hacking involves studying the mindset, tools and techniques of hackers and penetration testers to learn how to identify, triage and correct vulnerabilities in software and computer networks” (source). In a context where cyber-security has become a buzzword and one of the fastest growing fields in computer science, organizations must focus their efforts towards preparing their employees to protect their data against any cyber attacks that may arise.

This means that specialists in this field must be ready to anticipate data breaches and prepared to fix security vulnerabilities as soon as they appear, because timing is a crucial aspect when it comes to cybersecurity, as studies and reports have shown. According to IBM, "it takes a company 197 days to discover the breach and up to 69 days to contain it. Companies that contained a breach in less than 30 days saved more than $1 million compared to those that took more than 30 days." So, it's a matter of valuable time and money when it comes to anticipating a data breach and reacting efficiently to a cyber security attack.

What numbers say 

According to the 2022 Cyber Threat Report released by SonicWall, “in 2021, threat researchers observed 623.3 million attacks globally. This total marked a 105% increase over 2020 and more than triple the number seen in 2019“, while “encrypted threats climbed to 10.1 million attacks in 2021 — a 167% increase year-over-year.”

There are many well-known cases of cyber attacks in the business environment, with big corporations being hit and losing a lot of money and resources to deal with the outcomes of such a data breach. One of the well-known cases is that of the British Airways, “that has been fined £20m ($26m) by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a data breach which affected more than 400,000 customers”, according to BBC. The data breach happened back in 2018 and had a huge impact on both personal and credit card data, being the largest penalty issued by the ICO up to this event. 

And the British Airways is not an isolated case, as the cyber threat report showed, they are just one of the many victims of the cyber attacks. This is where cybersecurity and ethical hacking comes in place, as “the most obvious benefit of learning ethical hacking is its potential to inform and improve how a corporate network is defended” (source). 

Who should learn ethical hacking?

There are many professionals out there who should have ethical hacking as an important aspect of their learning and development:

  • Network defenders & risk management experts: "understanding the hacker mindset can be invaluable for identifying and triaging different potential vulnerabilities in corporate network defences" (source)
  • Developers and quality assurance testers: gaining experience with penetration testing tools that can foster development and improve security testing procedures and processes

An ethical hacking course

An ethical hacking course can be adapted to the level of participants, based on what they know and what skills and knowledge should be improved or reinforced. Starting with the beginning, an Introduction to Ethical Hacking course focuses on understanding the importance of security in general, familiarising with the most common attacks, having an overview of what penetration testing means and following the penetration testing steps.

The threats and consequences of a cyber attack are introduced to the trainees, with examples for each of them to associate a theoretical understanding with a practical understanding of what a cyber attack means to a company. You can find more information here or you can book a call with us to see how this training can be adapted to the specific needs of your organisation and employees.

Some (final) thoughts

Long story short, cyber security is here and we should all be prepared to react fast and efficiently to the way it impacts our business environment!

This article is part of a bigger topic called: 

Employee engagement

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